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Group photo of Mobile Peoples delegates and participants with HRH Princess Basma bint Talal

The Standing Committee for the Dana Declaration on Mobile Peoples and Conservation, under the patronage of HRH Princess Basma bint Talal of Jordan, is pleased to announce that the Dana +20 Manifesto, issued after the Dana +20 workshop in Wadi Dana in September 2022, has reached the attention of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights (UNHCHR). 

The Manifesto specifically calls on the United Nations to issue a report on the situation of Mobile Indigenous Peoples with specific recommendations for upholding their rights. 

The Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples will dedicate his forthcoming report to the United Nations General Assembly in October 2024 to the topic of the situation of Mobile Indigenous Peoples. The report will review the challenges faced by Mobile Indigenous Peoples and the initiatives undertaken by States, Indigenous Peoples, and other stakeholders to recognise and respect their rights. The report will address the situation of pastoralists, herders, hunter-gatherers, shifting agriculturalists, seafaring/maritime peoples, and other mobile peoples who self-identify as indigenous under international human rights law, such as the Sami reindeer herders in northern Scandinavia, Bedouin in the Middle East, and the Maasai pastoralists in eastern Africa. 

To this end, the Dana Standing Committee is organising a side event at the coming United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (New York, 15-26 April 2024) to bring several representatives of Mobile Peoples together to disseminate the Dana +20 Manifesto and engage in further discussion relevant to the Special Rapporteur’s report, particularly regarding the issues of self-determination and engagement of youth.


The 20th anniversary of the Dana Declaration on Mobile Peoples and Conservation, which was initiated by the Refugee Studies Centre in 2002, was marked in Wadi Dana, Jordan, from 7-10 September 2022 with the workshop titled Dana +20: Mobile Indigenous Peoples, Conservation, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Two Decades after the Dana Declaration.  The Dana Standing Committee brought together the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN, Jordan) and rightsholders from the World Alliance of Mobile Indigenous Peoples (WAMIP) and other Mobile Peoples’ associations from around the world – including Mongolia, Malaysia, India, Iran, Jordan, Sweden, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, and Peru – and concerned practitioners and academics to discuss shared concerns. What emerged was the Dana +20 Manifesto of Mobile Peoples, a call to action for governments, conservationists, environmentalists, corporations and international stakeholders to recognise and respect the rights of Mobile Peoples and to deepen mutual understanding about the place of mobile ways of life in the future of our world.

Under the patronage of the HRH Princess Basma bint Talal, the Dana Declaration on Mobile Peoples and Conservation emerged in Wadi Dana, Jordan in 2002 in response to forced evictions of Mobile Peoples globally – including indigenous, traditional, nomadic, and tribal peoples – from their homelands in the name of environmental conservation. It established key principles to ensure that conservation policies respect the rights of Mobile Peoples and work together with such indigenous and traditional communities to maintain the earth’s ecosystems and biodiversity. The Declaration was the outcome of an international meeting of social and natural scientists and NGOs that took place in Wadi Dana Nature Reserve in Jordan in April 2002 and was hosted by the Refugee Studies Centre, in collaboration with the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (University of Kent at Canterbury), the World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Twenty years later, delegates met in Wadi Dana to take stock of progress as well as the continuation and exacerbation of challenges to their mobile lifeways, including ongoing forced evictions, land grabbing and enclosures due to mineral extraction, agri-business, renewable energy development, conservation, tourism, international conflicts, and the securitisation of borders. New challenges were addressed, including the impacts of climate change, worsened by ongoing emissions from the global use of fossil fuels. The event also critically engaged with the role of research and the nature of research collaborations with Mobile Peoples, with an emphasis on the development of equitable partnerships. In addition to the Dana +20 Manifesto on Mobile Peoples, participants developed a detailed action plan to contribute to the United Nations’ International Year of Rangeland and Pastoralists (2026) and develop a broader coalition for Mobile Indigenous Peoples – including those living in forests, deserts, and arctic tundra – to work towards shared objectives.

The Dana +20 workshop was co-organised by the Refugees Studies Centre together with the School of Geography and the Environment at Oxford University, in collaboration with Mobile Peoples delegates representing organisations such as the Confederation of Traditional Stockbreeders Organisations (CORET), the World Alliance on Mobile Indigenous Peoples (WAMIP), the Sámi Youth Association, the Union of Indigenous Nomadic Pastoralists (UNINOMAD – Iran), Lokhit Pashu-Palak Sansthan (LPPS – India), CENESTA, Steps without Borders (Mongolia), the Mbororo Social & Cultural Development Association (MBOSCUDA – Cameroon), Traditional Ecosystems Survival Tanzania (TEST), the Indigenous Livelihoods Enhancement Partnership (ILEPA – Kenya), the PASTROAMERICAS Network, as well as tribes and indigenous groups from across the world. These delegates were joined by participants from the Forest Peoples Programme (UK), the University of Roehampton (UK), the University of Colorado (USA), the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) and JOHUD (Jordan).

Representatives at the Dana +20 workshop from the Refugee Studies Centre were Emerita Professor Dawn Chatty and Dr Cory Rodgers.

The event was made possible through funding from the Centre for British Research in the Levant (CBRL), Misereor, the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists, the Wenner Gren Foundation, the Oxford Department of International Development, PASTRES, the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), and the University of Nevada’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources.

Further information on the Dana Declaration: