Community Based Monitoring and Information Systems, CBMIS, refers to the bundle of monitoring approaches used by indigenous peoples and local communities as tools for their management and documentation of their resources. These relate to biodiversity, ecosystems, land and waters, and other resources, as well as human well-being,

Some CBMIS tools have been continuously used and developed as part of indigenous governance and management systems over a long time, whereas others have been included in response to emerging needs in recent times, in particular to document external threats, to assert claims to territory, and to plan for the future.

Several of SwedBio’s partners are developing and applying monitoring tools. For example, the African Biodiversity Network is developing eco-cultural mapping and ecocalendars, and Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) partners are mapping their territories with GPS as a base for land recognition.

A Multipel Evidence Base (MEB) approach may strengthen the impact and policy influence of CBMIS, as implemented by indigenous peoples and local communities.

Expanding work on CBMIS

The work of Tebtebba Foundation and the IIFB working group on Indicators is supported by SwedBio. It has contributed substantially to the development of indicators for traditional knowledge under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and running pilot studies of them in practice which are monitored through CBMIS.


The indicators on traditional knowledge, agreed by the CBD, are:

•          Trends in land-use change and land tenure in the traditional territories of indigenous and local communities (decision X/43)

•          Trends in the practice of traditional occupations (decision X/43)

•          Trends of linguistic diversity and numbers of speakers of indigenous languages (decisions VII/30 and VIII/15)

•          Trends in the degree to which traditional knowledge and practices are respected through their full integration, safeguards and the full and effective participation in the national implementation of the Strategic Plan.


These are now part of the indicators for the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Tebtebba and FPP and others are now monitoring them through CBMIS in several countries. The consolidation of the experiences in the pilot testing is the basis for a scaling-up of the CBMIS efforts to the global level. These monitoring systems can also contribute valuable methods and information to assessments under the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).


CBMIS welcomed by CBD member states

At the twelfth Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP12) in October 2014, the Parties warmly welcomed CBMIS. It was acknowledged that CBMIS can fill theinformation gap among international agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and indigenous peoples and local communities’ organisations to produce global statistics on issues like traditional occupations and changes in land use.