Indigenous peoples' opportunities
In optimist view, Indigenous people hold vital ancestral knowledge and expertise on how to adapt, mitigate, and reduce risks from climate change and natural disasters.
They can make great destination for ecotourism and notable income for their society.
In the face of global environmental change and its emerging challenges and unknowns, it is essential to have access to the best available information and knowledge. While science contributes significantly to understanding earth systems, social systems and their interactions, there is growing awareness that scientific knowledge alone is inadequate for solving the emerging environmental crises. The knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities – often referred to as local, indigenous or traditional knowledge – is now recognized as essential, alongside science, for developing effective and meaningful action world-wide.
6 ways indigenous peoples are helping the world achieve
- Their traditional agricultural practices are resilient to climate change
- They conserve and restore forests and natural resources
- Indigenous foods expand and diversify diets
- Indigenous foods are resilient to climate change
- Indigenous territories hold 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity
- Indigenous peoples’ lifestyles are locally adapted and respectful of natural resources
FAO considers indigenous peoples as invaluable partners in eradicating hunger and in providing solutions to climate change. We will never achieve long-term solutions to climate change and food security and nutrition without seeking help from and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples.
ways to support the rights of indigenous people
1. Focus on the priorities
Indigenous people can’t choose their own way of life, get control over their own education, healthcare and so on, unless their lands are secure. That’s the overwhelming priority.
2. Include indigenous people in discussions of land use
Without land, indigenous peoples have no livelihood, no identity, no means of survival. In this context, states need to respect the principle of free, prior and informed consent. Indigenous peoples need to be consulted about use of their land and included in development processes. Companies need to take this on board too and conduct proper due diligence prior to embarking on, and during, investment projects.
3. Apply the law to ensure land rights are protected
Laws on land rights are often good, but they’re universally flouted. Brazil’s an example – all Indian tribes in Brazil should have had their land protected in law by 1993 according to the constitution, but dozens are still waiting.
4. Build public awareness
Informed public education and awareness building is critical to the implementation of indigenous rights. This is a responsibility of all.