Although indigenous peoples comprise over 6% of the world's population, their lands account for around 22% of the world’s area and 80% of global biodiversity. Historically, indigenous knowledge around protecting biodiversity and managing ecosystems has largely been ignored, but that is starting to change.
Indigenous peoples have mastered the art of living on the Earth without destroying it. Indigenous peoples have a lot to teach the rest of us about promoting sustainable land management, and climate adaptation strategies and scientists are now tapping into their unique expertise.
Yet indigenous peoples are also among the world’s most vulnerable, marginalized and disadvantaged groups. They are three times more likely to live in extreme poverty. How can governments collaborate with Indigenous land stewards in ensuring that species survive and thrive? And how can their human rights and usage rights be defended? How can they retain the benefits of their inherent rights?