Indigenous Peoples 2

Indigenous peoples have rich and ancient cultures and regard their socio-economic, spiritual and environmental systems as strongly interconnected and interdependent. As a result, they make valuable contributions to the world’s heritage thanks to their traditional knowledge and understanding of ecosystem management.

However, they are among the world’s most vulnerable, marginalised and disadvantaged groups of people in society such that their voices are not heard in development consultations, their rights not respected and their wellbeing not considered by their respective governments. More importantly, there are more than 370 million self-identified indigenous peoples in roughly 70 countries around the world. In Latin America alone there are more than 400 groups, each with a distinct language and culture. But the biggest concentration of indigenous peoples is in Asia and the Pacific – an estimated 70 per cent.

Indigenous peoples have in-depth, varied and locally rooted knowledge of the natural world. And because traditional indigenous lands and territories contain some 80 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity, indigenous peoples can play a crucial role in managing natural resources. Waterclan is working with them to combat poverty by developing and implementing programmes that empower them to shape and direct their own destinies, and to ensure that they are the co-creators and co-managers of development initiatives.

Indigenous peoples have in-depth, varied and locally rooted knowledge of the natural world. And because traditional indigenous lands and territories contain some 80 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity, indigenous peoples can play a crucial role in managing natural resources.