For the first time, indigenous people have been designated as full members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, giving them voting rights at the Conservation Summit currently underway in Marseilles, France.
With both the planet and the guardians of the environment under existential threat, defenders of the rights of indigenous peoples are pushing for a change in approach for the global conservation movement.
Historically, the global conservation movement was based on the idea that protected areas flourish free from human disturbance, but a growing body of evidence shows that indigenous communities are the best at looking after wildlife, and that as much as 80% of the world’s remaining forest biodiversity lies within indigenous peoples’ territories.Phoebe Weston for the Guardian
My report to the Human Rights Council this year highlighted how environmental and indigenous Human Rights Defenders are more likely than any other type Human Rights Defender to be killed for their work. A significant proportion of these killings take place in the context of business activities.