Sustainable management of natural resources of indigenous communities is key to combating climate change
COVID-19 has come as a stark reminder of human fragility in the face of an unknown virus of incalculable dimensions that puts our survival instinct to the test. Taking the current context as a reference, and on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations General Assembly decided to acknowledge indigenous peoples’ resilience and highlight the preservation of their traditional knowledge and practices.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), there are currently around 55 million indigenous people in Latin America, representing almost 8.5% of the total population of the region. That is why the participation of indigenous peoples and the full exercise of their collective rights has become a key factor in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, leaving no-one behind.
Indigenous peoples have been an example of resilience. Having contributed least to the problem of climate change, it is they that suffer it most and at the same time offer most in the fight against its effects. Indigenous peoples’ knowledge and traditions relating to the sustainable management of natural resources and the promotion of food systems that provide healthy nutrition for all set an example for an industrialised society that has abused natural resources.
This was expressed by the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Patricia Espinosa: “Indigenous peoples must be part of the solution to climate change. This is because they have the traditional knowledge of their ancestors. The important value of that knowledge simply cannot and should not be underestimated.”
Within this framework, it is worth highlighting the actions carried out by the EUROCLIMA + project, financed by the European Union and in the management of which the FIIAPP takes part, which aims to combat climate change and promote public policies that help mitigate environmental impact. This constitutes a reaffirmation of support for indigenous peoples’ participation in developing and strengthening policies to reduce their vulnerability and guarantee their rights.