Can You Help Indigenous Communities?
Published on: 09.08.2022
For many decades, indigenous people all over the world have been facing immense challenges that pose threats to their lives, to their experience as guardians of global biodiversity, and to their knowledge of sustainable management of food systems and healthy landscapes. During the last years, the coronavirus situation pointed out that without indigenous people cannot be sustainable development. Indigenous people are referred to in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under:
SDG 2 on Zero Hunger
Target 2.3 By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists, and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources, and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment.
SDG 4 on Quality Education
Target 4.5 By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and children in vulnerable situations.
At the same time, the International Labor Organization (ILO) considers the practices and traditional knowledge of indigenous and tribal people essential for achieving sustainable development. Yet, despite their important role, they remain disadvantaged. Data from the World Bank (WB) confirm that there are approximately 476 million indigenous people living in over 90 countries. Based on these numbers, they make up over six percent of the world’s population. However, they account for 15 percent of the people living in extreme poverty. Besides this, they face difficulties regarding access to education, healthcare, employment, basic services, justice, and decision-making. According to the United Nations, globally, 47 percent of all indigenous peoples in employment have no education, compared to 17 percent of their non-indigenous counterparts. This gap is even wider for women.
Some of the world’s best-protected forest landscapes are lands of indigenous people and managed by indigenous people.
A publication from nature.com shows that Indigenous Peoples manage or have tenure rights over at least 38 million km2 in 87 countries or politically distinct areas on all inhabited continents. This represents over a quarter of the world’s land surface.
The role of indigenous people in landscape management and their knowledge are essential to meeting global conservation goals. They also speak over 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures.
Given their conditions, indigenous people are more vulnerable to climate change, human activity such as mining and agriculture, and disease outbreaks such as the coronavirus pandemic.
The difficult situation that indigenous people are going through due to the pandemic outbreak and all the other issues mentioned above pose a threat to their health and thus to their vital knowledge on how to adapt and reduce the risks of climate change. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the capability of indigenous and tribal people to adapt.
On August 9th, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the UN while raising awareness on the needs of indigenous communities, pointed out that their challenges are our challenges. Hence everyone can help indigenous people with innovative solutions that help these communities show resilience. Remember that indigenous knowledge offers innovative solutions that can help to address major issues such as biodiversity loss and climate change.
Do you know more about indigenous communities, their problems, and the ability to respond and adapt? Share your knowledge in the comments below, or join the Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition if you have an innovative idea or project. Meanwhile, you can join the network of young and adult entrepreneurs and take entrepreneurship online training.