Why indigenous peoples and traditional knowledge are vital to protecting future global biodiversity

Historically, indigenous knowledge around protecting biodiversity has largely been ignored by Western science. That’s starting to change.

Photo courtesy of Coronado Sebastian

More than 28% of the global land area is owned, used or managed by indigenous peoples, including more than 40% of terrestrial protected areas and 37% of “all remaining natural lands.”

“When indigenous peoples have communal control of land, biodiversity loss is noticeably less.” — Peter Veit

In Australia, ancient Aboriginal techniques are informing modern fire management. Photo courtesy of Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation/Russell Ord

The biodiversity being managed freely by indigenous peoples around the world is widely threatened in a new scramble for resources, says Fiona Watson, director of research and advocacy of international human rights group Survival International.

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