International Policy Concerns

Indigenous governance of cultural heritage: searching for alternatives to co-management
By: Sam Grey and Rauna Kuokkanen
International Journal of Heritage Studies
Key words: Cultural heritage, world heritage, co-management, Indigenous peoples, self-determination, settler colonialism, culture, Finland, Suttesaja, Sweden, Laponia, Peru, Parque de la Papa
This article uses three examples to discuss the pros and cons of co-management. The authors believe that co-management is a another tool of governments to undermine sovereignty and cultural heritage of Indigenous nations. Of the three examples, the Peruvian example allows for the most self-determination and protection of cultural heritage.

‘We Know How to Keep the Balance of Nature’ Why Including Indigenous People is Vital to Solving Climate Change
By: Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim
Sept. 30, 2019
Keywords: Africa, Chad, climate change, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, policy, meteorology, Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples must be included in the fight against climate change, due to their unique knowledge and perspectives. Local expertise can prove essential to creating policies to counter climate change. Combining traditional and scientific knowledges can improve understanding about issues like weather and agriculture.

The Role of Indigenous Communities in Reducing Climate Change Through Sustainable Land Use Practices
By: Dr. Kanyinke Sena, Director, Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee; Antonella Cordone, Senior Technical Specialist, Nutrition and Social Inclusion, Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); Janene Yazzie, Co- Founder and CEO, Sixth World Solutions
The Land Portal
Sept 12, 2019
Keywords: Climate change, land use practices, indigenous knowledge
In contrast to alarming reports of global ecological degradation, lands managed by indigenous people have seen significantly fewer impacts. Panelists discuss how indigenous land use practices differ, threats to indigenous lands and how indigenous land use practices can be adapted for other parts of the world.

The Media Have Missed a Crucial Message of the UN's Biodiversity Report
By: Four Arrows
The Nation
Key words: United Nations, biodiversity, media representation, traditional ecological knowledge
This article discusses a main aspect of the UN's Biodiversity report that was seemingly missed by the media's coverage of the report. The article calls out the media for not discussing the importance of the traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) plays within the report. The author through the discussion of what TEK is discusses how it is important in the UN's Biodiversity Report, he calls upon everyone to change how they are living and embrace indigenous knowledge as a better sustainable lifestyle than what we are currently doing.

Ban Ki-moon Urges Leaders to Ensure that Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Cultural Contributions Remain Central in Combating Climate Change
By: Øyvind Ravna
Arctic Review on Law and Politics, 7(2):199-200
Key words: Climate change, Indigenous peoples’ rights
On 8 October 2016, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon received the Arctic Circle Prize 2016 for his leadership in bringing together world leaders for the Paris climate agreement. The Secretary-General gave an impressive acceptance speech at the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik, which addressed the challenges facing the global community created by rapidly increasing climate change.

Committing to Ecological Restoration: Efforts around the Globe Need Legal and Policy Clarification
By: Katharine Suding, Eric Higgs, Margaret Palmer, J. Baird Callicott, Christopher B. Anderson, Matthew Baker, John J. Gutrich, Kelly L. Hondula, Matthew C. LaFevor, Brendon M. H. Larson, Alan Randall, J. B. Ruhl, & Katrina Z. S. Schwartz
Conservation, 348(6235): 638-640
Key words: Ecosystem restoration, environmental policy
At the September 2014 United Nations Climate Summit, governments rallied around an international agreement- the New York Declaration on Forests-that underscored restoration of degraded ecosystems as an auspicious solution to climate change. In total, parties committed to restore a staggering 350 million hectares by 2030. The ambition affirms restoration’s growing importance in environmental policy. Achieving this promise requires careful thought about how we restore ecosystems. Authors outline four core principles of scientifically based, workable, and comprehensive restoration that can provide appropriate best practice guidelines in legal, policy, and planning efforts.

The Right to be a Part of Nature: Indigenous Peoples and the Environment
By: Leena Heinämäki
Lapland University Press
Key words: Canada, international law, Arctic, United Nations, human rights, environmental law
This dissertation focuses on international law regarding human rights, the general public, and environmental law as they relate to the protection of indigenous people.

Anticolonial Strategies for the Recovery and Maintenance of Indigenous Knowledge
By: Leanne R. Simpson
The American Indian Quarterly, 28.3&4: 373-384
Keywords: Indigenous peoples, traditional knowledge, ecological sustainability, applied ecology, Native Americans, state government, biodiversity, conservation biology, occupied territories, territories
Indigenous thinkers have advocated for the recovery and promotion of Traditional Indigenous Knowledge (IK) systems as an important process in decolonizing Indigenous nations and their relationships with settler governments, whether those strategies are applied to political and legal systems, governance, health and wellness, education, or the environment. Recovering and maintaining Indigenous worldviews, philosophies, and ways of knowing and applying those teachings in a contemporary context represents a web of liberation strategies Indigenous Peoples can employ to disentangle themselves from the oppressive control of colonizing state governments. Combined with the political drive toward self-determination, these strategies mark resistance to cultural genocide, vitalize an agenda to rebuild strong and sustainable Indigenous national territories, and promote a just relationship with neighboring states based on the notions of peace and just coexistence embodied in Indigenous Knowledge and encoded in the original treaties.

Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous & Local Communities: International Debate & Policy Initiatives
By: Francesco Mauro & Preston Hardison
Ecological Applications, 10(5): 1263-1269
October 2000
Keywords: Biodiversity; conservation, sustainable use, Convention on Biological Diversity, Indigenous knowledge, Indigenous peoples and communities, local communities, sustainable development, Traditional Ecological Knowledge
This paper reviews international law and policy regarding the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities that are defining the role of traditional and indigenous knowledge in the management and conservation of biodiversity. The most influential forums occur within the United Nations system, particularly the Working Group on Indigenous Populations and the Convention on Biological Diversity. We discuss the “soft-law” context of declarations, regional agreements, ethical guidelines, research protocols, and policy frameworks, which reinforce indigenous entitlements. The elaboration of these rights will increasingly impinge upon scientific research by regulating access to the knowledge and resources of indigenous and local communities, and by requiring that policy and management be made with their full participation. Scientists should respond by following these developments, institutionalizing this participation at all levels of scientific activity, and respecting the value of indigenous knowledge.

Last updated: March 23, 2020