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International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples
9 August

Message from Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity for 2012

On the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, with its focus on "Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices", we pay tribute to indigenous peoples, and especially to indigenous media, for their contributions to knowledge, innovations and practices in the conservation of the earth’s biodiversity. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) recognizes, in its preamble and in its articles, the crucial role traditional knowledge has in the conservation of life on earth.

The media, in general, and indigenous media in particular, play a fundamental role in the promotion and awareness of the importance of cultural and biological diversity, and help highlight the pivotal role traditional knowledge and language play in the daily lives of all people. The CBD Programme of Work on Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) aims to inform and to increase public awareness, using simple and clear language, on the importance of biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge.

Moreover, the Tenth Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention invited Parties “to continue and further improve communication, education and public awareness activities for promoting awareness and education using the goals included in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, the framework of the Agenda for Action, and, where appropriate, the proposed United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, with the full and effective participation of all stakeholders, including indigenous and local communities”. (Decision X/18, para 1) Undoubtedly, all these efforts will assist us in reaching targets 1 and 18 of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, adopted by COP 10 in Decision X /1:

To ensure a sustainable and a higher quality of life for all people in harmony with nature, we together need to take daily actions that protect biodiversity. Indigenous media play an important role by educating people at all levels, in an effort to ensure that environmental policies are translated into daily actions.

We will continue to work together towards achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. On behalf of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, I wish indigenous peoples from all over the world a memorable celebration of this International Day of the World’s Indigenous People.

Braulio Ferreira De Souza Dias

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