Indigenous peoples

Indigenous peoples live in some of the world’s most biologically diverse areas and, in their traditional stewardship role, have accumulated deep knowledge of the environment. They also have first-hand experience of environmental degradation attributed to climate change, and its economic and social consequences. With Arctic warming, rising sea levels in the Pacific, and desertification in the Sahel, the livelihoods and way of life of indigenous peoples are under threat.

With their close insight into the workings of local ecosystems, indigenous peoples should play an active role in the global response to climate change. In addition to knowledge of weather patterns, lessons may be learned about agricultural methods, exploitation of alternative food sources, and preservation of freshwater resources.

DESA houses the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. At its 2008 session, the Forum will focus on climate change, bio-cultural diversity and livelihoods. Experts will discuss the stewardship role of indigenous peoples, the new challenges they face, and will then advise the Economic and Social Council accordingly.

 

Case studies


  • 2007 - Sustainable Hydropower Development: The Bersimis Complex
    Summary:
    The Bersimis hydroelectric complex comprises two jointly operated powerhouses, Bersimis-1 (1 125 MW) and Bersimis-2, a 845 MW run-of-river power station as well as a 42 km2 reservoir which were built ...
  • 2007 - Development of a Sustainable Energy Policy Framework for Guatemala
    Summary:
    Guatemala has a General Electricity Law and an Incentive Law for electric energy generation with renewable energy resources, but it lacks a general energy policy directive framework. The objective of ...
  • 2006 - Water and Sanitation
    Summary:
    Water Supply and Sanitation: There are two different project approaches that the government has been using to provide clean and drinking water to urban and rural communities. Firstly, a community d...
  • 2006 - Commitments-Related Best Practice or Lessons Learned in Water
    Summary:
    In 1994-95, the Council of Australian Governments adopted the Water Reform Framework, whereby all jurisdictions committed to a strategic framework designed to create an economically efficient and ecol...
  • 2006 - Supportive Government Framework Allows for Trade Union Input into Kyoto Mechanisms
    Summary:
    A decision by the Government of Belguim in July 2005 ensures that social and sustainability criteria are considered when funding 'flexible mechanisms' for meeting its Kyoto commitments. It has ins...
  • 2006 - Climate Alliance
    Summary:
    The Climate Alliance of European Cities with Indigenous Rainforest Peoples is Europe's largest thematic network with a membership over 1300 European cities and municipalities in 14 countries. Joinin...
  • 2006 - Technical Expertise for Renewable Energy Application (TERNA) - Cross-regional
    Summary:
    GTZ's TERNA Wind Energy Programme aims at overcoming the lack of knowledge concerning the wind enery potential in developing countries and emerging markets. Major activities comprise energy policy adv...
  • 2006 - National Climate Change Programme
    Summary:
    Sudan is among the most vulnerable countries to climate change, therefore adaptation considered to be a priority in the National Implementation Strategy of the Climate Change Convention. To achieve th...
  • 2006 - Mexican Rural Electrification Programme
    Summary:
    This programme is designed to electrify rural and indigenous communities in the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas and Veracruz using renewable energy powered energy solutions associated with product...
  • 2006 - Bushlight - Indigenous Renewable Energy Services
    Summary:
    The Bushlight programme has been provided with Australian Government funding of more than $24 million for both operational and capital works expenditure over a 5 year period. Bushlight was develo...
 

Partnerships


  • Recovery of the Circuit of Four Lakes
    Lead Partner:
    Yachay Wasi - Yachay Wasi  
    Geographical Scope:
    Local 
    Summary:
    Surging from a pressing environmental need, this partnership was implemented by the Indigenous NGO Yachay Wasi (based in New York City, USA and in Cuzco, Peru) to assess and stop the growing chemical contamination of 4 Andean mountain lakes, one of them affecting the village of Acopia in Peru, birthplace of Luis Delgado Hurtado, Yachay Wasi co-founder and president, who now resides in Cuzco, Peru....
  • Southern Caucus of NGOs for Sustainable Development Five Multi Regional Partnership and Policy Centers
    Lead Partner:
    Southern Caucus Of NGOs For Sustainable Development  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    THE PARTNERSHIP SHALL: 1. Establish Five Multi Regional Centers to assist in recruitment, mobilization and development of human resources and strengthen Southern Major Group NGO Institutions on Local, National and Regional Levels and increase their Capacity to participate in and contribute to the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation Locally, Nationally and Regionally. 2 Seek resources...