Indigenous peoples and their importance in biodiversity conservation

A quarter of the land on our planet has traditionally been owned, managed or occupied by indigenous peoples and local communities. Despite the ecological and climate crisis that we have been facing for some decades, these areas are still classified as protected or with very low human intervention. This is due to centuries of traditional sustainable knowledge and practices, with cooperation between society and nature.

Therefore, it would be logical for these peoples to be considered central in discussions and solutions for biodiversity conservation. However, despite being increasingly recognized, their knowledge is rarely taken into account and their representatives participate in decision-making in this regard.

Importance to society

Our current consumption and production patterns have already proved to be incompatible with the planet's ability to supply resources and raw materials. The global ecological and climate system is coming into collapseTherefore, in recent years we have seen climate and environmental challenges rise in society's debate.

The sustainable use of natural resources together with the practices and livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities have allowed them to live together in harmony with nature for thousands of years. specialists claim that governments should learn from the environmental examples given by these peoples. If nothing is done, we could further aggravate the environmental crisis that the world is facing due to climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution.


The International Labor Organization (ILO) seeks to ensure the respect for the cultures and ways of life of indigenous peoples and recognize their rights to land and natural resources, and to define their own priorities for development. In addition, the Brazilian Constitution also provides that its social, cultural organization, language, beliefs and traditions are respected.

Following this line, Cop 15 on Biological Diversity ended with a historic milestone: the explicit recognition of the rights, territories and knowledge of indigenous peoples and traditional communities as the most effective way to protect biodiversity. In addition to including them throughout the entire process of decision-making, strengthening their more harmonious relationships with nature.

This inclusion indicates that we are finally starting to recognize the traditional knowledge that has protected our lands for so long and including it in policy debates.

The role of organizations

Socio-environmental investments and finance play a very important role in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. This is, of course, the responsibility of all. so much the government as for philanthropy and the private sector they need to join efforts and resources to finance the protection of nature, in a way that involves indigenous peoples and local communities in these discussions and solutions.

Sitawi, through its work with Conservation and Climate Finance, has been dedicated to develop financial solutions that conserve biodiversity and safeguard sustainable livelihoods, with the participation of indigenous peoples and local communities. Our Territorial Programs are designed and conducted through local participatory management, guaranteeing the institutional capacity building, a representativeness and the direct participation in decision-making

And we are ready to weave new paths, partnerships and programs towards new opportunities for people and nature. Be part of this movement with Sitawi.
To find out how you can act in the conservation of biodiversity and the climate, download our mapping ?financial solutions for the conservation of nature

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