The intrinsic and dynamic relationship of indigenous peoples with nature determines the various and different ways of life, resource and cultural management systems and socio-political institutions of indigenous peoples throughout the world. This relationship plays a fundamental role in the protection and conservation of ecosystems, species and genetic diversity. It is no coincidence that the world’s last remaining forests and 80% of the biodiversity of the planet are found in territories that are managed, owned and under the control of indigenous peoples. There is however little or no agreement on how to support, protect and promote the various ways of life of indigenous peoples, their natural resource governance systems and their contribution to the conservation of biodiversity.
Quick sync newAgainst this backdrop, during the Third Conference of the Parties (COP3) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), held in Buenos Aires in 1996, the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB)was established by the indigenous peoples of seven world regions. The regions are: Africa, Asia, the Arctic, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, the Pacific, Eastern Europe, Central Europe and the Caucasus. The objective of the IIFB is to facilitate the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in the CBD, as this body, which forms part of three agreements reached at the “Earth Summit” held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, enables indigenous peoples to directly address the relationship between natural resources, biodiversity and indigenous territories, and moreover, as a body of the United Nations, can have an international impact on the recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
One of the achievements [of the IIFB] is the participation of Indigenous Peoples in the CBD process, notably in article 8 (j) related to participation and advocacy with the aim of positioning the the various demands of the indigenous peoples and underscoring the recognition of traditional knowledge and rights.