• Saturday, 22 June 2019

Indigenous voices, a policy spark to protect the world’s forests

Forests are crucial to sustainable development in many ways, from local communities to global commons. Yet, for decades, indigenous peoples – their leading curators and ambassadors – have suffered political exclusion. More recently, forests have been recognised as a key response to the global climate crisis, motivating an international engagement with new financial instruments. At this juncture, some countries are listening and embracing indigenous voices and knowledge to explore policy innovations than can address the tragedy of the forests. Connecting indigenous knowledge with climate finance is drawing up transformational pathways for sustainability, including reforms for the sustainable governance of lands and forests, and actions to recognise community rights. In effect, when countries listen to indigenous insights and address indigenous rights, their development policies are more robust, inclusive, convincing and, indeed, more sustainable.

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