Indigenous Peoples’ relationship to their lands, territories and resources is at the heart of their identity, well-being and culture. Preservation of the environment, transmitted through traditional knowledge passed down through generations, is at the centre of their existence. As the world is increasingly recognizing the negative impacts of climate change and environmental degradation on health, food security and overall peace and security, the importance of Indigenous knowledge and territorial rights is beginning to be more fully acknowledged by society at large.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offers further opportunities to promote the rights of Indigenous Peoples to lands, territories and resources due to its integrated approach to economic, environmental and social development within a human rights framework — providing space to demonstrate how Indigenous stewardship of lands, territories and resources can accelerate the implementation and achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This publication offers a wide-ranging perspective on Indigenous Peoples’ rights to lands, territories and resources, analysing legislation and agreements at the national and international levels as well as customary law. It examines both successful practices and continuing obstacles to realizing Indigenous Peoples’ rights to lands, territories and resources, and suggests ways forward.