August 9 is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, marking formal recognition of their fundamental human rights at the UN General Assembly nearly 40 years ago. It is a good time to take stock of how Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) are faring – and it is painfully clear that there is still much to be done. IPLCs around the world continue to struggle to preserve their unique cultures, customs, identity, and well-being. In fact, just earlier this year, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Africa Protected Areas Congress in Kigali, Rwanda, issued a call to action, again requesting all stakeholders to ensure just, equitable and fair processes that will deepen the involvement of these stakeholders.
Ensuring IPLC rights and welfare is a moral imperative, but it also has important implications for effective climate action.