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IUCN Congress boosts support for Indigenous peoples’ rights

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, 9 September 2016 (IUCN) – Key decisions boosting support for Indigenous peoples’ rights have been adopted by IUCN State, government and civil society members today at the IUCN World Conservation Congress taking place in Hawaiʻi. 

In a landmark decision, the IUCN Members’ Assembly has voted to create a new category of membership for Indigenous peoples’ organisations. This will open the opportunity to strengthen the presence and role of Indigenous organisations in IUCN – a unique membership union gathering 217 state and government agencies, 1, 066 NGOs, and networks of over 16,000 experts worldwide.

“Today’s decision to create a specific place for Indigenous peoples in the decision-making process of IUCN marks a major step towards achieving the equitable and sustainable use of natural resources,” says IUCN Director General Inger Andersen. “Indigenous peoples are key stewards of the world’s biodiversity. By giving them this crucial opportunity to be heard on the international stage, we have made our Union stronger, more inclusive and more democratic.”

“This decision is historical in that it is the first time in IUCN’s history that a new membership category has been established,” says Aroha Te Pareake Mead, Chair of IUCN's Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP). “It also marks a turning point for the inclusion and full participation of Indigenous peoples in all aspects of IUCN's work. 

“For Indigenous peoples this provides an unprecedented opportunity to contribute to global policy on biocultural conservation, indigenous issues, traditional knowledge and the future direction of conservation as distinct peoples. I am proud of IUCN and its members for doing the right thing and enabling Indigenous peoples to speak for themselves as full members of the Union.”  Readmore  IUCN

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