Achieving sustainable development by working with indigenous people

By Elkanah Nyauma


Involvement of indigenous peoples is fundamental to achieving the sustainable development goals. This is because they have a wealth of knowledge and solutions to the world’s pressing problems. These include but not limited to climate, management of sustainable natural resources, food security and health.

But despite this great potential in them, it is very unfortunate that they are among the people most likely to lag behind. Continuous exclusion and treating them as insignificant slows down the SDGS agenda whose mission is to leave no one behind.

Indigenous peoples account for 6 percent of the total population, globally. According to IFAD, their poverty rate is estimated at 370 million worldwide. This is as a result of discrimination, historic injustices among other related issues.

Indigenous peoples’ lands, resources and territories have been taken away over the years and because of this, they have lost control of their lives.

Including them in the development agenda means creating beneficial partnerships with their communities and organizations. It also means respecting their rights to belong and be recognized, as well as upholding them high and involving them in decision-making processes.

It is estimated that there are more than 476 million self-identified indigenous peoples in some 90 countries around the world. But, far too often, they continue to face discrimination and their voices continue to go unheard. (Source: IFAD)

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