Traditional knowledge at ‘core’ of indigenous heritage, and ‘must be protected’, says UN Forum

un heritage

UN News/Predrag Vasić Sjisäwishék ‘Keeping the fire strong’, indigenous girls of the Onondaga Nation, Haudenoaunee Confederacy, perform at the eighteenth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Anne Nuorgam, who is a member of Finland’s Saami Parliament and head of the Saami Council’s Human Rights Unit, described the Forum as an opportunity to share innovations and practices, developed in indigenous communities “over centuries and millennia”.

Indigenous peoples make up less than six per cent of the world’s population, but account for 15 per cent of the poorest on earth, according to the Forum. They live in some 90 countries, represent 5,000 different cultures and speak the overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 6,700 languages.

Noting that 2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages, she said that “we have to celebrate our languages, but also take concrete action to preserve them and save those on the verge of extinction”.

Ms. Nuorgam pointed out that in many countries, indigenous children are not taught in their language. Citing Article 14 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) , she recalled that indigenous peoples have the right to provide education in their own languages.

“However, this needs financial and technical support from Member States and the UN System”, she stated.

As studies show that children learn best in their own mother tongue, Ms. Nuorgam encouraged everyone to “make sure our children” are connected to their indigenous communities and cultures, as they are “inextricably linked to their lands, territories and natural resources”.

“This enables us to protect our traditional knowledge”, asserted the chair.

Indigenous issues linked to world development

Recognizing  UNDRIP  as a “watershed moment” in 2007, General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa lamented that it still faced implementation challenges, saying that the world has a “historic debt with the indigenous peoples” and that much more must be done to overcome the implementation gap.

She also drew attention to indigenous women, pointing out that while women are key agents of change for tackling poverty and hunger, they face multiple forms of discrimination and violence.

In his opening remarks, Valentin Rybakov, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), explained that the Forum’s expert advice on indigenous peoples’ issues, informs ECOSOC deliberations and decisions.

“This is of particular importance in helping us follow up on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, said Mr. Rybakov.

He mentioned key activities in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including, in September, the first SDG Summit for State heads since the 2030 Agenda was adopted and the UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) in July to review six of the SDGs, including on quality education, economic growth and combatting climate change.

“These topics are of central importance to indigenous peoples and the attainment of their human rights”, he said, saying that the Permanent Forum and its follow-up activities “demonstrably contributes” to reaching these goals.

“Along with recognition comes the need to acknowledge the source, ownership and protection of traditional knowledge”, Mr. Rybakov said.

Thriving for ‘millennia’

The Executive Secretary of the Convention on biological Diversity, Cristiana Pasca Palma, credited her Romanian grandparents – who used traditional agricultural methods passed down for centuries, to till the soil – for nurturing her appreciation of biodiversity and related traditional knowledge.

“All of our ancestors have always lived off the land and waters in one form or another”, she said. “And their traditional knowledge, often transmitted especially through women – grandmother to mother, to daughter – have enabled us as a species to thrive for millennia”.

The event also enjoyed a performance by Sjisäwishék, or ‘Keeping the fire strong’ – indigenous girls of the Onondaga Nation, Haudenoasuanee Confederacy, and a ceremonial welcome by the traditional Chief of the Onondaga Nation, Tadodaho Sid Hill.

The session runs from 22 April through 3 May, with regional dialogues to be held during the second week.

Established by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2000, the Forum provides it with advice and recommendation on indigenous issues. The 16 independent experts of the Forum – eight nominated by UN Member States and others by indigenous organizations globally – work in their personal capacity.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Here’s how data can shine a light on financial crime

The Schengen area is at a crossroads

These countries have some of the highest voter turnout in the world

Brexit: European Commission publishes Communication on preparing for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU

Towards a tobacco free India

Youth2030: UN chief launches bold new strategy for young people ‘to lead’

The MWC14 Sting Special Edition

What is hydroponics – and is it the future of farming?

First peaceful transfer of power in DR Congo ‘an extraordinary opportunity’ for advancing rights

UN forum spotlights cities, where struggle for sustainability ‘will be won or lost’

World Health Organisation and medical students: is there any room for improvement?

“France will be there, it will always be there!”, French President Hollande says in a rather disorganised speech; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Is there a cure for corruption in Greece?

Fashion’s hot new trend: clothes you don’t need to wash (very often)

The EU Consumer Policy on the Digital Market: A Behavioral Economics View

Congolese expelled from Angola returning to ‘desperate situation’: UN refugee agency

What do the economic woes of Turkey, Argentina and Indonesia have in common?

Parliament wants to suspend EU accession negotiations with Turkey

Why Indian students are going abroad to become Doctors?

Office workers in these economies clock up the most extra hours

The Franco-German axis considers that all EU needs now is more armaments

Cancer is a growing global threat and prevention is key, UN study shows

How Hawaii plans to be the first US state to run entirely on clean energy

The secret weapon in the fight for sustainability? The humble barcode

Athens searches frantically for a new compromise between politics and economic reality

We need a fresh approach to climate change migration. This is why

‘Warp speed’ technology must be ‘force for good’ UN chief tells web leaders

Gaza probe finds ‘reasonable grounds’ Israeli forces committed international human rights violations

Report on EU trade defence – effective protection against unfair trade

EU job-search aid worth €9.9m for 1,858 former Air France workers

FROM THE FIELD: Survival in Yemen against all odds

Four million Syrian children have only known war since birth: UNICEF

MEPs list conditions for new EU-Azerbaijan deal

10 million Yemenis ‘one step away from famine’, UN food relief agency calls for ‘unhindered access’ to frontline regions

Paris, Washington, IMF against Berlin and ECB on money and interest

Future fit: 3 ways fashion can be more sustainable

FROM THE FIELD: Faces and Voices of Conflict

UN agencies welcome green light for Rohingya projects in northern Myanmar; urge ‘more effective access’

North Korean families facing deep ‘hunger crisis’ after worst harvest in 10 years, UN food assessment shows

Why capital markets have no more reservetions about Eurozone

SMEs and micro firms sinking together with south Eurozone

Innovation can transform the way we solve the world’s water challenges

UN says ‘many humanitarian achievements’, one year after ouster of ISIL from Mosul

The Brexit factor in the US-China trade war and other conflicts

‘Continuing absence’ of political solution to Israel-Palestine conflict ‘undermines and compounds’ UN efforts to end wholesale crisis

GSMA Announces Speakers for Mobile 360 – Russia & CIS 2018

The Brits are not an exception and that’s why they voted to leave

Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works

European Semester 2018 Spring Package: Commission issues recommendations for Member States to achieve sustainable, inclusive and long-term growth

In Rome you can swap plastic bottles for metro tickets

EU Budget: A Reform Support Programme and an Investment Stabilisation Function to strengthen Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union

Fairness in the food supply chain: Commission proposes to increase price transparency

Meet Alice, the battery-powered plane that could herald the age of electric air travel

Eurozone slowly but surely builds its Banking Union

Ten reasons to be optimistic in 2019

Another doomed EU attempt to interfere in Libya?

Facebook/Cambridge Analytica: MEPs pursue personal data breaches probe

Inclusion, equality a must for ‘long-lasting peace and sustainable development’, UN official tells high-level event in Baku

Satellites and data are going to help us phase out fossil fuels. Here’s how

These are 2018’s stats of the year

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s