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

Traditional knowledge is at the core of indigenous identity, culture and heritage around the world, the chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues said at the annual event’s opening day on Monday, stressing that it “must be protected”.

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.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

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

Estonia is making public transport free

Sudan: Amidst deaths, injuries, imprisonments, UNICEF stresses children’s protection ‘at all times’

‘Laser-sharp focus’ needed to achieve Global Goals by 2030, UN political forum told

Why exporters need to mind the trade finance gap

6 ways least developed countries can participate in the 4IR

Tax revenues continue increasing as the tax mix shifts further towards corporate and consumption taxes

Parliament leads the way on first set of EU rules for Artificial Intelligence

$683 million appeal to deliver reproductive health services, where they’re most needed

Iraqis paying an ‘unthinkable price’ to be heard, UN envoy tells politicians in Baghdad

Women’s rights face global pushback from conservativism, fundamentalism – UN experts warn

“What a Wonderful World”: the unsettled relationship between Climate Change and Human Health

Trailing the US-EU economic confrontation

Coronavirus makes inequality a public health issue

Seven trends shaping the future of the mining and metals industry

EU confronts environmental threats as global leaders attempt to revive the global sentiment at NYC climate week

China’s New Normal and Its Relevance to the EU

Defence: European Commission paves the way for first joint industrial projects under EU budget

Why support for Latin America’s early tech hubs is vital for the region

Draghi hands over to banks €77.7 billion more

EU takes again positive action on migration crisis while Turkey asks for dear favors in exchange for cooperation

Chart of the day: These countries have seen the biggest falls in extreme poverty

Coal addiction ‘must be overcome’ to ease climate change, UN chief says in Bangkok

Libya: Thousands seek shelter in health clinics from Tripoli fighting, UN warns

Endocrine disruptors: A strategy for the future that protects EU citizens and the environment

DR Congo elections: ‘historic opportunity’ for ‘peaceful transfer of power’ says Security Council

Turkey presents a new strategy for EU accession but foreign policy could be the lucky card

Resolving banks with depositors’ money?

Chart of the day: When do young Europeans leave home?

UN unveils global influenza strategy to prevent ‘real’ threat of pandemic

Time to be welcome: Youth work and integration of young refugees

5 amazing people fighting to save the oceans

European Investment Advisory Hub sends projects worth €34 billion to European Investment Bank pipeline

European Border and Coast Guard: Council adopts revised regulation

Coronavirus could trigger a hunger pandemic – unless urgent action is taken

#Travelgoals: why Instagram is key to understanding millennial tourism

Long-term EU budget: MEPs slam cuts to culture and education

What the COVID-19 pandemic teaches us about cybersecurity – and how to prepare for the inevitable global cyberattack

EU agricultural production no more a self-sufficiency anchor

UN chief urges peaceful, free and fair elections in Cameroon

Could implants treat people with brain disease? A young scientist explains

Coronavirus update: COVID-19 likely to cost economy $1 trillion during 2020, says UN trade agency

Sea urchins are overwhelming parts of the ocean. Could turning them into sushi be the solution?

Coronavirus: rescEU masks delivered to Spain, Italy and Croatia

UN agriculture chief urges ‘transformative changes’ to how we eat

Survivors of ISIL terror in Iraq want justice, not revenge, says head of UN investigation team

Guterres condemns killing of Bangladeshi peacekeeper in South Sudan, during armed attack on UN convoy

FROM THE FIELD: ‘Hope’ on the horizon as UN Peacekeepers push deep into Mali

Trade Barriers Report: EU continues to open up markets outside Europe in midst of rising protectionism

How and why Mercedes fakes the EU fuel consumption tests

‘We need to stand up now’ for the elderly: urges UN rights expert on World Day

This AI is working with a fleet of drones to help us fight ocean plastic

Force used against protestors in Gaza ‘wholly disproportionate’ says UN human rights chief

Data is the new gold. This is how it can benefit everyone – while harming no one

Can Southeast Asia keep up with growing energy demand?

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commissioner Mimica looks at how the private sector can better deliver for international development

How to outsmart bias when you’re recruiting

Female leaders warn about the erosion of women’s rights

6 surprising side effects of this year’s global heatwave

Switzerland fast-tracks emergency aid for small businesses weathering COVID-19

This New York store is selling Christmas presents for refugees

More Stings?

Advertising

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