This centuries-old problem is indeed a major concern. But some indigenous groups, despite threats to their heritage from oil and gas development, mining, uncontrolled logging and settlers, have enjoyed the opposite experience.
Groups like Brazil's Kayapo Indians, Australia's Caring for Country initiative (made up of several aboriginal groups) and Northern Mexico's Seri, have responded to those threats successfully, and have experienced the benefits of managing their own lands, protecting the environment and maintaining their traditional ways of life.
In light of these diverse and positive experiences, the 8th World Wilderness Congress (WWC) will, for the first time ever, bring together as many as 30 indigenous groups from the United States, Canada, Central and South America, Asia and Africa with the goal of forming an international Native Lands and Wilderness Council.
The Native Lands and Wilderness Council will help indigenous groups better manage their territories in the face of continued pressures by establishing a forum in which they can learn both how to replicate one another's successes and more effectively cope with threats.
Participating groups will present case studies of indigenous conservation initiatives, and groups that have developed or are developing conservation projects on their traditional wild areas will share their experiences.
"The World Wilderness Congress has always integrated indigenous participation into its sessions, and in this respect, the 8th Congress is no different," said Vance Martin, President of the WILD Foundation. "But what i
Contact: Brad Phillips