Indigenous Peoples and Environmental Sustainability

Article 29(1) of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples declares that “[i]ndigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources”.

Globally, indigenous peoples are disproportionately affected by environmental burdens compared to their non-indigenous counterparts. Some of these environmental burdens are, or relate to, the following:

 Contaminated Drinking Water

 Extractive Projects

 Hydroelectric Projects

 Indoor Air Pollution

 Flight Testing

Research one of the above listed environmental situations and provide a one-page report that addresses the following:

  1. Briefly describe in your own words the environmental situation or burden affecting the aboriginal community.
  2. Discuss the tension between First World and First Peoples environmental ideologies. Use examples from your chosen situation to demonstrate the First World view that commodifies land versus the First Peoples’ view that we are the caretakers of land.
  3. Discuss solutions to balance the needs of industrialized nations, indigenous belief systems, and environmental sustainability.

Sample Solution