UN Secretary-General Highlights Indigenous Knowledge for Climate Change Adaptation

16 May 2011: Opening the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored that "Indigenous peoples have been living in a “green economy” for centuries," and stressed the need to learn from indigenous communities in order to achieve sustainable development.

The Forum, which is being held at UN Headquarters in New York, US, from 16-27 May 2011, will focus on reviewing progress made on issues ranging from economic and social development to the environment, and whether indigenous peoples have given free, prior and informed consent to decisions affecting their communities. Citing the example of Peru, where indigenous communities are re-introducing native varieties of potatoes in order to adapt to climate change, Ban underscored their contribution to biodiversity conservation. He added that "ancient indigenous traditions can help overcome modern problems." [UN Press Release] [Ban's Statement] [Meeting Website]