Agreements at COP15 in Montreal aimed at halting and reversing the loss of nature need to protect biodiversity-rich landscapes and the Indigenous Peoples and local communities who govern them.
Evidence confirms that Indigenous Peoples and local communities are the most successful stewards of biodiversity and nature, especially where their rights are recognized and supported. Lands managed by Indigenous Peoples contain greater biodiversity than protected areas. Indigenous Peoples are essential in the protection of biodiversity – their traditional knowledge systems are key to design a sustainable future for all.
Respecting and promoting their collective rights to land is vital to strengthen their role as custodians of nature and agents of change. Indigenous Peoples must be active participants and leaders in discussions at COP15 and beyond.