The panel invites papers relevant to the interface between forests and indigenous communities worldwide through the ages from time immemorial / medieval period to the ethnographic present in the context of geographical, political and environmental changes.
Indigenous Peoples (IPs) are culturally diversified communities. Land and natural resources they depend on are linked to their identity, culture, ethos, livelihoods, etc. There are about 370 million IPs worldwide covering 90 countries. They constitute about 5% of global population and about 15% of them live in extreme poverty. IPs own and use about 25% of world's surface area and they are protecting about 80% of world's biodiversity. They have their own ancestral knowledge on how to adapt, mitigate, and reduce climate / disaster risks. Most of lands owned by IPs are under in the form of customary ownership and only a fraction of this is recognized as legal by governments. Lack of or non implementation of land laws leads to conflicts, degradation of environments, and socio-economic deprivation. This threatens IPs' cultural survival and traditional knowledge practices, and causes losses to ecology, biodiversity and natural environments. Strengthening governance, improving land rights and supporting indigenous systems for resilience and livelihoods is critical to reducing the multidimensional aspects of poverty they face while contributing to SDGs. External agencies, i.e. World Bank, IFAD, DFID, etc. are working for IPs along with governments to enhance all of these aspects and to ensure that these development programs duly reflect voices and aspirations of IPs. Over last 20 years, IPs rights recognised through adoption of various international mechanisms such as UNDRIP 2007 followed by many other laws. The panel invites papers relevant to the interface between forests and IPs worldwide through the ages in the context of geographical, political and environmental changes.