Nature saw its ups and downs in 2019, and Conservation News was there for it all. This month, we are revisiting some of the most interesting and significant stories and issues we covered in the past year.
Indigenous peoples make up only 5 percent of the global population, but they manage more than a quarter of all land on Earth — and there is simply no way to halt climate breakdown if indigenous peoples aren’t included in conservation. Here are some of our most-read stories of 2019 that highlight the importance of indigenous peoples in protecting nature.
Indigenous women are inordinately affected by climate breakdown — and are critical allies in the mission to halt it. From French Guiana to Colombia, female climate warriors are fighting back to protect the nature that supports their lands. Here are three of their stories.
Indigenous peoples protect Earth’s forests, oceans and wildlife, and work to halt climate change. Yet they’ve largely been ignored as their lands — and their rights — have been stripped. At a major environmental conference earlier this year, many leaders agreed that it’s time for “radical collaboration” that elevates the rights and roles of the world’s indigenous peoples.
In Papua New Guinea, a group of indigenous women fought to protect the forests they rely on — and upended traditional gender roles in the process. Their conservation efforts have curbed excessive logging in the area and led to a more stable economy for their tribe. Today, the women not only have a seat at the table — they’re driving the conservation efforts of their entire tribe.
Kiley Price is a staff writer at Conservation International. Want to read more stories like this? Sign up for email updates here. Donate to Conservation International here.
Cover image: Maasai women singing, Kenya. (© Marc Samsom/Flickr Creative Commons)