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The Indigenous World: 30 years documenting indigenous peoples’ rights

April 26 2017
We launched the 30th Special Edition of our Yearbook “The Indigenous World 2017” at the United Nations Permanent Forum in New York.

On the year marking the 10th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples’ (UNDRIP), IWGIA edited and presented a comprehensive edition focused on the implementation of the UNDRIP.

With more than 600 pages, regional analysis, and 71 country reports, the yearbook compiles insights of indigenous and non-indigenous activists as well as scholars and experts on indigenous peoples’ rights.

Together with our partners and contributors we engaged in a dialogue with the participants and presented an overview of this year's edition. Panelists included Danish Ambassador to the UN Ib Petersen, Member of the Permanent Forum for the Pacific Les Malezer, IFAD Technical Advisor and Coordinator Antonella Cordone and African Representative to EMRIP Albert Barume.

Our Yearbook: A collaborative global tool

The Danish Ambassador to the UN opened the presentation highlighting the support of Denmark to IWGIA’s documentation and advocacy work at the international level: "We are proud to be working and supporting IWGIA on this important issue".

The presentation continued with a focus on the need to document indigenous rights and demands, as well as making sure reliable data inform and lead national policy actions.

Our partner IFAD described the book as  ‘an untouchable book’, that is used as an entry point by anyone working on the topic.

Ib Petersen explained that fact-based tools like The Indigenous World are and will be the key to ensure that the Development Agenda 2030 leaves no one behind. He highlighted that disaggregated data is crucial to driving development from the local communities.

Petersen also congratulated IWGIA for being able to produce and provide such a tool in only 2 months of work, a task that no other organisation has managed to cope with.

IWGIA Advocacy Programme Coordinator Lola García-Alix added that IWGIA is proud to 'not be the owner of the book, but rather ensure that this free and collective effort is used by all'.

A fact-based source that informs decision makers

All panelists agreed that The Indigenous World is a source that drives global processes by informing policymakers, the judiciary system, and academia.

According to Albert Barume IWGIA’s yearbook is unique because it also represents an indispensable resource for research and teaching. “One of its features is its simplicity and the fact that summarises what is wrong while pinpointing best practices”, he said. For him, the book is a voice of many communities, that informs policymakers on what is current on the ground through a balanced approach, which for Barume is not an easy product to find.

Les Malezer closed the presentation by adding that The Indigenous World plays a key role when promoting human rights. “The book allows anyone to get a broad perspective and learn about the good and bad practices in many countries. There is not any other reference like this, which also informs the judiciary system as this book does”, he explained.

IWGIA thanks all the panelists and our long-standing contributors and partners for once more making this global tool available.

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Watch a video coverage of the launching here