Between the Spice of Life and the Melting Pot: Biodiversity Conservation and its Impact on Indigenous Peoples
When the survival of the rainfores is under discussion, the rights of indigenous peoples are too often ignored, treated as a low priority or relegated to the footnotes of glossy report. Indigenous peoples have demonstrated that they are the best conservers of their environment which they use and manage according to their own cultural premises. In addition indigenous peoples consider themselves as custodians of their territories which have been passed down by their ancestors and have to be conserved for the generations to come. The biodiversity strategies curently under discussion seek to advertise the benefits of indigenous peoples' knowledge, yet past experience shows that this knowledge almost invariably disappears into the hands of industrial and agricultural concerns. Until indigenous peoples are the centre of enviromental conservation there will be neither biological nor cultural diversity in the world.