United Nations
Information Centre | Nepal
Shifting Cultivation, Livelihood and Food Security : New and old challenges for indigenous peoples in Asia
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The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 13 September 2007, which was drafted with the active participation of indigenous peoples. Since then, the importance of the role that indigenous peoples play in economic, social and environmental conservation through traditional sustainable agricultural practices has been gradually recognized.The contributions of indigenous peoples to ecosystem management and sustainable development in the form of in-depth knowledge on the natural environment and time proven practices in hunting, gathering, fishing, pastoralism and agriculture, are increasingly understood and appreciated. It is also recognized that the traditional knowledge,innovations and practices of indigenous peoples and local communities make an important contribution to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.Indigenous peoples are represented disproportionately both among the world’spoor and the extremely poor people.Numbering about 370 million, indigenous peoples constitute appproximately 5 percent of the global population,yet about 15 percent of the world’s poor and about one-third of the world’s 900 million extremely poor rural people (United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs 2009: 21). Disaggregated data for Asia are not available, but data for individual countries or provinces confirm that in this region too, indigenous peoples are generally poorer than the rest of the population (Plant 2002). In addition, a series of reports published by the Asian Development Bank (Asian Development Bank 2001, 2002a,2002b, 2002c, 2002d, Plant 2002) around the turn of the millennium clearly show that there is a correlation between ethnicity and poverty in Asia. The indigenous peoples in Asia have rich and diverse cultures; and these cultural differences set them apart from the mainstream society and are the cause of their marginalization,discrimination and impoverishment.Rather than simply stating that indigenous peoples are poor, it is more appropriate to refer to the process of impoverishment. Indigenous peoples have been or are being impoverished by a number of forces which are beyond their control and often irreversible.
FAO, AIPP, IWGIA ,   (2015 )
Type / Script:
Publication in English
Thematic Group:
 FAO : Food and Agriculture Organization
04.02.01  -  Crop Management
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