It is urgent to recognize the contribution of indigenous knowledge to water governance and management – UNESCO

16 March 2023

UNESCO and its partners are organizing an official side event on 23 March during the United Nations’ 2023 Water Conference on indigenous knowledge of water governance and management.

The traditional territories of Indigenous Peoples cover about one-quarter of land on Earth, equivalent to an estimated 38 million km2. This land includes many important headwaters, water towers, wetlands and other inland and coastal waters. Some of this land is arid or semi-arid.

Water is something beyond a commodity. There are relational values embedded in water. We have obligations to fulfil, like caring for the community.
Tania Martinez Cruz, Ëyuujk, Oaxaca, México

Indigenous Peoples have been managing and governing water since time immemorial. Indigenous knowledge has contributed to the development of water management practices that are sustainable and based on the principles of stewardship, conservation and equity. Considerable research and advocacy have been done on indigenous knowledge systems of water.

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