The world’s plan to protect nature recognizes Indigenous rights, but worries over green colonialism remain – National Observer

December 20th 2022

Early Monday morning, countries finalized a plan to protect nature at the COP15 biodiversity conference in Montreal. It was a bittersweet deal for some Indigenous Peoples, with both victories and major concerns.

The plan’s top-line pledge is to protect 30 per cent of the world’s land and water ecosystems by 2030. It recognizes Indigenous rights and ancestral territory by acknowledging Mother Earth, the use of traditional knowledge and reinforcing the need for Indigenous Peoples’ free, prior and informed consent before undertaking any conservation projects on their lands.

The International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity celebrated the recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ contributions, rights and responsibilities to Mother Earth and biodiversity — the variety of living things on the planet — in the plan.

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