For thousands of years indigenous peoples and local communities have been custodians of nature, living in harmony with the land and the oceans that sustain them, based on a deep knowledge of the natural world.
But in our drive for development this knowledge is being lost. Policies relating to land and resources have largely ignored the role of indigenous peoples in conservation and they have little say in how these resources are used.
With a growing recognition of the value of traditional knowledge and community involvement in managing protected areas, can indigenous people become key players in the quest for sustainability?
Respecting Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge and Culture is one of the key themes of the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress.