Indigenous peoples: valuing, respecting and supporting diversity
Indigenous peoples have rich and ancient cultures and view their social, economic, environmental and spiritual systems as interdependent. They make valuable contributions to the world's heritage thanks to their traditional knowledge and their understanding of ecosystem management. But indigenous peoples are also among the world's most vulnerable, marginalized and disadvantaged groups. We must ensure that their voices are heard, their rights respected, and their well-being improved.
There are more than 370 million self-identified indigenous peoples in some 70 countries around the world. In Latin America alone there are more than 400 groups, each with a distinct language and culture. But the biggest concentration of indigenous peoples is in Asia and the Pacific – an estimated 70 per cent.