Dear IUCN Member,
Today is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, which honors the rights of indigenous groups while celebrating their contributions — including their central role in preserving biodiversity throughout the world.
Indigenous peoples make up five percent of the world’s population and they are protecting over 80 percent of Earth’s biodiversity. Their experience with resilience and how to live in balance with nature provide the world with invaluable insights on how to conserve biodiversity while adapting to climate change.
That is why it is imperative that we accelerate efforts to make it easier for indigenous peoples to share knowledge with each other, as well as the broader community of scientists, researchers, and policymakers. As IUCN President, I will ensure indigenous peoples have a central, active and equitable role in IUCN governance, and are at the forefront of the sustainable development agenda. We must empower indigineous communities by design, not just pay lip service.
To learn more about why this issue is so close to my heart, I invite you to watch a vital conversation I had with Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, President, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT). During our talk, Ms. Ibrahim shared this inspiring message:
“Indigenous people are everywhere — from the arid deserts, savannas and high mountains to glaciers, tropical forests, oceans and islands. When you go to an indigenous land, it is more fertile than a national park that is protected by the government. And that is because we know how to keep balance with nature. It is the wisdom of the indigenous people that makes this possible.”
As we prepare for the IUCN World Conservation Congress in September, I hope you will consider supporting my campaign for IUCN president and my vision for a dynamic Union that elevates the voices and leadership of indigenous peoples.
Razan Al Mubarak
Candidate for IUCN President
Managing Director of Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund