UNDP Highlights Indigenous Peoples’ Participation in Sustainable Development through Media Access
26 July 2012: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (APRC) has released a report highlighting the importance of indigenous peoples' voice and participation in the governance of sustainable development. UNDP's Indigenous Voices Initiative carried out the work in collaboration with the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre and the Communication for Social Change Consortium, which provided funds through the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF).
Noting that approximately 70% of the world's 370 million indigenous peoples live in the Asia-Pacific region, the report, titled “Indigenous Voices In Asia-Pacific: Identifying the information and communication needs of indigenous peoples," presents five country assessments undertaken between 2009 and 2011 in Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Indonesia and the Philippines. It contains country-specific recommendations and a regional strategy for improving indigenous peoples' access to information and communication avenues as a way of strengthening democratic governance, including in matters of indigenous peoples' participation in decision making and planning for sustainable development.
Issues raised by indigenous peoples' groups during the country assessments included: the delineation of ancestral domains and sustainable development planning in these domains; dealing with environmental degradation; indigenous rights over forest resources and land; indigenous representation in local governance systems; and the recognition, preservation and maintenance of traditional indigenous institutions and systems that ensured community cohesion and participation in development issues.
The report's recommendations include: piloting or expanding ongoing indigenous media initiatives; improving media literacy; promoting South-South exchanges; building indigenous peoples' capacity for producing media content; and using new media platforms for democratizing communication production and distribution. [Publication: Indigenous Voices in Asia-Pacific] [UNDP APRC Website]