Statement by Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, on the occasion of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, 21 May 2011
CBD, 21 May 2011

MONTREAL, CANADA: In his statement, Djoghlaf highlights that “Cultural and biological diversity are closely intertwined. Indeed, the conservation and sustainable use of nature’s resources is at the heart of the cultures and values of indigenous peoples. For more than 300 million indigenous peoples, the Earth offers not only a livelihood, but it is also the foundation of their cultural and spiritual identities. And although they constitute a relatively small portion of the world’s population, indigenous peoples represent the largest portion of cultural diversity on earth. Because the Earth and its resources are inherited from the ancestors, and includes trans-generational obligations, for the world’s indigenous peoples, ‘Mother Earth’ is a sacred place.” He adds that indigenous knowledge, which is unique to a specific culture, has much to offer in terms of biodiversity and resource management. But the contribution of indigenous and local communities to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity goes far beyond their role as natural resource managers. Download the statement [pdf] …