”Following our ancestor’s footsteps”

Jun 5, 2013

Last nomads in Anatolia directed by Yüksel Aksu was shown on Monday at the  Millenium  MDGs documentary film festival.

The film introduces the audience to the daily life of the last nomadic people in Anatolia.  For almost 1,000 years  the Sarıkeçililer have followed a traditional migration route that takes them from the lowlands in winter to the the mountains in the summer in search for better pastures for their goats, sheep and camels. Throughout the journey, the film protrays the rich heritage and indigenous knowledge passed through the generations within the community. It is also a testimony of the harsh conditions these nomadic communities endure.

There are some 370 million indigenous people around the globe, which is about 5 % of the world’s population but around 15% of the world’s poor. Often marginalized and isolated, indigenous people are in worse health than the general population and much less able to influence and participate in political and economic activities that affect them. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on 13 September 2007 recognizes that respect for indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contributes to sustainable and equitable development and proper management of the environment.

In Central and Southeast Europe, UNDP supports inclusive policies to improve the quality of life of Roma communities in the region. Often Roma spend fewer years at school, have higher unemployment rates and live in substandard overcrowded houses. In Serbia and Montenegro, UNDP support projects providing vocational or self-employment courses. In Albania, UNDP works to support community access to public services and employment opportunities. More on UNDP's work with Roma communities.

Globally,  UNDP plays an important role in ensuring that the voices and concerns of indigenous peoples are heard by decision makers at local, national and global levels.