2030 Agenda: Recognition for indigenous peoples, a challenge for governments

09 Aug 2016 by Álvaro Pop, Chairperson, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

A delegate speaks at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. To achieve the 2030 Agenda, indigenous peoples must have a seat at the table. UN Photo
We cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals without recognizing that we live in multicultural societies. With this in mind, upholding the rights of indigenous peoples becomes a necessary imperative. Respect for indigenous peoples’ rights opens the door to enormous opportunities for advancing the SDGs. Their capacity to further develop their own systems of education, health, justice and traditional food will strengthen each country’s efforts and investments. There are more than 300 million indigenous people in the world, speaking more than five thousand languages and keeping their heritage alive. This is the true wealth of humankind. … Read more

Indigenous knowledge – ancient solutions to today’s challenges

08 Aug 2016 by Alejandra Pero, Coordinator, World Network of Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Land and Sea Managers, Equator Initiative

Indigenous KnowlegeIndigenous knowledge, such as the use of ancient grains and traditional agricultural methods, can help to ensure food security while protecting the environment. Photo: UNDP Peru
Revitalizing and supporting indigenous knowledge is essential to address many of today’s challenges, including the effects of climate change. Indigenous knowledge is a key resource that needs to be promoted to support livelihoods and food security, often under threat due to climatic changes. Here are some examples of how indigenous peoples and local communities around the world are reviving traditional practices and knowledge. … Read more

4 lessons learned fighting tuberculosis in Syria

05 Aug 2016 by Håkan Björkman, Manager, UNDP Global Fund Partnership

Lessons LearnedTuberculosis patients displaced by conflict may lose access to health services, causing an interruption in treatment that increases their risk of developing multi-drug resistant strains of TB. Photo: UNDP Syria
Tuberculosis thrives on war and suffering. In theory, Syria offers the perfect breeding grounds for the disease. A lack of access to adequate medical services and poor and crowded housing conditions have created conditions ripe for the spread of tuberculosis. Yet, TB has been largely kept in check. Some 3,479 people were placed on treatment in 2015, a 150 percent increase compared with 2013. The TB treatment success rate has also been maintained at 80 percent during the conflict. UNDP has been supporting Syria to tackle TB since 2007, in partnership with the Global Fund. The onset of war in 2011 made this highly complex and has required a range of innovative approaches. … Read more

Development in 2 minutes: It’s about expanding choices

01 Aug 2016 by Douglas Keh, UNDP Afghanistan Country Director

Every week, at least one person asks me, “So what does the United Nations Development Programme do?” They want to know what the "development" is that we are trying to achieve, and what our "programme" is for achieving it. The simple answer is that “development” is about helping people have more choices. It's about removing the obstacles that prevent them from realizing their potential – overcoming the barriers that stand between them and their dreams. These obstacles come in many different forms. For 36 percent of Afghans, poverty is one barrier to self-fulfillment. For around 50 percent, it's being a woman in the face of widespread discrimination and routine harassment. For all Afghans at one time or another, it's being from the wrong ethnic group, which can make you a stranger in your own land. … Read more

The fear factor: How a little alarm protects tigers, landscapes – and us

29 Jul 2016 by Midori Paxton, Senior Technical Adviser, Ecosystems and Biodiversity

The Fear FactorPoaching, hunting and habitat loss have reduced the global tiger population from roughly 100,000 in 1900 to just 3,800 today. Photo: Midori Paxton
“Alarm call!” My 12-year old daughter whispered. Fear was in the air, and a successful tiger safari depends on it. The alarm calls of spotted deer, Hanuman langur and even the gigantic Gaur – the Indian Bison -- told us that a tiger was on the prowl. I had always dreamed of seeing wild tigers, and India was the obvious choice. More than 70 percent of the estimated 3,800 remaining wild tigers live here. My alarm calls started in February this year when I was in the Ranthambore National Park. Once a hunting ground for maharajas of yore, it is now a tiger reserve with an 11th century fort cresting a towering plateau that overlooks its lakes, dry forests and meadows. … Read more