There are approximately 370 million Indigenous peoples worldwide. They make up just 5 percent of the global population, but they hold nearly 25 percent of the world’s lands and waters, representing 80 percent of the Earth’s biodiversity.
The natural world is central to the human rights of Indigenous peoples, as well as their economic, spiritual, physical and cultural well-being. Complex challenges including the development of natural resources and climate change are threatening the environments on which their livelihoods and cultures depend.
The Nature Conservancy recognizes the significant contributions of Indigenous peoples to conservation and collaborates with them to foster our shared commitment to environmental stewardship. Our human rights-based approach to conservation incorporates traditional knowledge and cultural values and results in tangible benefits. We work as a partner, making sure that community needs and local priorities are identified and addressed.
Our programs target urgent threats, secure land tenure and access, support indigenous rights and improved governance, and strengthen livelihoods. Our initiatives support the rights of Indigenous peoples to participate more fully in making the decisions that will shape their futures.
Learn more about the Global Program of our work with Indigenous Peoples.
The Nature Conservancy is a member of the Conservation Initiative on Human Rights (CIHR), a consortium of international conservation organizations that seek to improve the practice of conservation by promoting integration of human rights in conservation policy and practice.
We are partnering with indigenous peoples in Brazil to develop plans that support indigenous leadership, self-determination and decision-making on the restoration, conservation and sustainable use of their territories.
The Nature Conservancy donates 160 acres of culturally significant land to the Native Village of Tyonek on the shores of Alaska's Cook Inlet.
A New Hope for A New Wild
The New Wild is a place where people and nature thrive together. Check out our stories on how saving nature saves communities in Africa and the opportunity for modern science and indigenous knowledge in Canada.
See how these young leaders in the Great Bear Rainforest are uniting science and tradition to safeguard bears in their traditional territories.
Read this compelling profile of Northern Rangelands Trust’s Tom Lalampaa and learn about how Tom gives back to nature and the community who has supported him from an early age.
The Maui Nui Makai Network is comprised of individuals who are exerting their kuleana (responsibility) to care for the ocean in a way that honors their cultural and traditional practices.
Hear from Tom Lalampaa, Chief Programs Officer for the Northern Rangelands Trust, as he visits New York for the first time to receive the prestigious Equator Prize.
Watch our videos featuring Indigenous leaders from around the world discussing the role nature plays in their lives and the key environmental challenges facing their communities.
We actively partner with Indigenous peoples and local communities to support an inclusive, rights-based approach to conservation—our work spans the globe from the Amazon and Kenya to Canada and Australia.