The inextricable links between the diversity of cultures, particularly Indigenous cultures and biodiversity as well as terrestrial carbon sinks, has led to the increasing recognition in scholarly, activist and some scientific and policy spaces that biodiversity protection and climate change mitigation indispensably depends on the defense and revitalization of Indigenous land governance and knowledges (IKs).  Across the world, Indigenous peoples and allies are therefore organizing to challenge and change policies at different levels (from local to global), confront powerful interests, defend and reinstate community lands, restore Indigenous self-determination and revitalize IKs.

Different components are integrated into community-based Indigenous governance, management and planning; among them we find the following:

  • Indigenous cosmologies/cosmovisions and worldviews

  • Indigenous spiritualties and value systems

  • Indigenous stewardship through commons-based land tenure and management systems, including community land and forest management,

  • Indigenous food systems (including integrated landscape management that incorporates agroecology and agroforestry)

  • Indigenous communal and reciprocal labor practices

  • and much more…

The content on this page was developed in concert with Professor Leonardo E. Figueroa Helland, who teaches in The New School’s Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management Program. Below you can find resources and posts that offer additional insight into the topic of Indigeneity and Sustainability.


Header image courtesy of: Xochitl Enriquez, Jeff Slim, Kim Smith, Angel Diaz, Averian Chee, and members of the Cyphers Center for Urban Art. Co-hosted by the following organizations: Estria Foundation; Black Mesa Water Coalition, Tonatierra, PUENTE, The Phoenix Revitalization Corporation, The Valley Youth Theater, and the Downtown Phoenix PartnershipSource and further information at: