Indigenous people and the 2030 agenda

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development titled “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” on 25 September 2015. The Agenda came into effect on 1 January 2016 and will carry through the next 15 years. It is a broad and universal policy agenda, with 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 associated targets which are described as integrated and indivisible. The Agenda promises to leave no one behind and reach the furthest behind first.

As a result of indigenous peoples’ strong engagement in the process towards the 2030 Agenda, the final resolution “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”  (A/RES/70/1) refers to indigenous peoples 6 times, three times in the political declaration; two in the targets under Goal 2 on Zero Hunger (target 2.3) and Goal 4 on education (target 4.5) – and one in the section on follow up and review that calls for indigenous peoples’ participation.

See this overview of references to indigenous peoples: Indigenous Peoples and the 2030 Agenda Infographics

Finding Our Voice. By Charlie McConnell. IACD President

Finding our voice is a story about people power. It is about the people who work as community organisers, educators and development workers to empower people, of all ages and in all countries, to take action around issues of concern. It is about the power of people and development agencies coming together to tackle inequality, to educate for democracy, to campaign for land reform, to promote corporate social responsibility, to build resilience against climate change and to protect the environment.

This book reflects upon over forty years of  involvement in community development in Britain, Europe and internationally by the President of the International Association for Community Development.

The hard copy  book is available from the IACD office and free on-line from IACD.

General enquiries:

Protecting indigenous peoples’ rights is protecting everyone’s rights

Indigenous communities around the world are constantly struggling to maintain their rights, their traditions and their knowledge, in a system still dominated by a western worldview. They face the challenge of living in two worlds, the indigenous and the non-indigenous one, in constant tension with each other, with the latter having more power in shaping the former. For centuries, indigenous populations have suffered from invasion and oppression, and oftentimes they have seen their knowledge eclipsed by western knowledge, imposed on them through western institutions. Yet, indigenous populations have managed to survive for centuries adapting in many different ways to adverse climate conditions and managing to create sustainable livelihood systems. Their diverse forms of knowledge, deeply rooted in their relationships with the environment as well as in cultural cohesion, have allowed many of these communities to maintain a sustainable use and management of natural resources, to protect their environment and to enhance their resilience; their ability to observe, adapt and mitigate has helped many indigenous communities face new and complex circumstances that have often severely impacted their way of living and their territories.

Ten years after the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, progress in several countries has been made in formally recognizing indigenous peoples, but overwhelmingly they continue to face discrimination, marginalization and major challenges in enjoying their basic rights.

“While indigenous peoples have made significant advancements in advocating for their rights in international and regional fora, implementation of the Declaration is impeded by persisting vulnerability and exclusion, and exclusion, particularly among indigenous women, children, youth and persons with disabilities,” said 40 UN system entities and other international organizations in a joint UN statement, issued on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, marked annually on 9 August.

Indigenous peoples make up less than five per cent of the world’s population, but account for 15 per cent of the poorest. The new sustainable development agenda encompasses many issues that are directly affecting indigenous peoples’ lives. Education, poverty, access to justice and climate change are only a few of the challenges that indigenous people have been and are currently facing. Their knowledge and know-how, deeply rooted in the relationship of indigenous peoples with nature and community, has proven to be efficient to respond to some of these challenges; however, it is not enough. Caught between environmental hazards on one side and development initiatives on the other, if some solutions are not taken rapidly there will be negative consequences for the survival of these populations as well as for their knowledge systems. Knowledge loss has been already responsible for increasing the vulnerability and risk for indigenous populations. It is, therefore, important that the national and international community starts recognizing indigenous peoples and their knowledge as valuable allies in the fight against climate change and sustainable development challenges and in maintaining global biodiversity. In light of the new post-2015 sustainability agenda, joint efforts are urgently required to develop and implement suitable initiatives to empower indigenous peoples to uphold and realise their rights and be involved in the decision making process, becoming in this way active agents of change.

Some links you may be interested in

Kiwifruit Mobilisation Programme


In April 2017 Te Tumu Paeroa, in partnership with Quayside Holdings, announced a $30m investment programme to build 10 kiwifruit orchards on Māori land in the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne over 18 months.

Developing high-performing kiwifruit orchards for the long-term benefit of land owners. This is the single largest kiwifruit investment ever made on Māori land.Te Tumu Paeroa announced the suppliers who have won the contracts to build 10 kiwifruit orchards on Māori land in the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne over the next 18 months.This is part of the $30 million investment in the area to convert nearly 90 hectares of semi- and unproductive land into successful grower businesses. Southern Cross Horticulture in Tauranga won the contracts for plant-supply of the G3 and Hayward kiwifruit vines, and also for orchard construction and establishment. By 2030, based on today’s return, the orchards are expected to generate over $80,000 per hectare per annum or $7.1m by growing a mixture of premium Gold kiwifruit and traditional Green kiwifruit. In the 2015/16 season the average return for Green kiwifruit was a record $56,673 per hectare.

Over 90 hectares of semi- and unproductive land will be converted into successful grower businesses for the long-term benefit of owners and their community.

Jamie Tuuta, Māori Trustee and Chief Executive Officer of Te Tumu Paeroa said, “Our programme allows land owners to participate in developing a successful kiwifruit orchard on their land and see the ownership of the business transfer to them by 2030, creating a legacy for generations to come.”

“It’s difficult for Māori land owners to develop businesses on their land unless they have access to capital from other means, because many don’t want to use the land as security on a loan. As a result, owners usually contract out the land to businesses who do have access to capital and can reap the financial rewards for taking the entrepreneurial risk. Māori land owners are missing out. Our programme addresses that, putting businesses in the hands of land owners.”

For more of this story please click this link


Achieve Gender Equality to Deliver the SDGs

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Gender equality is an enabler and accelerator for all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offers an opportunity to achieve not only SDG 5 (gender equality), but to contribute to progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Women are entitled to live with dignity and with freedom, from want and from fear. Gender equality is also a precondition for advancing development and reducing poverty. Empowered women contribute to the health and productivity of whole families and communities, and they improve prospects for the next generation. Still, despite solid evidence demonstrating the centrality of women’s empowerment to reducing poverty, promoting development and addressing the world’s most urgent challenges, gender equality remains an unfulfilled promise.

The Sustainable Development Goals seek to change the course of the 21st century, addressing key challenges such as poverty, inequality, and violence against women and girls. Women’s empowerment is a pre-condition for this. Therefore, achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment is a stand-alone goal—Goal 5—of the SDGs. It is also part of all the other goals, with many targets specifically recognizing women’s equality and empowerment as both the objective, and as part of the solution.

Please click on the link below to explore more of the SDG 5.

Solidarity across generations is vital

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the world needs to utilise the full potential of both the younger and the older generations.

With 17 goals and 169 targets, communicating the SDGs to the public has proven to be a challenge in many countries.  However, engaging youth is vital to successful implementation of those objectives by 2030, a target year for the international community to eradicate poverty, address climate change and build peaceful, inclusive societies for all.

In fact, young people played a key part in shaping the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and they, as agents of change, are expected to lead efforts to translate this vision into reality.

For further reading, click this link


Human rights and you

There are a lot of misunderstandings about human rights. A freely available online education portal has been developed to help Kiwis develop their understanding of what human rights are, what they mean, and why they matter.

Check it out here