Indigenous People and IWRM


This online course aims to teach how to integrate traditional knowledge into policies and practices in IWRM, and discuss ways to enhance indigenous people’s participation in sustainable water management and development.

Upcoming edition of this course

A new edition of this course is not planned for the moment. You are welcome to subscribe to our newsletter to receive information on upcoming online courses.

About this Course

This training course and training materials are inspired by the thought that the integration of indigenous peoples’ rights and traditional knowledge into water resources management is an effective means to enhance sustainable development in the whole river basin.

Custodians of biologically and culturally diverse environments and possessors of invaluable knowledge on their water resources, indigenous and traditional peoples are still often ignored in decision-making on water, unequally treated in conventional water management systems, and disproportionately affected by water conflicts.

Facing the impacts of global climate change in local environments and resource management systems, we cannot afford to ignore the environmental knowledge of the world’s indigenous peoples.


The course provides participants with:

  • basic knowledge on Indigenous and traditional people, their value systems and water conflicts and challenges they face, and their role in IWRM in achieving sustainable development
  • a platform to share knowledge and case studies on integration of traditional knowledge into IWRM
  • the knowledge on rights of indigenous people in international law
  • knowledge development on incorporating traditional knowledge in adaptation to climate change
  • an understanding on intercultural approach to IWRM
  • training modules, a facilitator guide to train water managers and stakeholders to enhance participation of indigenous people and integrating traditional knowledge into IWRM


In each module participants will find valuable and updated readings, videos, suggested web sites, and experiences from the ground.

  • Module 1: Introduction and General Concepts on Indigenous People and IWRM
  • Module 2: Human Rights, Indigenous Rights and Gender Perspective
  • Module 3: Indigenous Peoples’ Access to Water and Sanitation
  • Module 4: Traditional Knowledge and Indigenous Technologies in Water Management in a Climate Change Context
  • Module 5: Indigenous Peoples and Water Conflict Management
  • Module 6: Implementing an intercultural approach in IWRM

Target Audience

Participants representing various stakeholder groups from the entire water sector:

  • The organizations who are closely work on indigenous people’s rights and water management are encouraged to apply in order to represent their experiences and contribute to the discussions that they could enrich the materials with their active involvement in discussion forums throughout the training.
  • Stakeholders and professionals forming part of water management, civil society, river basin or international organizations; development programmes and members of UN organizations; and representatives of the private sector;
  • decision makers, policy makers, and high-level professionals and managers active in governmental bodies;
  • capacity developers active in the fields of sustainable water management, droughts, Integrated Water Resources Management, risk management, climate change, amongst others;


12 hours