Key Messages from Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Forum on Water – Dushanbe Water Process

In the context of the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Forum: inclusive approaches to water in ecosystems, land, agriculture, and knowledge development, the two Rapporteurs would like to provide five key messages/outcomes of the Forum.

1. Systemic approach

Acknowledging that water supports all life on earth and plays an imperative, if not unique, role in energy, food security, human health, and ecosystems. Due to its inherent complex characteristics requires particular protection, application of specific methods for their investigation, and different knowledge systems for its understanding, including the knowledge of indigenous peoples while recognizing the value of water beyond a natural resource.

2. Participation

Promoting inclusive, effective, and culturally appropriate participation of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in the design of their own water programs to influence global agendas. For example:

a) Increasing the number of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities and create synergies with the different processes running and key organisations, i.e. the UN International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022 – 2032, UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the UN Water Decade, among others.

b) Supporting the creation of spaces for dialogue in which Indigenous Peoples can discuss the water issues and manage their own agendas, including for example the mid-review of the UN-Water Decade in New York, 2023.

3. Capacity Building

Increasing capacity building on Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities and supporting them to collate their knowledge to inform national and international water governance and policy to benefit other societies. However, intellectual property should be guaranteed, emphasis on data custody, use of data, genetic resources information, privacy, data and research sovereignty and accountability.

4. Indigenous People’s Rights

Bringing attention to indigenous people’s rights who are at the forefront of water conservation, especially in the context of international corporations and extractive industries. Notably, the issue of violence against Indigenous women and girls in the context of water resources should be prioritized. For example:

a) identify threats and carefully study the effects of those corporations on long term prospects.

b) guarantee Indigenous Peoples’ rights to self-determination, rights to territories, and Free Prior and Informed consent at any moment.

5. Intergenerational knowledge transfer

Supporting intergenerational knowledge transfer by restoring, revitalizing and reclaiming Indigenous knowledge systems and languages. For example:

a) Acknowledging that indigenous women and youth are the holders of much indigenous knowledge and are essential agents of change.