The Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty under the United Nations (UN) adopted in 1992. The Convention has three objectives: to conserve biodiversity, to promote its sustainable use, and to ensure the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from its utilisation (Art. 1).
The Convention has developed programmes of work on thematic issues such as marine, agricultural and forest biodiversity, and on cross-cutting issues such as traditional knowledge, access to genetic resources and protected areas. All the programmes of work have a direct impact on Indigenous Peoples’ rights and territories. The Convention recognises the importance of traditional knowledge (Art. 8j) and customary sustainable use of biological resources (Art. 10c) for the achievement of its objectives.
The Arctic Council is the leading intergovernmental forum for promoting cooperation in the Arctic. The Arctic Council is unique in that, in addition to eight Arctic States, six Arctic Indigenous Peoples’ organizations are granted Permanent Participant status and are institutionally important participants in the Council. Permanent Participants represent the Arctic Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic Council and participate at all levels of the Arctic Council’s work.
2020 was a critical year for human rights around the world. Added to the restrictions that many states had already placed on the exercise of these rights both in the global North and South, triggering the protests referred to in The Indigenous World last year, restrictions were enforced this year in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has critically affected the most vulnerable sectors of society, and Indigenous Peoples with particular intensity. This is due not only to the difficulties they face in accessing public health services, and the refusal of states to recognise Indigenous Peoples' own care strategies, including self-isolation in their rural communities, but also because their territories continue to be exposed to business activities, particularly those of an extractive nature.