Indigenous or traditional knowledge is embedded in cultural traditions of indigenous peoples, regional and local communities and based on empirical observations and interaction with the environment over several centuries. 

In September 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of indigenous peoples. For example, the General Assembly is “[…] Recognizing that respect for indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contributes to sustainable and equitable development and proper management of the environment, […]”

Article 31 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing arts. They also have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.

Read more at…/declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples.html

Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH)

The Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH) project was a seven-year international research initiative based at Simon Fraser University, in British Columbia , Canada (2008-2016), exploring the rights, values, and responsibilities of material culture, cultural knowledge and the practice of heritage research.

A video from the NGO First Peoples Worldwide (not operating anymore) on ‘The Economy’ comparing indigenous vs. western world view

Enter the dialogue

List of platforms and organisations representing and represented by Indigenous Peoples


+ UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFF) Secretariat
+ Cultural Survival
+ Survival International


+ Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC)


+ Asian Century Institute
+ Tebtebba (Philippines)


+ Saami Council


+ Maori Council
+ Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg
+ NSW Aboriginal Land Council




Langlois K (2018). When Whales and Humans Talk.

Robbins J (2018). Native Knowledge: What Ecologists Are Learning from Indigenous People.

Traynor C & Foster L, Principles and practice in open science: Addressing power and inequality through “situated openness”.

Pecl G et al (2017) Biodiversity redistribution under climate change: Impacts on ecosystems and human well-beingScience Vol 355, Issue 6332

Find more peer-reviewed articles covering and incorporarting indigenous knowledge at