The work of restoring and regenerating ecosystems often starts in communities where local people have been caring for and effectively managing the land for centuries. In fact, traditional indigenous practices and land management conserve and strengthen biodiversity, maintain a range of ecosystem balances, and enhance symbiotic relationships between humans and nature.
These communities, whose livelihoods and ways of life are so often land-based, are living on the front lines of climate change. Their homes are in environments such as small islands, rangelands, primary forests, desert margins, and high altitudes—all areas that are particularly sensitive to the warming climate. These conditions have forced local communities to adapt and develop innovative solutions to survive. Their activities can prevent carbon emissions but also regenerate landscapes and marine ecosystems, increase carbon sequestration, and maintain biologically diverse management systems.
Common Earth celebrates local communities and their essential role in regenerating ecosystems. We also recognize that these communities have suffered immeasurably from colonialism and systematic marginalization as their human rights, knowledge systems, customary governance traditions, and cultures are constantly in threat. Yet through consistent hardship they have cared for Earth’s commons and enhanced the natural environment around them. Their wisdom and practices have an important place in our effort to collectively address the warming climate and 2030 agenda.
This section shall be dedicated to illuminating their work.