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"Self-development occurs to the extent that indigenous peoples have the autonomy to decide on their future, and this is only possible when indigenous peoples own, dominate and above all, have control over the territory”
Representative of the Nasa people
, Cauca, Colombia.

Welcome to our Documentation Centre

In this section you will find useful training and study materials on current issues about indigenous communities. All included documents are published subject to their respective authors’ rights. All documents and materials created by Almáciga are under a Creative Commons license.

Reference materials

In the words of Rodolfo Stavenhagen, former Special Rapporteur, “The adoption by the General Assembly of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a step forward in the consolidation of international mechanisms for the protection of the human rights of all persons, to which all Members of the Organization are committed.”

Convention 169 was adopted by ILO in 1989. With its approval, the Organization aimed to update a prior convention (number 107), a treaty that promoted integration of indigenous peoples into the majority societies of the countries where they lived, and which is still in force in several countries. Up to date, Convention 169 has been ratified by twenty-two countries, most of them from Latin America.


The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a multilateral environmental treaty adopted during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Although the CBD is an international agreement labeled as “environmental”, i.e. dealing with biological diversity and life in the environment, as a consequence of its subject-matter being so wide, and given its approach, it goes further beyond the reach of what was considered purely environmental. The CBD has an impact on broad sectors of peoples’ life, as in economy and other social issues.

Documents and materials on the convention can be accessed through the links listed at the bottom of this page. Additionally, in the “training materials” section of this page you can find specific training materials regarding CBD and indigenous peoples.

The traditional concept of conservation, which turns biodiversity and human activity into mutually excluding concepts, has had devastating effects for those communities who have historically lived in territories where protected areas have been established: forced movements, loss of traditional means of survival, accelerated poverty processes and loss of identity. Currently, there are more than 100,000 protected areas worldwide, most of them established on ancestral indigenous territories, rich in biodiversity. Related documentation can be accessed through the links listed at the bottom of this article.