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Tuesday 22.08.2017 | Name days: Rudīte, Everts

World Indigenous Peoples Day

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

The human kind can still be proud of a remarkable 300 million of indigenous peoples worldwide. However, their unique way of life and cultural traditions face grave threats in many areas around the globe. On August 9 each year, the UN is marking World Indigenous Peoples Day to raise awareness on the threats they face to their lives and lands.

In an interview to Vatican Radio, Sarah Shenker, a researcher for the NGO Survival International, shed some light on the critical problems indigenous peoples currently face.

According to Shenker, a large proportion of the world’s indigenous people are suffering threats to their lives and lands but she singles out the Awa tribe in the north east of Brazil’s Amazon region as the world’s most single endangered indigenous tribe.

The researcher explains how hundreds of illegal loggers are operating on the Awa’s tribal lands, forcing them to «live on the run, trying to escape from the loggers and other settlers».

Shenker stresses that protecting this Brazilian tribe is a matter of urgency, for their very survival is at stake. «The Awa face genocide and extinction if nothing is done to protect them,» she warns, as already their numbers have shrunk to around 450.

When asked how she sees the future for the world’s indigenous people, Shenker notes it depends to a large extent on whether the various national and international laws adopted to protect their ancestral lands are respected and obeyed. «If their land is protected, then indigenous peoples can survive and thrive.»

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