Lands managed by Indigenous populations are home to rich varieties of living species. While indigenous people comprise about 6% of the world's population and inhabit about a quarter of the Earth's land, their territory accounts for 80% of the planet's biodiversity, based on measures of species richness and variety.
Richard Schuster, an author of a biodiversity study, explained that the data suggests that Indigenous communities have a knack for keeping species numbers high. "Going forward, collaborating with Indigenous land stewards will likely be essential in ensuring that species survive and thrive," Schuster said.
According to the World Bank, Indigenous peoples continue to face threats to their land from neighboring governments and suffer disproportionately high rates of extreme poverty.