Guardians of Life

Indigenous territories are home to the vast majority of the world’s remaining biodiversity and critical habitats.

Many of them are also rich in natural resources.

For decades, resource extraction and industrial development have been encroaching on indigenous communities.

This exploitation ravages the land and water on which communities depend for sustenance and destroys spiritual, cultural and economic practices.

We collaborate with local leaders to safeguard subsistence practices and develop sustainable alternatives to industrial development. We also support indigenous efforts to shape the laws that affect their communities.

 
  • The anticipated increase in
    ship traffic in the Arctic is
    second in magnitude only to the initial arrival of European settlers on our shores.
    Austin Ahmasuk, Alaska Indigenous Leader, Kawerak, Inc.
  • Pacific Environment works with us at the grassroots level to oppose development and protect our ancient traditions of subsistence hunting and fishing. They have given us tools and strength. For this, Pacific Environment will be long remembered and held in high esteem by the Tikigaq peoples.
    Lily Tuzroyluke, Executive Director, Native Village of Point Hope, 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle
 
  • The salmon is an icon to Kamchatka’s indigenous peoples and a fundamental subsistence food source. We promote sustainable, community-led fishing practices and parks that respect indigenous subsistence needs.
  • Climate change, overuse and industrial development threaten traditional livelihoods in China's Tibetan mountains. Our partners join forces with local grassland herders to develop sustainable alternatives, including ecotourism and bringing organic meat and cheese directly to market.
  • Indigenous peoples are often excluded from shaping the rules that affect their lives. We partner with Arctic indigenous leaders to amplify community voices and support self-determined efforts to participate in international decision-making processes that regulate Arctic ship traffic.
  • Indigenous leaders are fighting the exploitation of their ancestral territories across the Pacific Rim. We connect activists to each other and to the global environmental and indigenous rights movements to counter isolation, share experiences and coordinate strategy.
  • Subsistence
  • Innovation
  • Representation
  • Global Movement
Indigenous communities often rely heavily on the bounty of rivers, land and seas, which in turn shape cultural and economic practices.
We provide technical tools that help communities improve the effectiveness of local conservation activities that protect indigenous ways of life.
 

Justice and Sustainability

Global economic growth is accelerating the exploitation of indigenous territories. At the same time, climate change is threatening traditional subsistence practices.

Loss of land and food sources often bring cultural devastation because for many indigenous communities identity and way of life are inextricably intertwined.

We support indigenous efforts to force those in power to pay attention to community concerns.

We partner with indigenous leaders to ensure that their communities have a say in local and international decisions that affect their lives.

We provide tools and skills that empower indigenous communities to sustainably manage local resources, often in partnership with park rangers and businesses.

We foster creative ideas to develop sustainable economic alternatives that honor cultural identities and traditional ways of life.

And we help indigenous leaders fight dangerous fossil fuel projects that threaten their ancestral lands and community well-being.

 
  • Around the world 5,000 distinct indigenous peoples speak more than 4,000 languages and represent 90% of cultural diversity.
  • Indigenous peoples hold 20% of all land. This land is home to 80% of the world's remaining biodiversity.
  • Less than .01% of all development funding goes directly to indigenous communities.
  • Pacific Environment does not support eviction of indigenous peoples in order to create “pristine,” human-free wilderness areas.