Conservation of biodiversity in indigenous communities was highlighted as an important tool for sustainable development at the opening ceremony of the Fifth Continental Summit of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas on November 13, 2013 in Resguardo Indígena de la María, Colombia.


The countries represented are Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Guatemala, Chile, Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Uruguay, numerous regions in Colombia and countries of the Guiana Shield.

Hundreds of people gathered in the community to be part of the historic occasion which is held every four years with the objective to discuss the challenges of Indigenous Peoples on the Continent and make recommendations on the way forward.
The Summit commenced with a grand indigenous ceremonial ritual which was followed by greetings and welcome remarks from indigenous leaders representing each participating country.
During their respective presentations, they all called for the preservation of their natural resources and the right to govern their lands and territories.

In addition, they presented numerous recommendations to form a development model of which conservation of biodiversity for sustainable development took preeminence.

Moreover, Guyana, Suriname and representatives from Matavén, Colombia will participate in a roundtable on Thursday, November 14 on “Land and indigenous peoples, culture, worldview and good governance”.
The Guiana Shield Facility has partnered with the Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia (ONIC), ACATISEMA and the COBRA Project to participate in the V Continental Summit of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas.
The Summit concludes on Friday, November 15, 2013.