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Director's Seminar: Indigenous Environmental History and Its Relevance to Future Prosperity

Porter, Joy



The world is grappling with a number of widespread and indeterminate risks that we ourselves created. Perhaps the most fundamental risk to our wellbeing as the Fourth Industrial Revolution unfolds is Natural Producer Extinction- the irreversible loss of ecosystem services as a result of human consumption levels and numbers. According to the World Wildlife Fund, since 1970, there has been a 68% decline in birds, amphibians, mammals, reptiles and fish. It is thought that a sixth mass extinction is now occurring on earth. According to UN estimates, a quarter of all species are set to disappear, many within decades.

Indigenous peoples have a central role to play and profound lessons to share as the world tackles “wicked” problems of this sort. Indigenous peoples safeguard 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity and occupy or use a quarter of the world’s surface area. The challenge of addressing Indigenous land and resource claims and upholding existing tenure rights is key to achieving biodiversity objectives on about a third of the Global Safety Net- the estimated total land area we need to protect in order to offset the repercussions of climate change. As this lecture will show, the vital work of helping to restore global biodiversity is just one aspect of many lessons available from a resurgent and inherently diverse Indigenous world.


Porter, J. (2022). Director's Seminar: Indigenous Environmental History and Its Relevance to Future Prosperity

Digital Artefact Type Video
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Apr 1, 2022
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Additional Information The Soundbites and Director's Seminars series are public events hosted by the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity, and open to all.

The Director's Seminars are an opportunity for audiences to get an in-depth theoretical perspective on sustainable and inclusive prosperity. These Seminars are given by academics who are pushing for new ways of thinking and new ways of researching society's grand challenges.