Posts tagged The World Flag

What is “The World Flag”

“Reform the Environment; not Man.”~R. Buckminster Fuller

The World Flag was created as a Visual Catalyst. It fly(s) as a unifying symbol inspiring positive global change while continuing to embrace and celebrate cultural diversity. The World Flag Project raises awareness in the areas of Education, World Health, Human Rights and the Environment.

Created in 1988 by Paul Carroll, the World Flag is a global image meant to resonate with the people of the world. The design of the World Flag has in the center an image of the world surrounded by 216 flags. They include every national flag, the flag of the United Nations and some flags of territories dependent in one way or other on larger countries. The distribution of the flags within the design is not random. Underlying symbolism and design innuendo create further depth and meaning . As a “Living Flag -Evolving with History”, each iteration serves as a historic rendering in time. Because of their inherent symbolic, nationalistic, and subconscious power, individual flags offered inherent possibilities for Carroll’s vision. He wrote, “Moving individual flags into the global realm—transcending borders, race, and religions—creates unique impact from micro to macro and back.” The World Flag’s potential to engage individuals and children from around the world is immense. “The power of symbols to both inspire and unite people finds it’s most relevant and meaningful perfection in the national flags and banners of the world.” New Scientist, 5 December 2007.

The World Flag; Teaching Unity – Sharing Diversity.

Tom Robbins Graduating Commencement Speech in Oak Harbor Washington

When I wrote to Tom Robbins to ask if we could share this with The World Flag community, this is what he said! ” I am going on “maternity leave,” in an effort to bring to term my new book in progress.” He also shared that his memory of the commencement speech below was , virtually nothing, except that he squirted the front row in the auditorium with a water pistol:

Enjoy and Please Share!

“I am often asked whether there is life after death. Certainly there is. There is also death after life, and life before death, and death before life. It goes on forever. There is just no stopping it. You will live forever, and die forever. In fact, you already have.
As for Heaven and Hell, they are right here on Earth, and it is up to each of you in which one you choose to reside. To put it simply, Heaven is living in your hopes and Hell is living in your fears. In the traditional image, where hell is down and heaven is up, one escapes from hell by digging a hole in the ceiling. Though in an age of downers and uppers down and up no longer make sense, it is still possible to think of in and out. Think of Hell as in and heaven as out. To get out of hell you expand your soul until it is pushing on all the walls from the inside all the way around. If you just maintain a steady pressure, your soul will gradually filter out into limitless heaven beyond.
One problem with the notion of Heaven and Hell, however, is that, although they are exact opposites, an astonishing number of people see to be confused about which is which. For example, all over the United States on this very evening, commencement speakers are standing before audiences not greatly unlike yourselves, describing Hell as if they were talking about Heaven.
Their speakers are saying things such as, “Graduating Seniors, you have reached the golden threshold of maturity; it is time now to go out into the world and take up the challenge of life, time to face your hallowed responsibility.”And if that isn’t one Hell of a note, it’s certainly one not of Hell.
Growing up is a trap.
As for responsibility, I am forced to ask, “Responsibility to what?” To our fellow humans? Two weeks ago, the newspapers reported that a federal court had ruled that when a person’s brain stops functioning, that person is legally dead, even though his of her heart may continue to beat. That means that 80% of the population of the Earth is legally dead. Must we be responsibly to corpses?
No, you have no responsibility except to be yourself to the fullest limit of yourself, and to find out who you are. Or, perhaps I should say, to remember who you are. Because deep down in the secret velvet of your heart, far beyond your name and your address, each of you knows who you really are. And that being who is the true you cannot help but behave graciously to all other beings- because it is all other beings.
Yet, we are constantly reminded of our…”responsibility”. Responsibility means “obey orders without question, don’t rock the boat, and for God’s sake, get a job.” (Get a job. Sha na na na) That’s the scary one. Get a job. It is said as if it were a holy and inviolable law of nature. But the fact is although cultural humanity has been on earth for some 2 million years, they very concept of jobs is only about 500 years old. A drop in the bucket, to coin the phrase. And with advent of an electronic cybernetic automated technology, jobs are on the way out again. Jobs were just a splash in the pan, a passing fancy. There is no realistic relationship between jobs and work (work being defined as simply one of the more serious aspects of play) any more than there is a realistic relationship between jobs and eating. It is curious how many people believe that if it weren’t for jobs they couldn’t eat. As, if it weren’t for Boeing, their jaws wouldn’t chew; if it weren’t for the Navy their bowels wouldn’t move, and if it weren’t for Weyerhauser (that great destroyer of plants), plants wouldn’t grow. Technocratic assumptions about the identity of humanity, society and nature have warped our experience at it’s source and obscured the basic natural sense of things. Rabbits don’t have jobs. When was the last time you heard of a rabbit starving to death?
Ah, but we must be responsible, and if we are, then we are rewarded with the wite man’s legal equivalent of looting: a steady job, secure income, easy credit, free access to all the local emporiums and a home of your own to pile the merchandise in! And so what if there is no magic in your life, no wonder, no amazement, no playfulness, no peace of mind, no sense of unity with the universe, no giggling joy, no burning passion, no deep understanding, no overwhelming love? At least your ego has the satisfaction of knowing you are a responsible citizen.
Responsibility is a trap.
As a matter of fact, the entire System into which you were born, and which now, upon completion of high (high?) school you must perhaps face more directly, is a System designed to trap you – and manipulate you as a co-operating slave, a System designed to steep you you Hell.
Hell is living in your fears, and it is through fear, both subtle and overt, that the System traps you. Fear of failure, fear of social rejection, fear of poverty, fear of punishment, fear of death.
For example, we are taught to fear something called Communism, and millions of Americans go to sleep each night wondering if Mao Tse Tung is under their bed. Conversely, on the other side of the world, millions of Russians and Chinese go to sleep wondering if
Henry Kissenger is under their bed. Our totalitarian government uses the hoax of the threat of Communism to control and enslave us, just as the totalitarian Communist governments use the hoax of the threat of capitalism to control and enslave their people. It’s an extremely
old and obviously effective trick.

You see, the powers behind Communism and the powers behind Capitalism are virtually the same people. We might also include the powers behind the Vatican and the powers behind Islam. Their main function is to mystify the popular mind by creating illusions of
omnipotence and omniscience with which to command docility from their subjects, although it does not require much thorough investigation to discover that few of the peoples of this world are happy, healthy, or fulfilled. But never mind. There are ways out of the trap, ways, as I earlier suggested out of Hell. The only advice I have for you tonight is not to actively resist or fight the System, because active protest and resistence merely entangle you in the System. Instead, ignore it, walk away from it, turn your backs on it, laugh at it. Don’t be outraged, be outrageous! Never be stupid enough to respect authority unless that authority first proves itself respectable. And, unfortunately, there is no officially sanctioned authority today, from the President of the United States down to the cop on the beat, that has earned the right to your respect. So, be your own authority, lead yourselves. Remember the ways
and means of the Ancient Yogi masters, Pied Pipers, cloud walkers and medicine men. Get in harmony with nature.

Listen to the loony rhythms of your blood. Look for beauty and poetry in everything in life. Let there be no moon that does not know you, no spring that does not lick you with it’s tongues. Refuse to play it safe, for it is from the wavering edge of risk that the sweetest honey of freedom drips. Live dangerously, live lovingly, Believe in magic, Nourish your imagination. Use your head, even if it means going out of your mind. Learn, like the lemon and the tomato learned, the laws of the sun. Become aware, like the jungle became aware, of your own perfume. Remember that life is much too serious to take seriously – - so never forget how to play.
In times of doubt and chaos, it has been the duty of the superior persons- artists, poets, scientists, clowns, and philosophers (certainly no statesmen or military heroes)- to create order in the psychic vibrations of their fellow beings. But in times such as ours, times that are too carefully ordered, too strictly organized, too expertly managed thoroughly programmed and craftily planned, times in which too few control too many, it is the duty of all feeling, thinking humanitarian people to toss their favorite monkey wrenches into the machinery. On second thought, you do have some responsibility to your fellow beings. To relieve the repression of the human spirit, it is your sacred duty to screw things up royally.
Looking at you tonight, I know you’re going to do just fine.
Let me wrap this up with a few short questions I am often asked.
A difficult question.
(1) Will we be eaten by bugs and worms?
We ought to be. We have eaten, and we ought to be eaten. This is Justice, and there is no stopping it. If you have your body burned, starving the earth to
(page cut off)

(2) Does your soul fly out of your body the moment that you die?
No, this is a foolish superstition. Your soul is constantly
flying out of your body in just the same way that energy is
constantly flying out of the sun. At the monent your body dies, the
soul stops flying out.
(3) Is Jesus coming back?
Yes all the time. And so are you. All souls echo forever throught the universe.

I hope you have a wonderful trip.”

OPERATING MANUAL FOR SPACESHIP EARTH by Buckminster Fuller

OPERATING MANUAL FOR SPACESHIP EARTH

by Buckminster Fuller
1. COMPREHENSIVE PROPENSITIES
I am enthusiastic over humanity’s extraordinary and sometimes very
timely ingenuities. If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are
gone, a piano top buoyant enough to keep you afloat that comes
along makes a fortuitous life preserver. But this is not to say that
the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top.
I think that we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting
yesterday’s fortuitous contrivings as constituting the only means for
solving a given problem. Our brains deal exclusively with specialcase experiences. Only our minds are able to discover the
generalized principles operating without exception in each and
every special-experience case which if detected and mastered will
give knowledgeable advantage in all instances.
Because our spontaneous initiative has been frustrated, too often
inadvertently, in earliest childhood we do not tend, customarily, to
dare to think competently regarding our potentials. We find it
socially easier to go on with our narrow, shortsighted
specialization’s and leave it to others — primarily to the politicians
— to find some way of resolving our common dilemmas.
Countering that spontaneous grownup trend to narrowness I will do
my, hopefully “childish,” best to confront as many of our problems
as possible by employing the longest-distance thinking of which I
am capable — though that may not take us very far into the future.
Having been trained at the U.S. Naval Academy and practically
experienced in the powerfully effective forecasting arts of celestial
navigation, pilotage, ballistics, and logistics, and in the long-range,
anticipatory, design science governing yesterday’s naval mastery of
the world from which our present day’s general systems theory has
been derived, I recall that in 1927 I set about deliberately exploring
to see how far ahead we could make competent forecasts regarding
the direction in which all humanity is trending and to see how
effectively we could interpret the physical details of what
comprehensive evolution might be portending as disclosed by the
available data. I came to the conclusion that it is possible to make a
fairly reasonable forecast of about twenty-five years. That seems to
be about one industrial “tooling” generation. On the average, all inventions seem to get melted up about every twenty-five years,
after which the metals come back into recirculation in new and
usually more effective uses. At any rate, in 1927 I evolved a
forecast. Most of my 1927′s prognosticating went only to 1952 —
that is, for a quarter-century, but some of it went on for a halfcentury, to 1977.
In 1927 when people had occasion to ask me about my
prognostications and I told them what I thought it would be
appropriate to do about what I could see ahead for the 1950′s,
1960′s, and 1970′s people used to say to me, “Very amusing — you
are a thousand years ahead of your time.” Having myself studied the
increments in which we can think forwardly I was amazed at the
ease with which the rest of society seemed to be able to see a
thousand years ahead while I could see only one-fortieth of that
time distance. As time went on people began to tell me that I was a
hundred years ahead, and now they tell me that I’m a little behind
the times. But I have learned about public reaction to the unfamiliar
and also about the ease and speed with which the transformed
reality becomes so “natural” as misseemingly to have been always
obvious. So I knew that their last observations were made only
because the evolutionary events I had foreseen have occurred on
schedule.

For the full printable text Please refer to:OPERATING MANUAL FOR SPACESHIP EARTH by Buckminster Fuller

Recycle Man by C. Malik

Gary Anderson, creator of the recycling symbol, ca 1971

Gary Anderson in 1970 after winning a design contest sponsored by Container Corporation of America.

The symbol that launched a thousand environmental movements…This symbol has come to represent a shift in our collective consciousness – signifying the moment we were willing to admit that we were damaging our planet and that we need to do something about it.

Gary Anderson today. Image by Dave Huh.

Symbol for our future? This is the winning design for a competition held last year by Cereplast, a bioplastics company. The symbol will be printed on the plant-based plastic products created by Cereplast. Gary Anderson was one of the judges of the contest.
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Recycle ManBy C. Malik
In 1970 Gary Anderson, a USC Graduate student entered and won a design contest sponsored by CCA – Container Corporation of America. The competition was to design a graphic symbol which would be used on recycled paper products and which could recognize a commitment to environmental sensitivity on the part of any manufacturer who was engaged in recycling. The winning symbol would be given over to the public domain. The competition was also to honor the first – Earth Day – which was held that same year.

 Gary’s simple but thoughtful design would go on to become the most iconic symbol of environmental action ever created. The symbol has circled the globe, evokes thought and action, it has no language barrier and never uses a single word. Thankfully for us when I met with Gary Anderson he had plenty to say. 

Since winning the contest in 1970 Gary has traveled the world pursuing his dreams in the field of Architecture and Planning. He currently lives in Baltimore, MD. I spoke with Gary by phone and very quickly it struck me that his accomplishments combined with his humble nature bared a striking resemblance to the fictional Superheroes that permeate our culture. Gary and I went on to discuss the concept of “Superheroes” and how they might play a role in saving the environment.


C. Malik : Mr. Anderson – do you think you’ve saved the world? 



Gary Anderson: “I’d like to think I’ve had some impact; it wasn’t really that I consciously tried to do that but I think the symbol really has just by virtue of the fact that it kind of took off and people have come to really recognize it and understand recycling when they see it…you know, I think it has had a pretty big impact.”

CM: Are you a millionaire?

GA: Extended chuckle. Don’t I wish. No, No, No

CM: Why did you create the recycling symbol? 



GA: Well it wasn’t for the money. It was more just kind of a challenge to me a challenge to myself. There was a poster that showed up in my school, the school of architecture and fine arts at USC, advertising this competition. Of course there was no entry fee and it seemed like something I could enter and that wouldn’t take much of anything in the way of resources other than myself some paper and drawing tools I already had. Unlike a big architectural project or something that would probably require input from lots of people, this is something that I could do on my own and seemed like something I could do. I could also support the reason behind the contest, I thought that was commendable so I spent a couple of days on it, came up with the symbol and submitted it.

CM: We talked briefly in our intro about “superheroes” and the expectation related to their symbols. When people see the recycle symbol what do you think that invokes in them, what does it mean to them? 



GA: Hopefully recycling, I mean, beyond that people might have different reactions to it. But I think it has come to mean recycling in a lot of people’s minds, which is great, because that’s why they had the competition and that’s what I tried to do when I designed it, so hopefully that’s what people think of.

CM: Who is your favorite superhero and why?



GA: When I was a kid, which is getting longer and longer ago now the main superhero was Superman. I guess there where others around, there was the Phantom, I guess Batman was around already. Superman in my mind was it, he was the one I knew the most about and you know the one that had the highest profile certainly…so just to make the answer short; Superman.

CM: It’s interesting that you pick Superman and mention that the lack of clutter in the Superhero “space” at that time really made Superman stand out. With your symbol there seems to be little competition, would you agree?



GA: Especially when it first came out there really wasn’t, as far as I know there may have been others but that was the only symbol I was aware of for recycling. Frankly, I don’t want to be overly modest but I think just the fact that it was the first one, the first one to get some publicity because it was a competition held by a private company who invested in getting the image out there. I think those two things the fact that it was the first and did get publicity early on I’m sure that helped to establish it as the symbol.

CM: How has the wide adoption of the recycling symbol changed your life?



GA: Not so much. From time to time I get interview requests like this one and sometimes I get invited to functions. I am in fact going up to NJ next week they passed some legislation that mandated recycling in certain areas 25 years ago and so I’ve been invited to the celebration, the 25th anniversary for the NJ recycling program. Aside from things like that not too much, not too long after I won the competition I went overseas to teach so I was kind of out of touch.

CM: Recently you were involved in judging a symbol contest for a company called Cereplast can you expand on the work they are doing?



GA: I think it’s remarkable what they are doing, I don’t think they are the only company that does that, but I think certainly compostable biodegradable plastics are very important in maintaining environmental quality and not polluting the environment with petroleum based products. It’s just fascinating the kinds of products that can be created with bio-plastics and that they seem just as versatile as anything that can be made with petroleum based plastics – so I think it’s wonderful.

CM: What do you think is the most underserved environmental issue today? 



GA: Because of what I do and my background I really think there could be much more emphasis and understanding about sustainable planning and urban development. I think it’s just so easy to sprawl, it’s so easy the way things are set up now, the way policy is written the way it is so easy to expand infrastructure. There are plenty of incentives to just build further out and there are no disincentives to keep from doing that or incentives to keep things more compact. I guess eventually it will happen, I will be happy when the public starts to demand more sustainable patterns of development as they do now with more sustainable consumer products.

CM: Who are your environmental heroes, past and present?

G

A: Well I have to say they go way back as probably again to the late 60’s early 70’s when I first started be aware of these things myself. So they are really kind of historic now but certainly Ian McHarg who was a landscape architect and planner who wrote the book “Design with Nature” and influenced a lot of people in my generation about sustainability before it had that name. Rachel Carson. She really brought to the attention of the general public what some of the really dire problems could be if we didn’t start to look more carefully or consider more carefully what we’re doing to the environment. Also Bucky Fuller (Buckminster Fuller). Those are the three that come to mind. People should Google them if they don’t know about these people.



CM: If you could create your own Superhero what would it be and what super powers would they have? 



GA: I guess it would be “Recycle Man” with the recycling logo on his jersey, whatever that is that superheroes wear or tattooed to his chest or something I don’t know. He would, or she, maybe it’s “recycle lady” or “recycle woman” would fight wasteful practices and nurture an appreciation of sustainability.

Thank You Red Flag Magazine http://www.redflagmagazine.org/2012/05/recycle-man/

Flag of Bangladesh, History and Symbolism

The national flag of Bangladesh  (Bengali: বাংলাদেশের জাতীয় পতাকা) was adopted officially on 17 January 1972. It is based on a similar flag used during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. The map was later deleted from the flag by the order of General Abul Manzur, most likely to simplify the design[citation needed]. A red disc is on top of the green field, offset slightly toward the hoist so that it appears centred when the flag is flying. The red disc represents the sun rising over Bengal, and also the blood of those who died for the independence of Bangladesh. The green field stands for the lushness of the land of Bangladesh. The red disc is a socialist symbol of the rising Sun of independence after the dark night of a blood-drenched struggle against Pakistan.

Origin
The original flag was designed by painter Quamrul Hassan. On 2 March 1971, the initial version of the flag was hoisted in Bangladesh for the first time at the Dhaka University. As the Vice President of Dhaka University Students’ Union (DUCSU), student leader A. S. M. Abdur Rab hoisted the flag. On the declaration of Independence on 26 March 1971, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman flew the flag in his residence.

The flag was conceived so as to exclude the crescent and the star considered as symbols of West Pakistan. According to Flags of the World, the green used in the flag does not represent the traditional colours of Islam, contrary to some western sources (such as the CIA World Fact Book). Rather, the green colour was chosen to represent the lushness of the natural landscape of Bangladesh. The current flag resembles the flag of Japan with the background a different colour.

The map was removed from the flag in 1972. One reason given was the difficulty rendering the map correctly on both sides of the flag.

The Bangladesh flag as it is today:

In the World Flag this flag has important design balance and appears center right of the earth image. See World Flag Symbolism  and History post.

Source: Wikipedia

The World Flag to Attend Seattle Green Festival!

Green-Festival-Header-SE10x

We are proud to be attending Green Festival Seattle this June 5th and 6th.  Another amazing line up of speakers and exhibitors, this years Green Festival looks to be more inspiring then ever. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now,  Deepak Chopra, Lester Brown, president of Earth Policy Institute and many more. Be sure to check us out at Booth # 729 and learn about cultural diversity and how you can be a part of the solution.

Green Festivals are a  joint project of Global Exchange and Green America where you can discover some of the best green products and services the Northwest has to offer. And through Seattle Climate Action Now!, Clean & Green Seattle and the city’s many other climate projects, you’ll learn how neighbors, community nonprofits and city departments are working together to make their city a healthier place to live.

Green Week 2010

Wednesday May 26th through Sunday June 6th

Leading up to Seattle Green Festival is Green Week, May 28 to June 6—a week-long series of (mostly free) city-wide activities focusing on Seattle’s “green” movement, from hands-on organic gardening, to water-testing, to film screenings on sustainability. Participate in any of these events and receive a free one-day pass to Green Festival!

Looking forward to seeing you there!

The World Flag; Teaching Unity – Sharing Diversity

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United Nations considers World Flag too Political to Display @ General Assembly

Tiokasin Ghosthorse, host and producer of First Voices Indigenous Radio, NYC, brought a 3×5′ World Flag to the UN General Assembly to display during his speech on the rights of indigenous peoples. As an inspirational speaker and one who understands the power of symbols and words, his connection to The World Flag happened at a chance meeting during the San Francisco Green Festival.

Tiokasin was hoping to display the flag during his speech but it had not been “cleared” and was considered “political” by the United Nations. It is no surprise that the UN would not allow The World Flag to be displayed. By it’s very nature and design, the UN may very well be the most political organization in existence. There is a very delicate balance which occurs when you assemble dignitaries, ambassadors, and world leaders from many countries to discuss rather somber world issues. The etiquette of flags and where and how to hang the flags of countries in close proximity to each other becomes a balancing act of diplomacy, decorum, and respect. Each country has a sense of pride and honor, in a sense a clinging to it’s own collective ego.

This is exactly what The World Flag Seeks To Transcend

The World Flag is about breaking down the barriers between countries and eliminating the false boundaries created by the governments of the world. It is a symbol for the people of the world, having nothing to do with politics, or governments.

The essence of The World Flag is Teaching Unity in Matters of Global Concern, so that all people of the world realize that the major challenges facing each of us; scarcity of clean drinking water, human rights abuses, environmental degradation, scarcity of food resources, access to education, etc, are issues that affect all of us. These issues no longer exist in isolation as the world becomes more and more connected and interdependent.

The World Flag is also about sharing and celebrating cultural diversity. The colorful aspects of each countries’ unique culture; it’s history, food, dance, language and customs are to be celebrated and enjoyed. Sharing what makes us unique and opening our eyes to new ways of being in the world, new ways of seeing each other, will allow us to work together to meet the challenges facing us all.

The designer of The World Flag chose country flags as the mark making system because of their immediate emotional connection and recognition. Symbols can be shared without speaking the same language. The World Flag works as a visual catalyst to begin the conversations of shared concern, to use that intense emotional connection of a sense of “home”, and open our minds to the simple truth that the world is our shared home. We must begin to accept that all humans take pride in their sense of ‘country’. Phrases such as ‘our land’, and ‘our home’ can be transcended from being about a man made or government created boundary, to a place of accepting that we all love and share this beautiful planet. The love of country is something that we all share and as Pablo Casals so eloquently put it:

“The Love of One’s Country is a Splendid Thing, But Why Should that Love Stop at the Border?”

Even though not the intention, by it’s very nature the United Nations operates from a place of strongly delineated separation, where each countries separateness is naturally reinforced by the voting processes and organizational structure.

The original idea of a United Nations is certainly of noble intention. The extraordinary accomplishments it has achieved in the past 65 years are nothing short of astonishing. But has the UN achieved a true sense of connectedness amongst the countries of the world? Has cooperation transcended politics in matters of global concern? Is it not time for the UN to fly The World Flag and embrace what the people of the world already know? That this is our shared planet, this is our shared world.

One World – One Flag

Just fly it! The World Flag

The World Flag to be Displayed at the United Nations NYC this Monday April 19th

CSR Press Release

The World Flag

United Nations FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES

Submitted by:The World Flag

Categories:Human Rights

Posted: Apr 16, 2010 – 05:32 PM EST

NEW YORK, Apr. 16 /CSRwire/ – Tiokasin Ghosthorse will display The World Flag as he speaks to the General assembly of the UN during the 9th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues this Monday April 19th.

Nearly 2,000 indigenous representatives from all over the world will gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday for the start of a two-week meeting aimed at ensuring their full participation in development while preserving their culture and identity.

At the meeting, the ninth session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, they and Member States, UN agencies and civil society groups will discuss efforts to guarantee to indigenous peoples their full and effective participation in development processes, including thorough consultation in establishing development programmes and policies.

“Indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge and practices are increasingly being recognized as vital for conservation work and efforts to combat and adapt to climate change,” the Forum said in a news release. “Yet despite this recognition, indigenous cultures have been damaged more often than not by development policies that ignore their traditional sources of knowledge and cultural priorities and fail to respect their land rights.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will address the opening session in the General Assembly Hall. Key issues to be addressed during the Forum also include indigenous peoples in North America, and indigenous peoples and forests.

The session on North America will aim to identify both the challenges faced by indigenous peoples in the region, as well as positive measures of cooperation that can contribute to improvements in their situation.

On the issue of peoples and forests, the Forum noted that policies that treat woodlands as empty areas available for development often force indigenous peoples out of their homes. In addition, some conservation schemes establish wilderness reserves that deny forest-dwellers their rights.

“Development policies that take into account indigenous peoples’ culture and identity can be beneficial not only to indigenous peoples, but also for Member States and developing countries in particular,” it said.

The Forum, set up by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2000, provides expert advice and recommendations on indigenous issues to UN agencies, raises awareness and promotes the integration and coordination of relevant activities within the world body. It comprises 16 independent experts appointed by ECOSOC, eight of whom are nominated by governments and eight by indigenous organizations in their regions.