Indigenous Peoples and Globalization Map

Indigenous peoples are on the cusp of the crisis in sustainable development. Their communities are concrete examples of sustainable societies, historically evolved in diverse ecosystems. Today, they face the challenges of extinction or survival and renewal in a globalized world. The impact of globalization is strongest on these populations perhaps more than any other because these communities have no voice and are therefore easily swept aside by the invisible hand of the market and its proponents. Globalization is not merely a question of marginalization for indigenous peoples it is a multi-pronged attack on the very foundation of their existence and livelihoods, for example:

  • Indigenous people throughout the world sit on the "frontlines" of globalization's expansion; they occupy the last pristine places on earth, where resources are still abundant: forests, minerals, water, and genetic diversity. All are ferociously sought by global corporations, trying to push traditional societies off their lands.
  • New advances in technology, the reorientation toward export-led development, and the imperatives of pleasing global financial markets are all driving forces in the extermination of countless native communities which stand in their way.
  • Traditional sovereignty over hunting and gathering rights has been thrown into question as national governments bind themselves to new global economic treaties.
  • New trade and investment agreements, which are opening up previously inaccessible territory to industrial extraction of natural resources, has forced indigenous peoples to defend their homelands under an invasion of unprecedented rate and scale: Big dams, mines, pipelines, roads, energy developments, military intrusions all threaten native lands.
  • Global rules on the patenting of genetic resources via the WTO has made possible the privatization of indigenous peoplesí genomes, the biological diversity upon which they depend, and the very knowledge of how that biodiversity might be used commercially.
  • National governments making decisions on export development strategies or international trade and investment rules do not consult native communities. The reality remains that without rapid action, these native communities may be wiped out, taking with them vast indigenous knowledge, rich culture and traditions, and any hope of preserving the natural world, and a simpler, more holistic way of life for future generations.

Globalization: Effects on Indigenous Peoples

The International Forum on Globalization's Indigenous Peoples and Globalization program has completed a map depicting the negative impacts of economic globalization on indigenous peoples. The map provides a striking visual image of the totality of the problem. It offers a unique visual representation of globalization across the many sectors impacting native communities: oil, dams, biopiracy, logging, militarization, and industrial agriculture, to name a handful. The map also includes text describing the various impacts.

There are examples from every continent, save Antarctica. The Bayaka in Central African Republic whose community is being destroyed by logging; the Dinka and Nuer in Sudan whose lands are being taken over for oil reserves; the WichÌ in Argentina facing a major highway through their territory; gold mining on Miskito lands in Nicaragua; eco-tourism on Kuna land in Panama; mining on Australian aboriginal lands; Jharkhand tribal community dislocation due to megadam project in India; industrial plantations destroying tropical forests on which the Dayak people in Indonesia depend; export coffee plantations evicting Montangards from their homeland in Vietnam; uranium mining, and the resulting toxic waste contaminating the ecosystem on which the Dene and Cree in Canada rely; overfishing jeopardizing survival of Chukchi and Eskimo in Russia; mining on North American indian lands, including the Western Shoshone, Quechan Nation, Mohawk, and Zuni peoples.

To view or download the map go to:

IFG had input on the map from many NGOs, including: Amazon Watch, Indigenous Environmental Network, International Indian Treaty Council, Project Underground, White Earth Land Recovery Project, Oilwatch, Nicaragua Network, Survival International, Cultural Survival, World Rainforest Movement, MiningWatch Canada, and the Tebtebba Foundation in the Philippines.

Please contact Susanne York if you have any questions/comments or would like to obtain copies of the map. The map costs $10 US (with a discount for large orders).

Otherwise, please contact:

International Forum on Globalization
1009 General Kennedy Avenue #2
San Francisco, CA
94129, USA

Ph: (415) 561-7650
Fax: (415) 561-7651