Slow Food believes that it is senseless to defend biodiversity without also defending the cultural diversity of indigenous peoples. The right of peoples to have control over their land, to grow food, to hunt, fish and gather according to their own needs and decisions is fundamental to protect their livelihoods and defend the biodiversity of indigenous breeds and varieties.
According to the State of the World's Indigenous Peoples (SWIR), the total population of indigenous peoples is around 370 million, or less than 6 per cent of the global population, and they occupy 20 per cent of the earth's territory.
As the original inhabitants of a land, they possess unique cultures, languages and customs, but throughout history this has been eroded through the confiscation of their lands, the displacement of communities, cultural suppression and even genocide. Today this continues through land grabbing. The survival of indigenous peoples is proof of the resilience of these traditional societies, held together by their identity - their culture, language and traditions linked to a geographical area and the historical links with the environment that they have inhabited and depended on.