Land is Life was founded at the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples on Territories, Environment and Development in May of 1992. This historic gathering brought together over 700 indigenous leaders from around the world. Participants drafted and unanimously signed two landmark documents in the international struggle for indigenous peoples’ rights, the Kari-Oca Declaration, and the Indigenous Peoples Earth Charter.  Land is Life was founded as a way of continuing the important work of this conference and promoting the ideals expressed in these two documents.

Since it’s founding, Land is Life has played an important role in the international struggle for indigenous peoples rights. We have strengthened indigenous participation in international policy-making processes; promoted dialogue between indigenous peoples and international development institutions; worked effectively within the United Nations system to promote and protect indigenous peoples rights; and assisted communities to protect their rights at the local and national levels.


The mission of Land is Life is to support indigenous communities in their efforts to protect their lands, cultures and livelihoods, and move forward a process of dialogue and strategic action that would bring about the international recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights, as articulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.