Cultural Mapping and Indigenous Peoples

A Report for UNESCO

This report focuses upon items 1 and 3 in the terms of references. Concerning item 2 (workshop consultation) there was insufficient time or opportunity during the workshop period to develop an inclusive discussion on the topic, much less plan field activities for each of the 7 countries represented. However, I held several informal talks with the Pygmy representatives and in Yaounde, met with NGO’s that have been supporting Baka communities in Cameroon, most interestingly with the Centre for Environment and Development, who have had experience in mapping with Baka communities and are keenly interested in continuing.

The first section discusses the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in relation to other global mechanisms of significance for indigenous peoples, as well as other UNESCO programmes. It also discusses economic, social and cultural rights for indigenous peoples and concludes with a summary of the situation of Pygmy peoples in terms of cultural security: their problems and their use so far of cultural mapping in addressing these. The main section deals with cultural mapping, its origins and its purposes and is illustrated with examples drawn from around the world. The final section proposes ways for UNESCO to follow up.

Peter Poole