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Most indigenous spokespeople readily admit the need for, and actively seek, improvements in their conditions of life. However, they seek to achieve these improvements without prejudice to other valued aspects of their ways of life, which give their life meaning and dignity. Detailed treatment of these wider issues is outside the scope of this study, but any attempt to secure indigenous peoples lands must be developed taking into account the wider context in which indigenous peoples find themselves. DEVELOPMENT OPTIONS Indigenous peoples stress that their own notions of development differ fundamentally from the notions of economic progress that evolved principally in western Europe and North America. Conservation schemes have also often led to the forced resettlement of indigenous peoples. UNDP and indigenous peoples: a policy of engagement (available at Government-sponsored colonization has historically been a major cause of dispossession but has lessened in recent years owing to international campaigns against such programmes and greater awareness of the rights of indigenous peoples and the value of tropical forests. The functioning of collective land tenure systems is directly affected by the extent to which collectives are given legal recognition, the extent to which indigenous knowledge is respected and the extent to which customary law is allowed to operate.
The rights of indigenous peoples that are notably distinct are those collective rights that are now recognized for indigenous peoples but that have not, as yet, been widely recognized for other human groups. The term has gained international currency in the context of international debates regarding the rights of ethnic minorities, tribal peoples, natives, aborigines and indigenous populations, who have quite evidently suffered, and continue to suffer, discrimination and marginalization as a result of colonialism, and postcolonial projects of nation-building, development and modernization. The term indigenous peoples has been adopted by a large number of governments, international agencies and, most significantly, a broad movement of self-identified peoples as the best catch-all term available to incorporate consideration for their rights into international law. Indigenous peoples rights are no less indivisible. Rights to land are only one element crucial to their existence and futures.