Esther Camac is the Regional Coordinator, Central America, of the International Alliance of Indigenous-Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forest in Costa Rica. She is also involved in Ixacavaa, a 3-year-old non-profit indigenous organization.
Ixacavaa works with indigenous leaders on plans to manage their territory. Obstacles have included language differences, a lack of access to information and government plans, and a lack of comprehension by the government about the indigenous way of life.
Ms. Camac is also a member of the Women’s International Coalition for Economic Justice where through the Continental Network of Indigenous Women of the Americas she represents Latin America and the Caribbean.
She was one of the panel members that sat on the roundtable on "Cultural Diversity and Biodiversity for Sustainable Development", convened by UNEP together with UNESCO during the WSSD in Johannesburg 2002. The roundtable underlined the importance of respecting and integrating the diversity of nature and culture as a prerequisite for sustainable development. It also examined ways and means to further the dialogue on cultural diversity and biodiversity as well as how to develop a global environmental ethic benefiting fully from the culture, knowledge and skills of indigenous peoples.
Ms. Camac has attended several conferences where she speaks on the plight of indigenous peoples. Chief among the areas of interest are mining that degrades the environment, traditional knowledge, biodiversity protection, food security for indigenous peoples and deforestation.
She highlights the need for ethical values to achieve sustainable development and stresses the link between traditional knowledge and biodiversity protection.