Indigenous Peoples Condemn Exclusion from Bali Talks

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Statement of the International Forum Of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change at the High Level Segment Of the 13th Conference of the Parties

Thank you, Mr. President Chair and delegates

On behalf of the International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change (IFIPCC), I would like to draw your attention to the fact that more than 80% of the world’s biodiversity and most of the forests are found within our territories. Indigenous peoples also represent some 350 million individuals in the world and make up 90% of the world’s cultural diversity. Yet, we are suffering the worst impacts of climate change without having contributed to its creation as clearly evident in many parts of the Indigenous Peoples lands and which threatens our very survival.

We, Indigenous Peoples, have addressed our concerns to the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties since SBSTA 13 in Lyon, France, 2000. However, despite years of experience and efforts to participate in this process, and despite also the resounding support and approval this year of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we are profoundly disappointed that, even as the United Nations’ Second International Decade of Indigenous Peoples begins, states are still ignoring our demands and contributions and we have even been shut out of this Bali process. This is unacceptable.

Mr. President, the IFIPCC takes this opportunity to again reaffirm the following:

a. We demand the creation of an Expert Group on Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples with the full participation and representation of Indigenous Peoples, taking into account the example of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) that includes indigenous experts;

b. We demand the creation of a voluntary fund for the full and meaningful participation of Indigenous Peoples, such as that which exists in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD);

c. We demand that the Conference of the Parties recognize and take action to curb the adverse impacts of climate change on indigenous peoples; and to refrain from adaptation and mitigation schemes and projects promoted as solutions to climate change that devastate Indigenous Peoples’ lands and territories and cause more human rights violations, like market based mechanisms, carbon trading, agrofuels and especially avoided deforestation (REDD). All adaptation and mitigation plans affecting Indigenous communities must follow the principles of free prior and informed consent of Indigenous communities, especially those mostly impacted.

d. We demand full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples in all levels of planning, decision making and implementation of the Nairobi Five Year Programs of Work, including the SBI and SBSTA programs and that a human rights-based approach be used in this work and to engage the UN Human Rights Council to monitor the impacts of climate change mitigation and adaptation on Indigenous Peoples.

e. We demand that any financial mechanism agreed to here by the COP/MOP must be easily accessible to, and allow direct access by Indigenous Peoples noting that the Adaptation Fund is fully funded through CDM projects which cause disastrous impacts on Indigenous Peoples lands, territories, and resources, as well as violating their rights in ways that have ended up costing many Indigenous Peoples lives, and force them from their lands.

f. We request the UNFCCC to submit its reports to the 7th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in April 2008 as the main theme of this session is on climate change and Indigenous Peoples.

Mr. President, the IFIPCC sincerely believes that Indigenous Peoples have a role to play in this convention and the Protocol. It is time that we all co-operate in our efforts to address climate change in a manner that recognizes social justice, environmental integrity, indigenous and other human rights.

Terima Kasih!

1 Comment

  • I believe Terima Kasih is both reasonable in his demands and true in his statement of facts. The fact that Indigenous Peoples are not represented at a conference affecting all humankind (and all life!) reflects that arrogance of technologically degenerate (but which choose to use the term ‘advanced’) nations.

    It is this very technology of the financially richer nations of the world that is causing climate change and depletion of the earth’s resources that are conducive to life.

    Life is a web of inter-relationships. We destroy that web at our peril. If bees are killed off by ‘technologically advanced’ pesticides – how society is taken in by weasel words such as ‘technologically advanced’ – crops won’t be pollinated and people will starve.

    Humans are tampering with nature without being aware of the consequences. They are driven by curiosity and seduced by the feeling of power from discovery that they then exploit. Metal ores that are relatively innocuous in their natural form are irradiated and refined to give rise to highly toxic material that will take many, many thousands of years to decay to a level that is compatible with life. That is the inherent danger of nuclear energy!

    There is a madness loose in the world. It feeds on greed. It is rampant in the richer parts of the world, but it is spreading its cancer everywhere. As with alcoholics, the last to recognise it are those worst afflicted by it.