August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Indigenous Peoples slammed at UN Climate Summit in Poland

We, the undersigned representatives of indigenous peoples, local communities and non-governmental organizations monitoring the progress of negotiations in Poznan are outraged that the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand opposed the inclusion of recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities in a decision on REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) drafted today by government delegates at the UN Climate Conference. These four countries (often known as the 'CANZUS Group') want to include REDD in the future climate agreement, but they oppose protecting the rights of the indigenous and forest peoples who will be directly affected by REDD measures. In discussions today, these countries insisted that the word "rights" and references to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples be struck from the text.
This is totally unacceptable for indigenous peoples, local communities and supporting NGOs, as the forests which are being targeted for REDD are those which indigenous peoples have sustained and protected for thousands of years. The rights of forests peoples to continue playing this role and being rewarded for doing so has to be recognized by the UNFCCC Parties. Any REDD mechanism that does not respect and protect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities will fail. We therefore demand that an unequivocal reference to rights and to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples be reinserted into the Draft COP14 Decision text on REDD.
Poznan, December 9, 2008, Signed by The Accra Caucus on Forests and Climate Change, comprised of more than 30 civil society organizations from three tropical continents, Accion Ecologica, Friends of the Earth, International Indigenous Peoples' Forum on Climate Change, Rainforest Foundation Norway, Rainforest Foundation, UKTebtebba Foundation
Tar Sands Sign-On Letter
To: All NGO and Indigenous Organizations
From the Indigenous Environmental Network
From: Organizations at the Poznan Climate ConferenceRe: Visit of Rob Renner, Alberta Environment Minister to Poznan Climate Conference
Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner is visiting the United Nations Climate Conference in Poznan Poland in order to promote and defend the tar sands – the world's dirtiest oil.
Click Here to download sign-on letter (PDF). We are seeking ORGANIZATIONAL endorsements – not individual endorsements.
Please provide us with (a) the name of your organization; (b) contact person; (c) e-mail; and (d) telephone number Please send this information to Montana Burgess:
The letter will be released to media in Poznan; Canada; and United States on the morning of Thursday December 11, 2008. A brief media advisory will be attached to the letter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is exactly the nature of the UN process that I have been concerned about. I am interested in finding out if people have any first-hand experiences around the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. There is great concern that the UN is giving lip-service to indigenous people. It looks good on paper, but when the sandal hits the road, there is no power behind the structure where indigeny is concerned. All the documents I have read from the UNPFII include interesting supportive language about indigeny, but I am not seeing/hearing about indigenous people making bold strides through the UN. There is also a dearth of the spiritual context of indigenous life, which should be a major component when entering in to the conversation about climate change and environmental stewardship.

This report is disappointing, but not surprising. The spectre of the capitalist corporatocracy sweeps through the indigenous forest lands.