Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

November 29, 2011

Climate Justice: Indigenous featured at COP 17 South Africa

Censored News
Photo Climate Connections
DURBAN, South Africa – Indigenous Peoples from the US and Canada join Pablo Solon Romero of Bolivia as featured speakers on climate justice for media interviews at the UN Climate Summit COP 17 in Durban.

The Global Justice Ecology Project announced American Indians and First Nation climate activists join leaders in the social justice movements from around the world, including the Indigenous Environmental Network and La Via Campesina. The speakers include:

Former Ambassador to the United Nations for the Plurinational State of Bolivia. Before becoming Ambassador to the United Nations, Pablo Solón Romero worked as an activist for many years with different social organizations, indigenous movements, workers’ unions, student associations, human rights and cultural organizations in Bolivia.  As Ambassador to the UN, Solón spearheaded successful resolutions on the Human Right to Water, International Mother Earth Day, Harmony with Nature, and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He was the lead climate negotiator for Bolivia at the UNFCCC, and helped organize the World People's Conference on Climate Change in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2010.

REDD / Forests / Plantations / Carbon Offsets and Carbon Markets
Tom B.K. Goldtooth  -- Dińe, USA
Tom Goldtooth is the Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network and a longtime global leader in the environmental justice movement. Tom is one of the founders of the Durban Group for Climate Justice; co-founder of Climate Justice NOW!; and co-founder of the U.S. based Environmental Justice Climate Change initiative.  Tom is a policy advisor on environmental protection, mitigation, and adaptation.
Expertise: REDD/REDD+, carbon trading, carbon offsets, climate mitigation and adaptation, Indigenous Peoples rights and climate, FPIC 
Affiliations: Indigenous Environmental Network, International Indigenous Forum on Climate Change (Indigenous Caucus within UNFCCC), US-based Grassroots for Global Justice (GGJ) and Environmental Justice Climate Change Initiative
Language: English

Ben Powless – Mohawk, Canada
Ben Powless is a Mohawk from Six Nations in Ontario and on the staff of Indigenous Environmental Network.  He has a degree from Carleton University in Human Rights, Indigenous and Environmental Studies. He has worked in Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua on human rights and development issues. He is a co-founder of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition and works with the national Indigenous network Defenders of the Land.
Expertise: Indigenous Issues; Human Rights
Affiliations: Indigenous Environmental Network
Languages: English, Spanish

Daniel T'seleie K'asho Got'ine First Nation, Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories -- Canada. 
Daniel T’seleie is a Canadian Youth Delegate for Durban COP17 and coalition member of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition.  He is a 2010 Jane Glassco Arctic Fellow, lives in Yellowknife, NWT, Canada and works as Director of Lands and Environment with the Dene Nation. His previous experience has included work on climate change mitigation and adaptation with territorial and national NGOs, a photojournalist with work in Yellowknife and Iqaluit, and held policy positions with the Government of the Northwest Territories. Daniel participated in previous UNFCCC COP meetings.

François Paulette, Dene Suline, Alberta, Canada.
François Paulette is a member of the Smith's Landing Treaty 8 Dene First Nation and lives 200 miles downstream from the tar sands industry site in Alberta, Canada.  François was previously chief and vice-chief of the Dene Nation and is currently a commissioner with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), a national organization representing 630 First Nations across Canada. ‘As both a father and grandfather, François believes that the way of life for many people living in First Nation lands in Canada is quickly changing, leaving many people uncertain about the future. The drastic drop in water levels in the Athabasca River system and a lack of fresh water for drinking are the biggest concerns for aboriginal communities living downstream from the tar sands development in northern Alberta, Canada.’ François participated in previous UNFCCC COP meetings.

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance Delegation
Kandi Lea Marie Mossett (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara)
Expertise: Renewable energy, carbon emission reduction, indige- nous people’s rights, natural resource and park management, earth systems science and policy,
Affiliations: Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), North Dakota, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance,
Languages: English

Read entire list from around the world:

PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY:Indigenous Peoples' Orgs and NGOs Condemn the Diversion of Conservation and Development Funding Toward Dubious REDD projects. 

NGOs and Organizations of Indigenous Peoples (IPOs) have come together to challenge both the ethics and the effectiveness of programs for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation and enhancing forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+), and have expressed serious concerns about the diversion of conservation, development and poverty alleviation funding toward REDD+ projects and processes. These concerns has been expressed in an open letter directed toward the funding community, and will be shared at a press conference today.

UNCOP 17, Kosi Palm
15:30 (3:30 p.m.)
Indigenous Environmental Network
            Global Forest Coalition
            Timberwatch South Africa
            Global Justice Ecology Project

Jeff Conant, Global Justice Ecology Project & Global Forest Coalition:+27 (0)73 623 0619
November 29, 2011 

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