Indigenous Peoples Declare Minimum Requirements for Climate Accords

December 1, 2010 (Cancun). Indigenous delegates, representing over 360 million Indigenous Peoples from around all regions of the world, announced a number of minimum requirements for their human rights to be protected in any climate change accords coming out of the current UN Climate Change Conference.

Source: International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change

“Indigenous Peoples are on the front lines of the impacts of climate change around the world, whether we are from islands, the Arctic, forests or mountains. The threats to our survival and the violations of our human rights as a result of climate change are increasing on a daily basis. Market-based mitigation strategies such as the Clean Development Mechanism and carbon offsets, including forest offsets and REDD, further threaten our human rights, including our right to free prior and informed consent,” declared Adelfo Regino Montes, of Mexico, in the opening session of the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP 16) on Monday on behalf of the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC).

Indigenous delegates stressed that any texts adopted in Cancun must respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples, as recognized in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007. Indigenous delegates welcomed the statement by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who recognized human rights as an important part of the Climate Change negotiations, particularly the right to a clean environment.

“Countries must guarantee Indigenous Peoples’ full, effective and direct participation in all processes related to climate change, at local, national, regional and global levels,” declared Miguel Palacin, of Peru, in an address to the Long-Term Cooperative Action working group, tasked with coming up a global climate change agreement. “They must commit themselves to a global goal that ensures the planet avoids a one-degree warming, and that preserves glaciers and all forms of life on the world,” he added.

“COP 16 must produce a framework for a legally-binding outcome to be agreed at COP 17. The IIPFCC rejects the Copenhagen Accord as a totally inadequate response to the current climate crisis. We support a binding emissions reduction target for developed countries of at least 50% below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 95% by 2050,” declared Samwel Naikada of Kenya, who was meant to deliver the statement to countries assembled. However, because of a lack of time, Indigenous representatives were not allowed to read their statement to the opening session of the Kyoto Protocol working group.

Indigenous Peoples will be attending the UN Climate Change Conference for its duration, from November 29 to December 10.

– Press Contacts:

Ben Powless (+52) 1-998-108-0745 (English/Spanish)

Jason Pan – [email protected] (English)

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