Open Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on the Operationalization of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform

18 May 2017, 5:52 am Written by  IISD Reporting Services
Published in Latest News
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Presented by the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

This open multi-stakeholder dialogue convened as part of the process to develop the local communities and indigenous peoples platform (LCIP platform), established by Decision 1/CP.21 (Adoption of the Paris Agreement). Carlos Fuller, Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), and Grace Balawag, International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC), co-chaired the discussion.

During the opening session, Fuller said the establishment of the LCIP platform during COP 21 confirmed that parties recognize the need to strengthen knowledge, technologies, practices and efforts of LCIPs to address and respond to climate change. He applauded the opportunity provided during the dialogue to exchange experiences and share best practices on mitigation and adaptation in a holistic and integrated manner, and emphasized that the dialogue will contribute to articulating clear functions and the structure of the new platform. Balawag welcomed the opportunity for knowledge and experience exchange between all stakeholders, and urged a rich conversation that will provide the basis for a “robust new structure” in order to benefit all LCIPs across the globe.

In a keynote address, Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC, said LCIPs are the stakeholders who best understand the impacts of climate change, as they are “fighting on the frontlines.” Noting that neither the Paris Agreement nor the LCIP platform can succeed without LCIP stakeholders submitting their views, she urged representatives to ensure their “voices are heard” during the dialogue.

During the second session, the panel discussion was moderated by Stephen Leonard, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), during which participants discussed existing experiences with the involvement of LCIPs and with the use of traditional knowledge (TK).

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, IIPFCC, provided examples of indigenous peoples’ participation in UN bodies, including in: the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and the Working Group on Article 8(j) (TK) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). 

Douglas Nakashima, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said that UNESCO envisions a platform that brings together elements of scientific and indigenous peoples’ knowledge to co-produce “best available knowledge.” He shared examples of UNESCO’s approaches for incorporating indigenous knowledge into its procedures.

Jyoti Mathur-Filipp, UN Development Programme (UNDP), shared UNDP’s 25 years of experience collaborating with indigenous peoples through the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP). She stressed that 15% of the GEF’s small grants support indigenous peoples.

During the third session of the dialogue, the UNFCCC Secretariat presented on submissions received on the purpose, content and structure of the LCIP platform, concentrating on three possible interconnected functions: providing a space for exchange of experiences and sharing of best practices; building capacities of LCIPs to effectively engage in the UNFCCC and other relevant processes, including supporting implementation of the Paris Agreement; and facilitating the integration of diverse knowledge systems, practices and innovations, and the engagement of LCIPs in relevant climate change-related actions, programmes and policies. 

LCIP representatives, on behalf of the IIPFCCinter alia: urged parties to promote and recognize the sustainable practices of indigenous peoples, and encouraged the establishment of “creative links” within the UNFCCC; called for ensuring LCIPs’ full and effective participation; called attention to the need for adequate funding to support LCIPs; emphasized the importance of capacity building to enable indigenous peoples to make a contribution at the international level; stressed that indigenous youth and women require “special measures and targeted attention” to ensure effective transmission of intergenerational knowledge; and called for knowledge exchange in a context-based manner. 

Many countries and other entities provided inputs as well. The CBD said that the success of the Working Group on Article 8(j) lies in the nomination of an indigenous co-chair. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the platform should strengthen the connection of LCIPs with the UNFCCC for a meaningful and informed partnership. UNESCO called for knowledge exchanges between LCIPs and scientists that are more holistic and take into account social and cultural components.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNSRRIP) emphasized the “inextricable link” between respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and their capacities to contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as disaster preparedness and management. Emphasizing linkages between the platform and the Sustainable Development Goals, she stressed the need to look at traditional resource management systems to deal with knowledge exchange in a holistic and integrated manner.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature(IUCN)stressed the need to build LCIPs’ capacities to participate in climate policies and actions at the national and international levels. Women and Gender said the platform could serve to preserve TK.

The EU underscored the importance of building on relevant experiences within the UNFCCC and learning from experiences in other international contexts. New Zealand expressed support for the LCIP platform’s aim to give indigenous peoples an active role in helping shape climate action.

Ecuador looked forward to the platform’s operationalization, highlighting LCIPs’ “special relationship” with Mother Earth. Canada called for: indigenous peoples to be self-represented in the platform; enhancing interconnectedness among TK and other knowledge systems; and acknowledging losses already experienced by indigenous peoples. 

Antigua and Barbuda highlighted her country’s legislation mandating LCIPs’ representation in domestic and international processes. Emphasizing the importance of TK systems for global action on mitigation and adaptation, Norway noted that “the best results come when indigenous peoples have been included and are taking the lead.” Costa Rica called for a coordination mechanism to share knowledge and information on climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.

Australia said information presented during the dialogue should feed into the platform. Bolivia called for: the establishment of a participatory mechanism on indigenous peoples; meaningful intercultural knowledge exchange among indigenous peoples of the world; and horizontal inter-scientific dialogue among indigenous peoples and established scientific systems. Peru said nationally determined approaches to implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) could be shared through the platform.


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Issue No. 8 - Wednesday, 17 May 2017

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