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Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Green Climate Fund, the entity established by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) to channel funds for climate change mitigation and adaption, is now in the process of finalizing its Indigenous Peoples Policy and the GCF Secretariat has just made a Call for Public Inputs to the Indigenous Peoples’ Policy.
This offers an unprecedented opportunity for indigenous peoples to engage in order to ensure that the Fund has a high-level policy based on international standards and obligations for indigenous peoples’ rights, such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC); while acknowledging the positive role of Indigenous Peoples’ traditional knowledge and livelihood systems to adaptation and mitigation, and ensuring our full and effective participation in GCF activities at all levels. Therefore the Indigenous Peoples Policy will be a crucial instrument to guide the implementation of the UNFCCC Agreements, including the Paris Agreement.
The current draft made available for consultations among indigenous peoples’ organizations captures the various and repeated calls for an IP Policy made by indigenous peoples throughout these years, and key elements contained in various submissions made to the GCF on matters that are relevant to Indigenous Peoples. These range from REDD+, the Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) to the actual Indigenous Peoples Policy, all of which have been endorsed by a relevant number of IPOs and support groups all over the regions.
We are hopeful that those that have signed on these submissions would actively collaborate in reaching out to their own constituencies, thereby ensuring a wide dissemination and consultation on this key policy. And that other indigenous peoples’ organizations engage in the consultation as well.
The elaboration of the Indigenous Peoples Policy by the GCF is also the result of ongoing dialogues and exchange between the Indigenous Peoples Advocacy Team, the GCF, and with CSOs engaged wih the GCF. The IP Advocacy Team on the GCF is composed of the following indigenous organizations from different regions: Centro para la Autonomía y Desarollo de los Pueblos Indígenas/CADPI, Nicaragua; Indigenous Livelihoods Enhancement Partners/ILEPA, Kenya; Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities/NEFIN; Tebtebba; with the assistance of team consultant Francesco Martone and support NGOs such as IWGIA (International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs) and FPP (Forest Peoples Programme).
The IP Advocacy Team has been participating in the various meetings of the GCF Board since 2015, conveying concerns and proposals in line with the above, and actively engaging in and informing advocacy efforts of CSOs in matters that are relevant to indigenous peoples. An important outcome in this matter is that in spite of the fact that Indigenous Peoples are not recognized as active observers by the GCF, Kimaren Ole Riamit of ILEPA has been designated by southern CSOs as Alternate Active Observer for the South and this has given the possibility of making the voice of Indigenous Peoples heard at the highest level within the GCF.
Please find the Call for Public Input here. This includes the inputs requested of the secretariat and the indigenous peoples Policy in the Annex. For easy reference, we copy below the specific inputs requested by the GCF Secretariat:
The GCF Secretariat is pleased to invite organizations and all entities involved and interested in climate mitigation and adaptation and indigenous peoples rights and issues to provide inputs to the proposed indigenous peoples policy of the GCF.
In particular, inputs are welcome in relation to the following:
(a) Scope and principles - Adequacy of coverage and the guiding principles of the policy;
(b) Requirements - Clarity of the requirements of the policy including impacts avoidance and management, mitigation and development benefits, meaningful consultations, free, prior and informed consent, grievance redress, and broader planning in the context of indigenous peoples;
(c) Roles and responsibilities and implementation arrangements - The roles and responsibilities of GCF, the entities and other stakeholders, and suggestions to improve the policy’s implementation including proposed arrangements;
(d) Gaps - Identifying any other areas that may have been missed and proposing ways to fill these gaps including opportunities to enhance policy outcomes and drawing from the experiences in policy delivery from similar institutions;
(e) Engagement - Identifying scope for further engagement of multi-stakeholders to continuously improve the proposed policy.
How to submit inputs/ submissions?
The official submission should clearly indicate:
Contact details including telephone and e-mail address Organization’s Focal Point (name, surname and position).
For direct submission to the GCF secretariat, the deadline for submissions is 12 August 2017 at 23:59 Korean Standard Time.
All submissions should indicate whether the inputs are provided on behalf of an organization or a group of organizations
We remain at your disposal for any request for clarification or further explanation on the GCF and the specific process of consultation of the Indigenous Peoples’ Policy.
(Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education)
1 Roman Ayson Rd., Baguio City 2600, Philippines
Tel: +63 74 4447703 Tel/Fax: +63 74 4439459
The inclusion of women, youth and indigenous children is crucial for the implementation of the Agenda 203012 July 2017, 1:56 am Written by FIMI
New York. July 10, 2017. (FIMI-IIWF). From 10 to 19 July 2017, the United Nations High Level Political on Sustainable Development (HLPF), will take place in New York with the aim of monitoring the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The theme of the session will be 'Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world.'
Accordingly, the International Indigenous Women's Forum wishes to emphasize the particular importance of the empowerment of indigenous women, youth and children as well as the mainstreaming of gender equality. In addition to this, from FIMI-IIWF should be promoted the access to quality education and health, with cultural relevance, capacity building, knowledge transmission and leadership strengthening. At the same time, our land rights, territory and resources should be also be protected, as well as recognizing and preserving our knowledge, particularly in terms of food security, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, community welfare, cultural and linguistic revitalization, intellectual protection of our knowledge and a world free of violence against indigenous girls, young people and women. To achieve poverty eradication, it is a priority to recognize the contribution of indigenous women and young people for family, local and national economies and to promote opportunities for vocational training and economic initiatives for women and indigenous youth.
To ensure an efficient and informed participation of women and young people in the implementation and follow-up of the Agenda 2030, it is essential to prioritize the actions that promote their individual and collective empowerment and invest in inclusive education, the formulation of leadership, economic autonomy and the generation of capacities in the use of the Agenda.
At the same time, the international framework favours "not leaving anyone behind" and the measures taken at the national level are essential for the reality of the 2030 Development Agenda. It requires a true recognition of the leadership role of indigenous women in transformation processes and as key actors in decisions concerning our social, economic, political and cultural empowerment to achieve a dignified life for future generations.
Finally, we hope that next year at the High Level Political Forum, all actors can present significant progress and results regarding an inclusive, equitable and participatory sustainable development, with relevance and ethnic-cultural sensitivity, in which women, youth and indigenous children are recognized as true subjects of law and actors of change.
The International Indigenous Women´s Forum - FIMI - is a network of women indigenous leaders articulated networks of local, national and regional organizations from Asia, Africa, Arctic, Pacific and the Americas. FIMI brings together indigenous women leaders and activists of the human rights of different parts of the world to agree on agendas, build capabilities, and develop leadership.
Press release based on inputs provided by Chirapaq, Center of Indigenous Cultures of Peru.
Indigenous representatives from Asia stress on guaranteeing land rights for achieving Sustainable Development Goals at the High-Level Political Forum 201712 July 2017, 1:39 am Written by Asian IP Representatives at the 2017 HLPF
New York, 10 July 2017 – Fifteen indigenous peoples’ representatives from various Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Malaysia are participating in the HLPF this year taking place at the UN Headquarters in New York from 10 to 19 July 2017 under the theme “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”. They are among the 2000-plus participants from various sectors, including governments, private sector and civil society.
“We recognize the potentials of the SDGs in addressing the issues of sustainability and inclusion of those who are at the furthest end of the social spectrum and also acknowledge the high relevance of the 2017 theme for indigenous communities,” said Kanlaya Chularattakorn of Indigenous Women’s Network of Thailand (IWNT). “In goodwill, we therefore hope that we will be heard and provided opportunities to build partnership with governments and all other relevant actors from this early phase of the SDGs.”
Poverty levels have dropped considerably in the past decades in Asia but there are great differences among and within countries with respect to the level of economic development and thus poverty. Countries such as Malaysia and Thailand are now considered middle-income economies while others, like Nepal and Bangladesh, are still classified as low-income economies.
However, like elsewhere in the world, indigenous peoples in all Asian countries have disproportionately higher poverty rates than the national average. For example, while India ranks in the middle of the UNDP Human Poverty Index of countries, the index for India’s indigenous communities as a group is comparable to that of Sub-Saharan countries that are ranked among the bottom 25. National data in many countries fail to reflect indigenous peoples’ situation on the ground, which is mainly caused by the lack of data disaggregation.
One glaring reason for indigenous peoples to remain among the poorest of the poor is because, all over Asia, the vast majority of indigenous communities have lost control over their land and resources and their own development. Many continue to be victims of historical discrimination, which is worsened by development aggression of States resulting in unceasing cycle of human rights violations. Assimilation pressure has been steadily increasing and for some groups their continued existence as distinct peoples is under threat.
“In Nepal, many development projects, such as hydropower and road expansion, taking place on our ancestral lands without our Free, Prior and Informed Consent destroy our sacred places, cultural heritage and livelihood security,” stated Tahal Thami of Lawyers’ Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP). “In a report submitted by Indigenous Peoples’ Network for SDGs in Nepal on the implementation of SDGs in Nepal, we have emphasized the need for changing development patterns and the need for recognizing our land rights if we are not to be left behind again.”
Recognition of land rights, including through native customary rights, is also a recurring recommendation that indigenous peoples have made on the National Roadmap of Malaysia concerning the implementation of the SDGs.
“Unfortunately, the SDG indicator 1.4.2 on land tenure security is currently classified under Tier III, which means that there is no standard methodology for gathering data and is still being developed,” commented Gam A. Shimray, Secretary General of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP). “This reflects the severity of the status and situation regarding collective land tenure security worldwide.”
“Setting goals can simply be setting something at the far end of the post which is difficult to be reached and keeps on multiplying as we have seen it in the case of the shift from MDGs to SDGs,” Shimray added. “Therefore, it is equally important to set the system that will allow us to reach the goals with institutions, policies and programmes in place, which are most favorable and accessible to indigenous communities and other marginalized groups.”
During the HLPF 2017, 44 countries including 11 countries from Asia have volunteered to be part of the Voluntary National Review process. These countries will be presenting the progress of SDGs planning and implementation at their country levels. Indigenous peoples in Asia are using the opportunity of the HLPF to assert their land rights and be included in the planning and implementation of the SDGs, particularly at the national and sub-national levels.
For more information, please contact:
Oisika Chakrabarti, Ph: +1 646 781-4522; Email: oisika.chakrabarti[at]unwomen.org
Sharon Grobeisen, Ph: +1 646 781-4753; Email: sharon.grobeisen[at]unwomen.org
Maria Sanchez, Ph: +1 646 781-4507; Email: maria.sanchez[at]unwomen.org
(New York, 5 July)—The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka for a second term as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women) for a period of four years.
“This renewed term is our opportunity to reflect constructively, build our momentum, and surge ahead. In these years we are going to be putting our new Strategic Plan 2018-2021 into practice, supporting Member States and our diverse partners to accelerate their implementation of the 2030 Agenda with gender equality and women’s empowerment and full realization of their rights at its heart; we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of our establishment; and we will drive hard towards this and the other key milestones of 2020 as a firm platform for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” said Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka.
The Secretary-General's decision came following consultations with Member States and the Executive Board of UN Women. The two-day annual session of the Executive Board had met earlier the previous week to fine-tune the strategic planning for the next four years, expressing its confidence in UN Women’s vital mandate and strong leadership.
Commenting on progress to date, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka emphasized the high calibre and commitment of UN Women’s staff: “Their energy and dedication keep us going through all the challenges, and make our organization what it is. Together with Member States and all our partners, we are fiercely ambitious for the women and girls of this world, and positive that greater equality bears fruit for all,” she said.
Under Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women has played a significant role in ensuring that women were put front and centre of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and that the responsibility of ending gender inequality became everyone’s responsibility. She established game-changing movements such as HeForShe that engages men and boys. She has been influential in transforming conversations and knowledge on the most important issues affecting women’s lives such as discriminatory laws, unequal pay and unpaid care work, violence against women, disenfranchisement, and conflict and humanitarian crises, through flagship programming that coordinates response through the UN system. Through this she has broadened the base of both state and non-state actors that influence transformative and irreversible change.
Before joining UN Women, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka worked with women and girls in different capacities in civil society and as a public representative. Her work has focused on political and economic rights as well as girls’ education; her experience includes promoting gender equality for women in both the private and the public sectors. She was involved in her country's struggle against Apartheid. As World YWCA coordinator for young women’s programmes, she worked with young women all over the world.
Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka was the first woman to hold the position of Deputy President of South Africa from 2005 to 2008. She initially became a Member of Parliament in 1994, chairing the Public Service Portfolio Committee. She was Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry (1996-1999), Minister of Minerals and Energy (1999-2005), and briefly served as acting Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology in 2004. In all her portfolios she was actively involved in policy and legislation that impacted positively on the lives of women and girls. She holds a PhD in technology-based education.
Warm greetings from the International Indigenous Women’s Forum.
We would like to share with you and our sisters in the region that since 2016, FIMI has been actively working on its institutional strengthening. This has included increasing the number of members of the Board, and a selection process to hire an Executive Director for FIMI.
After reviewing all applications, the Selection Committee and Board Members agreed by consensus to name our sister María Teresa Zapeta as FIMI’s Executive Director. The decision was based on Teresa’s experience, knowledge and high commitment with the realities of indigenous women, and with FIMI’s goals and mission. Teresa will end her role as program Coordinator, and start working as Executive Director starting July 3rd, 2017.
Our sister, Teresa is an indigenous Maya K’iche woman from Guatemala. She has been involved in indigenous women’s struggle for years. We know she will continue with her commitment and vision in her new role. We are grateful for your support, from each of the networks, which will ensure a better performance in her duties.
We would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment as a global and strategic partnership with each of our allies. We aim to continue this mutual strengthening and support process, at the regional and global levels. We appreciate your support and collaboration to continue to coordinate efforts in a sustainable manner, jointly advocating for the advancement of all indigenous women in the world.
We hope to keep connected. We will keep you updated with opportunities and regional and global information.
Tarcila Rivera Zea
Indigenous Women's Network of Thailand and AIPP submit shadow report to UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women20 June 2017, 1:40 am Written by IWNT and AIPP
Despite an estimated population of 1 000 000 Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in Thailand (50% of which are women), the government does not legally recognise their indigenous status, obstructing the individual and collective rights of this section of the population. The IPs of Thailand, which make up 1-2% of the national population are spread mainly across three geographical regions; the Chao Ley fisher communities in the south, small groups in the north-east and east of Thailand and the many highland peoples, or hill tribes as they are referred, in the north and north-west. Over 100 000 IPs are estimated to be without citizenship however accurate numbers are missing in both total and stateless populations.
The Indigenous Women’s Network of Thailand (IWNT) was founded in 1996 to provide a gender perspective to development activities affecting indigenous communities in Northern Thailand. On the first weekend of April 2017, IWNT facilitated 27 indigenous women (IW) to gather in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for a National Consultation in preparation of this report. The National Consultation provided a forum for the participants to identify their main causes of concern in regards to the implementation of the CEDAW at the national level and the following report is a consolidation of these concerns, including a lack of all women in politics and decisions making, and a total invisibility of indigenous women in state structures.
In September 2016, the new Thai Constitution was voted in favour of by the Thai population via referendum (although since then, the King has signed a different, unseen version of the Constitution). Despite IPs submitting proposals for specific legislation for the promotion of the rights of IPs and these recommendations making it into the drafting process, this draft of the constitution was rejected. The failure of the State to formally recognise Thailand’s indigenous population has a series of implications for the indigenous women of Thailand and facilitates their ongoing discrimination. As a result, IW face a lack of access to basic social services, including; education, health care including sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care, access to information and justice, among other things.
Indigenous women are continually excluded from participation in the country’s development plans. The IW participants, during the consultation, raised that despite them being at the forefront of the effects of climate change and having already played a key role in the development of adaptation and mitigation, they were continually left out of national land local-level climate change strategies. Another policy issue raised was that of the zoning of national parks and world heritage sites over indigenous territories in recent years having had negative impacts on the well-being of indigenous communities. These policies and practices have had a specific impact on the indigenous women of Thailand, yet the Thai Government overlooks them but failing to acknowledge their indigeneity/ethnicity and the intersectional discrimination that they experience.
Ultimately, the IW of Thailand believe that their experiences can be greatly improved alongside the legal recognition of Indigenous Peoples and their rights as embodied in international human rights instruments, particularly the UNDRIP and especially their collective right to their lands, territories and resources. Whilst this is not the only recommendation that was to come from the national consultation, it was the underpinning foundation for all subsequent recommendations and was highlighted as the priority for the IW participants.
However, the realisation of legal recognition alone is not enough to truly change the conditions for indigenous women, and Indigenous Peoples in general. In addition, this report calls for: the right to citizenship of Indigenous Peoples, including their equal access to basic social services such as education, health and employment; recognition that that human trafficking is a systemic problem, specifically affecting indigenous women and focus on prevention strategies rather than palliative means of combating trafficking; a targeted and appropriate education programme for all indigenous children; establishment of a specific mechanism for full and effective participation of indigenous women in the ongoing country reforms and constitution drafting process; strengthen the office of the national ombudsman for Indigenous Peoples; ensure Indigenous Peoples’ lands are protected and Indigenous communities are adequately consulted in all matters affecting them; and finally, evaluate and align all legislation and government programs with the CEDAW and the UNDRIP.
This alternative/shadow report is divided into three sections. The first which looks at articles 1-5 and compares the reality for indigenous women in Thailand to that of the situation as presented by the State Report in 2015, including the impact of existing laws and policies on the elimination of discrimination, realisation of human rights and negative stereotyping. The second section, inclusive of Articles 6-14 focusses on three main issues facing the indigenous women of Thailand, according to the priorities set out by the participants of the National Consultation. The first issue being that of trafficking and prostitution of indigenous women (Article 6); the second focusses on the situation of IW in regards to their basic social services, mostly stemming from their lack of access to citizenship (Articles 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 16); and finally the third section which looks at land rights and natural resource management (Article 14). These categories, and everything documented within them regularly intersect to create a unique set of obstacles for indigenous women in Thailand.
You can download the report here.
Source: Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact
(24 May 2017)-Equal rights and opportunities for women are not only matters of justice and dignity. When women and girls have equal rights in law and practice, their communities and countries also benefit. Indigenous and rural women make up more than half of the 2.5 billion people who customarily own and use the world’s community lands, yet they have been largely absent from discussions of women’s property rights and broader development agendas.
A new analysis from RRI provides an unprecedented assessment of 80 legal frameworks regulating indigenous and rural women’s community forest rights in 30 developing countries comprising 78 percent of the developing world’s forests.
The report reveals that governments are not providing equal rights and protections to indigenous and rural women, and are failing to meet their international commitments to do so. The findings also show that secure community land rights and the legal advancement of women often go hand in hand. Simply put: legal frameworks acknowledging communities as forest owners also provide the greatest protections for women’s rights.
Indigenous and rural women have made major gains in asserting their rights and strengthening their communities despite the absence of legal protections, yet this progress and the forests they protect are vulnerable. Scaling-up progress to respect community land rights and achieving the host of benefits community ownership provides to global development and climate goals can only be realized if women’s rights within communities are recognized and respected. Securing women’s rights to community lands therefore offers the most promising path toward peace, prosperity, and sustainability in the forested and rural lands of the world.
Case Studies Accompanying the Report
- Indonesia is one of only two countries assessed that does not guarantee women equal protection under the constitution. Inequitable laws and the expansion of agribusiness threaten the customary practices of many communities who treat women as equals in managing customary lands and resources.
- In Liberia, the promise of Africa’s first female president has fallen short: across the country, community and rural women have been cut off from the decision-making processes that affect them. Many are losing the lands and resources they rely on.
- In Peru, women are raising their voices to call attention to their unique role as forest managers, and advocate for full participation in land titling projects that would affect them.
See more at: http://rightsandresources.org/en/blog/power-potential-new-report-womens-rights-community-forests/#.WSzMW2fa7IU
Open Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on the Operationalization of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform18 May 2017, 5:52 am Written by IISD Reporting Services
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 IIPFCC, inter 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.
ENB on the Side
Coverage of Selected Side Events at the Bonn Climate Change Conference
Issue No. 8 - Wednesday, 17 May 2017
Events covered on Tuesday, 16 May 2017
Visit our IISD/ENBOTS Coverage for Tuesday, 16 May 2017, at: http://enb.iisd.org/climate/sb46/enbots/16may.html
United Nations, 5 May 2017 — The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues concludes its 16th session today with the adoption of a report including recommendations for States, UN bodies and indigenous peoples. The Forum pointed out progress in realizing the rights of indigenous peoples since the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ten years ago, but also voiced serious concerns about lack of implementation in many countries and emphasized the need for concrete action at the national and local levels.
More than 1,000 indigenous peoples’ representatives attended the session from 24 April to 5 May 2017 at UN Headquarters in New York. The main theme of the Session was the 10th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted in 2007. The Permanent Forum also discussed follow-up to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (2014), Implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the situation of indigenous human rights defenders and the empowerment of indigenous women and youth.
”When indigenous peoples enjoy their rights and well-being, then the society as a whole is healthier and a better place for us all,” said Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine, the Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Noting actions taken by some States to put into effect the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, she said, ”This is positive news. It shows that there is cooperation between Member States and indigenous peoples to uphold indigenous peoples’ rights.”
Despite the advances, “progress has been far too slow; much more needs to be done,” said the Chairperson. Alarming numbers of indigenous peoples experience encroachment on their traditional lands and territories, displacement and dispossession as well as harassment, threats and killing of indigenous human rights defenders. Adequate consultative mechanisms by Governments and the private sector, respect for indigenous lands and territories, and protection of indigenous human rights defenders are among the most pressing demands made by indigenous peoples’ representatives at the Session.
Since the establishment of the Permanent Forum, its annual sessions have fostered dialogue and cooperation between indigenous peoples and Member States. At its closing, the Permanent Forum called for concrete actions and commitments to achieve the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in spirit and in practice.
The rapporteur’s advanced, unedited version of the report of the 16th session will be available at www.un.org/indigenous, after it is adopted, with the official document expected in June. The report will be presented to the Economic and Social Council in July 2017.
For more information, please see www.un.org/indigenous.
Victoria Tauli Corpuz, the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and former Chair of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, recently talked with UN Women about engaging indigenous women in climate action during the 16th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (24 April – 5 May, 2017). The Forum marked the 10-year anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and hosted a side event on indigenous women.
Ten years since the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, what is the status of indigenous women now? Where have you seen the most progress and where are the gaps?
The most significant change in the past ten years since the Declaration was adopted, is that indigenous women have strengthened their organizations and networks. They are more engaged—and more number of indigenous women are engaged—in UN and intergovernmental processes. For example, this year was the first time in sixty years that the UN Commission on the Status of Women—the largest intergovernmental gathering on women’s rights—focused on indigenous women’s issues.
While indigenous women have mobilized themselves at national, local, regional and international levels, glaring gaps remain in terms of resources allocated for their participation, and in terms of their access to adequate sexual and reproductive health services. Majority of indigenous peoples live in remote areas, and when there are cut backs on women’s rights, even lesser funds or services trickle down to these areas.
Indigenous women and girls are disproportionately impacted by violence, including trafficking. This is not a problem only in the poorer countries; it is happening even in richer countries like the United States of America. During my visits to the USA as the Special Rapporteur, I heard of many cases of trafficking and violence against women around oil exploration and fracking areas. When I was in Australia, I visited detention centres for women and found that majority of the incarcerated were aboriginal women.
How is climate change impacting indigenous women?
Many indigenous women are farmers, they work the land and rely on the land for food security. Their ability to produce food and income for their families has been severely impacted by the intense climate variability that we see now. When I speak to indigenous women, they say how no one remembers such frequent and severe rainfall, floods or drought. In some places, the average rainfall they would expect to get in three months, now come in a span of three days.
I was in Peru recently, where growing quinoa is a major source of nutrition and income for indigenous women. Due to much lower than average rainfall, quinoa production has gone down.
Indigenous women live in some of the most fragile ecosystems—whether they are in the highlands or the arctic or the low-lying islands—and these areas are dramatically impacted by climate change. As disasters are on the rise, so is the care burden of indigenous women.
Why is it important to engage indigenous women in climate change mitigation and action?
Indigenous women possess intimate knowledge about their lands and are uniquely capable of mitigating climate change. In my community in the Cordillera region in the Philippines, women are breeding seeds that can withstand the frequent floods and drought.
Many Indigenous women are more familiar with the lay of the land since they are working on the land every day. They often know where the safe zones may be, when disaster strikes. Conversely, the levels and frequency of disasters these days are unprecedented, and when indigenous women are not involved in disaster risk reduction, they may be at a disadvantage. When disaster strikes, they are the ones in charge of getting the children, the elderly and the sick to safety.
How are indigenous women strategizing for action on climate change? Can you give us some examples?
It is crucial to engage women in both risk reduction and in disaster response, and get their views about how to mobilize the communities. We have partners who have worked with the Maasai women in Kenya who used to make and sell charcoal. But now they are earning better livelihood using their traditional bead-making skills, and reducing the cutting of trees to produce charcoal.
Similarly, in Peru, the Amazonian women have decided to develop and sell natural dyes, to reduce the pressure on the forest for their livelihood.
What policies and actions are needed to protect and empower indigenous women in climate action?
Effective implementation of the Declaration not only means protecting the rights of indigenous women, but enabling them to contribute towards the solutions of some of our present-day challenges. Most governments are still prioritizing large scale development and infrastructure that bring more revenue. But the dominant economic paradigms are at odds with the rights of indigenous peoples.
We need to enact policies that ensure equal involvement of indigenous women in climate action. Any climate change adaptation and mitigation discussion must involve indigenous women, because they have different perspectives than men, on critical issues, ranging from food security and safe water access to renewable energy and disaster relief.
*Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the Expert, and do not necessarily reflect the official UN Women position.