Archive for the Climate Justice Declarations from Around the World Category

PAN AFRICAN CLIMATE JUSTICE ALLIANCE CALLS FOR 1C

Posted in Climate Justice Declarations from Around the World with tags , , , on February 25, 2010 by Cory Morningstar

PAN AFRICAN CLIMATE JUSTICE ALLIANCE

African Climate Justice Manifesto

We, the undersigned people and organizations of Africa, call on the Heads of State and Government representing the nations of Africa to embrace the cause of climate justice, and to ensure outcomes to the climate negotiations that implement the Kyoto Protocol and ensure the full, effective and sustained implementation of the UN Climate Convention.

Africa stands on the frontline of climate change. Across our continent, in villages, in towns, on coastlines and deep in the heart of Africa, people battle daily with a growing climate crisis. Our rivers run dry. Our crops turn to dust. Seasons shift and change. The effects of climate change are reflected in the expectant eyes of hungry children. In the lengthening footsteps of women carrying water.

Across Africa, a growing congregation of people suffers starvation and disease while others, after freeing themselves from the grip of grinding poverty, are shackled again by an increasingly hostile climate. It is a cruel irony indeed that a people who have lived for so long in harmony with nature, imprinting the lightest of carbon footprints on the earth are now suffering and living in abject poverty due to the damaging effects of greenhouse gases emitted by developed countries.

The effects of climate change are real, we are seeing the consequences; but they are not of our making. For over two centuries the industrialized world became wealthy by drenching the atmosphere in carbon. They plundered resources from every region of the world. On mountains of coal and oil, they built cities of plenty. In great buildings they constructed while triggering the climate crisis they shelter from its effects. Those left outside are now told seek another path to prosperity, while the sun beats down, or a perfect storm – not of their making – gathers on the horizon.

Responsibility for the causes and consequences of climate change lies principally with the developed countries. More than 70% of CO2 from industrial sources was emitted by the 20% of people living in the industrialized world. Africa’s contribution is less than 4% but still home to close a billion people. It’s the industrialized world emissions that occupy the atmosphere and consume the capacity of oceans and forests in Africa and elsewhere to absorb greenhouse gases.

The developed countries seek to continue their excessive emissions, while neglecting their historical responsibilities. Based on their current proposals, the 20% of people living in developed countries would consume over 60% of the Earth’s atmospheric space (historically to 2050) while the 80% who are poor will be consigned to live within the remaining 40%. Through a global carbon market, the wealthy would purchase more of the South’s fraction to “offset” their pollution.

Economists from the developed countries have valued the Earth’s atmospheric space or “emissions budget” annually at more than a trillion dollars. At stake in the climate negotiations is among the biggest distribution of resources among rich and poor countries in modern history. As said by one official, “olden-day land-grabs are replaced by modern-day sky-grabs”.

To achieve their objectives, developed countries are seeking to end rather than implement the Kyoto Protocol, in violation of international law, while they build a new treaty under the Bali Action Plan. They propose global goals that risk untold suffering in Africa, while offering insufficient emission reductions, and inadequate funding. Expectations are downgraded. Processes are delayed. Pressure is mounting on developing countries. Those who suffer the injustice of climate change are encouraged to be “constructive”, while those who caused it “divide and rule” through new country categories (e.g. “most vulnerable”), or offers of early – but profoundly inadequate – finance, or other means.

We, the undersigned people and organizations of Africa, call for a fairer and more science-based solution to climate change. We, as Africans, stand ready to play our part. But cooperation must be based on justice. Climate protection cannot be negotiated and our development cannot be sacrificed. We see the Earth’s atmosphere as a shared “global commons” that should be fairly enjoyed by all – including the poor, future generations and all of life. The people of Africa have a right to a fair share of this commons and to the means to live well within it.

As the basis of this approach, we call on developed countries to honor a two-fold climate debt to developing countries:

  • We call on developed countries to acknowledge they have already used more than a fair and sustainable share of the Earth’s atmospheric space. They must repay their debt through deep domestic emission reductions and by transferring the technology and finance required to enable us to follow a less polluting pathway, without compromising our development (an emissions debt).
  • We call on developed countries to compensate us for the adverse effects of their excessive historical and current per-person emissions, which are burdening us with rising climate-related costs and damages (an adaptation debt).

The outcomes agreed at the climate negotiations in Copenhagen must ensure that developed countries address their historical responsibilities and debts, while implementing the Kyoto Protocol (through the Kyoto Protocol negotiations) and the Climate Convention (through the Bali Action Plan). To advance the interests of Africa they must at a minimum secure the following demands:

  1. 1. A double deal in Copenhagen: “Save the Kyoto Protocol”. Copenhagen must deliver a double deal: 1) a legally binding agreement to implement the Kyoto Protocol; and 2) an agreed outcome to implement the Climate Convention under the Bali Action Plan. Developed countries must honor their legally binding obligations for a second period of commitments under the Kyoto Protocol commencing in 2013. We oppose the efforts of developed countries to end rather than implement the Kyoto Protocol and to undermine the fundamental principles of the Climate Convention.
  1. Mitigation: “Rich countries to cut over-consumption and pollution”. Developed countries’ historical emissions are denying Africa its fair share of atmospheric space. To curb the growth of their emissions debts, developed countries must halve their emissions by 2017 and go beyond carbon-neutral well before 2050. They must do so under the Kyoto Protocol. The United States, which continues to refuse to join the Kyoto Protocol, must find a solution under the Convention and Bali Action Plan. We oppose any effort to appropriate Africa’s fair share of atmospheric space or to create a global carbon market to buy a further share.
  1. 3. Adaptation: “Compensate for climate harms”. Developed countries’ historical emissions are contributing disproportionately to climate change and its adverse effects on Africa. The costs of climate change have been grossly underestimated. Damage from disasters, droughts and other adverse effects in Africa are rising rapidly. To limit and repay their adaptation debts, developed countries must compensate Africa for the full costs of: 1) avoiding harms (where possible); 2) actual harm and damage; and 3) lost opportunities for our development. We oppose any effort to establish adaptation as an obligation not a right, or to use adaptation as a means to divide or differentiate between developing countries.
  1. 4. Finance: “Polluter not poor pays”. Developed countries have prospered through “cheap carbon” growth while externalizing their costs to the atmosphere and to developing countries. The costs are now born by Africa, as we mitigate and adapt to a crisis we played little role in causing. To avert a climate catastrophe and enable mitigation, adaptation and technology transfer to developing countries, developed countries must make available financing of more than 5% of their GDP. We oppose efforts to shift the burden of financing away from developed countries and towards developing countries or the market. We oppose the creation of “unsupported” or “market” NAMAs (actions) as inconsistent with the Convention.
  1. 5. Technology transfer: “Transfer the tools to adapt and develop”. Curbing global emissions within a decade requires technology transfers on a scale never before considered. We need a Marshall Plan for Africa and for the Earth. Developed countries must remove intellectual property rights and pay “full incremental costs” of technology transfer to protect developing countries and to peak and decline global emissions. As stated in the Convention, the extent of developing countries’ implementation depends on developed countries’ implementation of financing and technology. We oppose efforts to sell rather than transfer technologies, or to strengthen rather than relax Intellectual property rights.
  1. 6. Institutions: “Equitable and accountable to Africa”. We call for new and enhanced institutions under the Conference of Parties. We must move beyond the donor-driven arrangements of the past to build institutions accountable to all.  We call for the following:

  • o Adaptation. To enhance action on adaptation, we demand: 1) a new Subsidiary Body on Adaptation; 2) an Adaptation Fund under the Convention; and 3) a Work Programme on Adaptation.
  • o Technology. To enhance action on technology, we demand: 1) a new Subsidiary Body on Technology (an Executive Body); 2) a Technology Fund under the Convention; and 3) Technology Action Plans in all sectors and all stages of the technology cycle.
  • o Finance: To enhance action on finance, we demand: 1) an enhanced Financial Mechanism (and Operating Entity); 2) an Executive Board and Trustees; 3) funds for adaptation, mitigation, technology and forests.

We oppose efforts to extend the role of the World Bank or Global Environment Facility. In light of their donor-driven governance, and the persistent concerns of developing countries, these should be “rolled over” into new and accountable institutions under the authority of the Conference of Parties.

  1. 7. Other issues: “Fair not false solutions”. We oppose the use of false and unfair measures by developed countries. They must not shift burdens to developing countries, or seek to “divide and rule” the countries of the South, or to penalize developing countries through trade or other measures.  We oppose the creation of global carbon markets or sectoral trading mechanisms, by which the developed countries will take more of Africa’s rightful share of atmospheric space.
  1. Shared vision: “Keep Africa Safe”. We call for a shared vision that keeps Africa safe. We demand binding global goals for: 1) finance of more than 5% Annex I GDP; 2) technology transfer to peak and decline global emissions; and 3) adaptation compensation at full costs. These global goals must secure the full repayment of climate debts. And they must be sufficient to keep temperature increases on the African continent well below 1°C (as a 1.5°C temperature rise in Africa will have devastating effects, and as Africa will warm around 1.5 times the global average). We oppose a goal of “less than 2°C” as threatening Africa with catastrophic harm.

The outcomes of the Copenhagen climate conference must advance Africa’s interests. Africa must sign no suicide pact. Our longer-term interests must under no circumstances be sacrificed to short-term financing or to “beggar thy neighbor” outcomes that pursue the interests of some developing countries at the expense of others.

We call on our leaders to stand in solidarity with the leaders of any nation who seek a solution to climate change that is founded on justice, builds on the best available science, and ensures the well-being of Africans and other peoples and countries. We will stand in solidarity with you.

For more information please contact:

Mithika Mwenda
Coordinator
Pan African Climate Justice Alliance

C/o All Africa Conference of Churches
Waiyaki way
P.O.Box 14205 00800 Westlands, Nairobi
Kenya.
Tel: +254-20-4441483, 4441338/9
Fax: +254-20-20-4443241,4445835
Cell: +254724403555
Email: info@pacja.org
Web: http://www.pacja.org

Climate Change POST COP15 | TIME TO BE BOLD

Posted in Climate Justice Declarations from Around the World, DEMAND A REAL DEAL FOR THE NEXT COP | SIGN THE PETITION with tags , on February 14, 2010 by Cory Morningstar

SUBMISSION TO THE COPENHAGEN CONFERENCE ON CLIMATE CHANGE: TIME TO BE BOLD

DOWNLOAD THIS SUBMISSION (PDF)

Overview

The time for procrastination about climate change has long since passed; the world is in a state of emergency and further inaction is gross negligence. The actual and anticipated impacts of climate change as well as the unintended consequences of climate change, and the short-term and long-term effects that are known and yet to be known have all contributed to the state of emergency. Any denial of the state of emergency, is eclipsed by the moral imperative, and legal obligation to abide by the precautionary principle.

Solutions for the state of emergency depend upon the political will to address climate change within the complexity and interdependence of issues related to: guaranteeing human rights, including the human right to food, to drinking water, to sanitation and to health; ensuring social justice; protecting and conserving the environment and ecosystems; reducing the ecological footprint and moving away from the current over-consumptive model of development; and preventing war and conflict.

While the threat of climate change has been obvious to most scientists for five decades, the industrialised world – the major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions – has refused to acknowledge, let alone address the urgency of the crisis. Industrialised nations have been heavily influenced by financial, media and industrial corporations, corporate front groups, industry-funded academics, as well as by citizens that deny the science, all of which have tried to cast doubt on the reality of human-caused climate change.

As stated in the precautionary principle in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing methods to address the threat. All member states of the United Nations have a legal obligation to abide by the precautionary principle. There is consensus among scientists that the threat to climate change is caused by anthropogenic activity, and that there is a global emergency. THIS CONSENSUS IS SUFFICIENT to justify invoking the precautionary principle.

Corporate-controlled states have failed not only to address the urgency of the crisis by enacting effective legislation, but also to even seriously consider – let alone invest in – the resources needed to protect their own coasts and citizens as well as the poorest and most vulnerable states and people from the current and future impacts of climate change.
In addition, those who have created and most benefited from the carbon economy have failed to consider the need to assist the low-lying states and small island developing states that have already been impacted by climate change. They have also failed to acknowledge any responsibility, or to provide compensation for the widespread displacement of people resulting from climate change. These impacts are all considered externalities by policy-makers who continue to subsidize fossil fuels while ignoring the burgeoning economic health, environmental and social costs of climate change.

In Copenhagen, rather than adopting a minimalist lowest common denominator approach to setting climate targets and time frames, member states of the United Nations must acknowledge the science of dwindling glaciers, increasing atmospheric turbulence, desertification, ocean warming and acidification and rising sea levels, and adopt strong, effective, and mandatory targets and time frames to address the urgency.

The UNFCCC is ratified by 192 countries – representing near universal membership – it commands near universal support and its legitimacy is unquestioned. The UNFCCC stated: “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere must be at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. This level equates to a target of below 1°C, which is the point at which global systems on land, water and air will be so affected as to create vicious feedback cycles and destabilise many ecosystems and human societies.

The Global Humanitarian Forum Climate Change Human Impact report that summarised data including that issued by WHO on the impacts states that in 2009, 325 million people were seriously affected by climate change (based on negative health outcomes), and there were 303,000 deaths as a result of climate change. It predicts that in 2030, 660 million people a year will be affected by climate change and that 471,500 people will die from climate change. 98 % of those affected and 99% of deaths come from the developing world. The start year for the data is 1980 in terms of impacts. That equates to nearly 13 million deaths by 2030, and billions affected. This period is merely the start of the climate change impact. Without action the deaths will increase exponentially after climate change takes grip in post 2030. This disregard for the lives of others is paramount to criminal negligence. **

Because of the global urgency, there must be the political will to strive to contain the rise in temperature to less than 1°C above pre-industrial levels. and strict time frames must be imposed, so that overall global emissions will begin to be reversed as of 2010. There must be a global target of 30% below 1990 levels by 2015, 50% below by 2020, 75% by 2030, 85% by 2040 and 100% below by 2050, while adhering to the precautionary principle, the differentiated responsibility principle *, and the fair and just transition principle. ***Under the Framework Convention, every state signatory incurred the obligation to conserve carbon sinks; thus the destruction of sinks, including deforestation and elimination of bogs must end.

Most scientific work today has become tied to the failing negotiations and is based on keeping the risk of a rise in temperature above 2 °C at about 5-40%. The proposal submitted, here, by the Global Compliance Research Project is based on trying to avoid a rise in temperature above 1 °C and returning atmospheric CO2 back to 278ppm in line with the obligations outlined in the UNFCCC by 2050 and bringing risk down to a minimum.

If the dangerous level is to be avoided, emission pathways to eliminate CO2 must arrive at the pre-industrial level of 278 ppm at least by 2050.

Currently under consideration as a target in brackets

[Only if the CO2 levels are not beyond 278 ppm will the rise in temperature be maintained below 1°C which has been assessed by many scientists as being the danger level. To succeed in being below the dangerous 1°c, member states of the United Nations must commit to  remove  between 1105.62GTCO2 and 1842GT CO2 from the atmosphere (see table 1). The initial removal phase should start in 2010 and run to 2020, with a research program to determine the required GT GHG to be removed to achieve 278ppm of CO2 by 2050 and socially equitable and environmentally safe and sound methods of CO2 reduction. By the latest in 2020, between 36.85 GT CO2 yr-1 and 61.42 GT CO2 yr-1 must be removed. In the period 2010-2020 natural carbon sinks must be restored.

Emission reductions should be based on global caps for emissions of GHG and must follow a smooth path as shown in Graphs 1, 2 and 3. Carbon elimination must not be used to offset reduction targets, and must be done through socially equitable and environmentally safe and sound methods. Greenhouse Gas Emissions resulting from Destructive land use practices including in the rural, the urban and peri-urban environment must end. Deforestation must end and developing nations whose development will be affected must be compensated. There must be caps on yearly emissions of GHG as per table 1 and graphs 2 and 3 and as required for the 1°C target. Current research only shows cumulative emission budgets for a 2 °C target, the targets in this submission are based on trying to not be above a 1 °C target.] ****

The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet developmental and environmental needs of developing countries and of present and future generations. All states must embark immediately on time-bound phasing out of fossil fuels and of subsidies for fossil fuel. The unconventional extraction of oil from Bitumen, such as in the process in the tar/oil sands, is a major contribution to greenhouse gas and must be prohibited. In addition there must be a phase-out of biofuel and nuclear energy and an end to the subsidizing of biofuel and of nuclear energy, and a time-bound commitment to conservation, and to subsidizing and investing in socially equitable and environmentally safe and sound renewable energy, transportation, agriculture, forestry etc. options, that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The transition to a zero carbon society should meet the needs of all nations and people in an equitable fashion and should be based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibility, human rights and social justice. To achieve this end the industrialized states and major greenhouse gas producers must be prepared to enter into binding obligations not only through targets and time frames but also through funding mechanisms. This fund could be named Fund for the Implementation of the UNFCCC, and it would fund socially equitable and environmentally safe and sound energy renewable energy, transportation, agriculture and forestry. This fund would replace the GEF as the main source of funding for the UNFCCC.

The dominant greenhouse gas-producing and emitting states should be compelled to finance this international fund. Funds traditionally distributed not only through the GEF but also through the Bretton Woods institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and additional bilateral funds, such as those in the German Fund for International Climate Initiative, should be channelled through this global fund. This fund would be indispensable for preventing climate change, and for achieving the objectives of the UNFCCC.

Additional funds must be derived from reallocation of global military expenses, including budgets and arms production and sales. Part of this fund could be allocated to compensate states damaged in any way by the failure of industrialized states to discharge obligations under the UNFCCC and other legal obligations.

Other budgetary sources for this Fund would be the redirecting of subsidies from socially inequitable and environmentally unsound non-sustainable energy to socially equitable and environmentally safe and sound renewable energy, transportation, agriculture, forestry etc.

In addition, measures to alleviate the impacts of climate change must include the cancellation of the outstanding debt of developing states, and the implementation of the minimal long-standing commitment of 0.7% of GDP being transferred to Overseas Development (ODA). The ODA must serve the needs not of the developed states but of the developing states. Any shortfall in funding should be bolstered by increased ODA by nations that inequitably gain an advantage from historical emissions or reduction scenarios that are not in line with the principle of equity.

All these funding measures could only just begin to compensate for the “emissions debt” owed, by the developed states to the developing states.

The impact, of climate change on the world’s poor, on indigenous peoples, vulnerable communities, and especially low-lying states will be the greatest, and they must be assisted by Industrial states, which have a legal and moral imperative, to provide funds for socially equitable and renewable energy, transportation, agriculture, forestry etc.

In addition, major greenhouse gas-producing states must be forced to implement the actions that would discharge the obligations incurred when they signed and ratified the UNFCCC (provisions of the UNFCCC have become international peremptory norms and as such are binding) and be forced to repay the emission debt. Historic emissions should be calculated and an assessment made of the degree of dereliction of duty in the implementation of the UNFCCC. From these assessments, provisions must be made to compensate the states that have been most damaged by the failure, of the major greenhouse gas emitting states, to discharge obligations under the Convention. In such cases, a fund should be set up to assist vulnerable states in taking delinquent states to the International Court of Justice.

“Market-based” or “market centre” approaches, which are being proposed by developed states must be opposed because they will serve neither the needs of developing states nor the objectives of the UNFCCC

The mandate of the Commission on Sustainable Development has been eroded. Its mandate was originally to ensure effective follow-up to Agenda 21, and other UNCED obligations and commitments. The Commission on Sustainable Development, in light of the failures of its current format, should be upgraded to a Council, which would be able deal with new or emerging environmental threats, and with on-going threats, such as climate change, which requires continuous intervention. Also too often at the Commission on Sustainable Development, serious polices, which would address the urgency are thwarted by the requirement to reach consensus, and serious consideration must be given to a different negotiation process and requirements.

Entrenched immovable national interests that have impeded the Commission on Sustainable Development must be prevented from blocking the adoption, in the UN General Assembly, of a strong legally binding agreement on climate change, Article 18 of the Charter of the United Nations reads: “Decisions of the General Assembly on important questions shall be made by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting. These questions shall include recommendations with respect to the maintenance of international peace and security.” Undoubtedly, the impact of climate change could be deemed to fall under this category. In Copenhagen, given the urgency of the issue of climate change, and its potential effects on the global population and on the political, economic, ecological and social global systems, the requirement for consensus must be waived, and a binding agreement on all states will be deemed to exist, if 66 % of the states concur. It is possible that a majority of the member states could agree to a strong legally binding “Copenhagen protocol” to the UNFCCC. A strong Protocol to the UNFCCC could then be used against the delinquent states, and a case could be taken to the International Court of Justice under the UNFCCC, which has been signed and ratified by 192 states, even most of the delinquent states including Canada and the US, have signed and ratified the UNFCCC.

In addition, the practice of anglocentricity must end, and full translation in the six official languages must be provided, not only in the plenary but also in all working and negotiating groups. In the working groups and in the plenary, the disproportion of interventions and domination by the umbrella groups and individual nations must no longer be permitted.

* Lack of IPCC Updated Report

The last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report is from 2007 and that much of the research could be as over four years old. Most recent scientific evidence indicates that the impact of climate change is happening much more rapidly than expected. Apart from the serious concerns about the emerging data the fact that the new IPCC report is due to be issued in the start of 2010 after Copenhagen is troubling.

** Canadian common law provides useful guidance. Environmental negligence suits focus on compensation for loss caused by unreasonable conduct that damages legally protected interests. Unreasonable conduct means doing something that a prudent or reasonable person would not do, or failing to do something that a reasonable person would do. The plaintiff must establish certain key elements of the tort— cause in fact and proximate cause, damages, legal duty, and breach of the standard of care. Note that fault may be found even in the case of unintended harm if it stems from unreasonable conduct.

The Criminal Code (Section 219) is even clearer that lack of intent to harm is no defence if damage results from conscious acts performed in careless disregard for others: “Everyone is criminally negligent who (a) in doing anything, or (b) in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do, shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons” (where ‘duty’ means a duty imposed by law). Significantly, Section 222(5)(b) states that “a person commits homicide when, directly or indirectly, by any means, he causes the death of a human being, by being negligent (emphasis added).”

(Dr. Bill Rees, Is Canada Guilty of Criminal Negligence?)

** The differentiated responsibility

Developed nations have a duty to abide by the differentiated responsibility principle. At the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) every member state adopted Principle 7 of the Rio Declaration. This principle states that:

States shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth’s ecosystem. In view of the different contributions to global environmental degradation, States have common but differentiated responsibilities. The developed countries acknowledge the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit to sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the global environment and of the technologies and financial resources they command. (Principle 7, Rio Declaration)

This principle was also reaffirmed in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Acknowledging that the global nature of climate change calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response, in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and their social and economic conditions,

Given that principle 7 of the Rio Declaration was adopted by all states, and that the similar principle in the preamble of the UNFCCC was affirmed by 192 State, the principle can be deemed a peremptory norm and thus legally binding on all states.

Thus when percentages are referred to in this Climate Change Statement, the assumption is that the burden for the reduction targets must fall on developed states including from their overseas corporate resource extraction. The extraterritorialism excuse, by which developed states argue that they cannot impose strict control over their corporations that function in developing states can no longer hold.

The Global Humanitarian Forum president and former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan indicate that 50 of the world’s poorest countries collectively produce less than one per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. These countries have undoubtedly been disproportionally affected by climate change, and the responsibility must be on the shoulders of the developed states.

*** The Fair and Just Transition Principle

The Fair and Just transition principle must be instituted to assist workers and communities in the transition from unsustainable to sustainable development. This principle holds that workers who are engaged in unsustainable practices that are harmful to human health and the environment, will not oppose the transition to socially equitable and environmentally safe and sound practices (SEESS), providing society offers them a fair and just transition to (SEESS).

>> Preamble

http://www.climatechangecopenhagen.org/?page_id=3

COPENHAGEN and Beyond Copenhagen|IEN ACTION PLATFORM FOR COP 15 and COP+

Posted in Climate Justice Declarations from Around the World, Indigenous Rights | Declarations with tags , , , , on February 14, 2010 by Cory Morningstar

I N D I G E N O U S  E N V I R O N M E N T A L  N E T W O R K

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RED ROAD TO

COPENHAGEN and Beyond Copenhagen

IEN ACTION PLATFORM FOR COP 15 and COP+

The goal of the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Framework Convention

on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2009 is to finish negotiations and decide what

the world will do when the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (KP) expires in 2012. The Bali Action Plan

(also known as the Bali Roadmap adopted at the UNFCCC COP 13 in Bali, Indonesia 2007) agreed upon a

comprehensive 2-year process in order to reach an agreed outcome and adopt a decision at COP 15. The Plan is

based upon “a shared vision for long-term cooperative action (LCA), including a long-term global goal for emission

reductions, to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention, in accordance with the provisions and principles of

the Convention, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities,

and taking into account social and economic conditions and other relevant factors”.

The Bali Roadmap includes measures for preserving tropical rainforests and helping poor countries adapt to a green

economy. The agreement leaves many contentious issues unresolved. The plan simply lays out a process to

negotiate the emissions targets to succeed the limits set by Kyoto Protocol (KP) in its first commitment period, which

expires in 2012. It also provides a platform to begin talks to address growing concerns about adaption, deforestation

and facilitating transfer of clean technologies to developing countries. There is a push for countries to finish these

negotiations at Copenhagen for an effective, comprehensive and equitable climate change regime beyond 2012

(called the 2nd commitment period). They want to make sure there is no gap between the 1st and 2nd commitment

period of the Kyoto Protocol (KP).

At the conclusion of the Barcelona Climate Talks in November 2009, there was hope by governmental negotiators

and some NGOs that an international legally binding agreement could still be negotiated in Copenhagen especially

with lobbying pressure and civil society actions and activism as part of an inside-outside strategy.. The Danish

government had proposed a political agreement be achieved in Copenhagen as a way to salvage something in case

a binding agreement was not agreed upon. At a recent summit meeting between U.S. president Obama and the

leadership of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in November 2009, Obama firmed the U.S. position to

delay a formal agreement until next year 2010. In a meeting with China, Obama and China agreed to come to

Copenhagen to set emission targets within a political accord, but not as part of a formal binding agreement.

However, the developing countries of G77 are coming to Copenhagen demanding an international legally binding

agreement be achieved, focusing on amending the Kyoto Protocol.

There has been an expressed need for Indigenous Peoples from the South and North to have our own Action Plan –

our own Road Map to Copenhagen. The Bali Action Plan has no mention of Indigenous Peoples or recognition of our

collective rights as indigenous peoples, including our rights to lands, territories and resources, and to ensure our full

and effective participation including free prior and informed consent on all matters relating to climate policy at subnational,

national and international levels. There is no recognition of Indigenous Traditional Knowledge (ITK) that

could be useful in mitigation and adaptation measures. We recognize the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on

Climate Change (IIPFCC) that has been active every year operating as the Indigenous Caucus within the United

Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its subsidiary bodies. Since the 4th Conference

of Parties (COP 4) of the UNFCCC, Indigenous Peoples have participated in the UNFCCC meetings. The IIPFCC,

the Indigenous Environmental Network and other Indigenous groups from every region of Mother Earth have been

active in these annual international meetings providing guidance to this Indigenous Peoples Road Map to

Copenhagen and Beyond Copenhagen.

Some of the core elements being discussed in Copenhagen COP 15:

  • · Shared Vision
  • · Carbon emissions reduction targets by industrialized countries (Annex 1).
  • · Adaptation
  • · Clean Development Mechanisms Beyond the Kyoto Protocol
  • · Measures to reduce deforestation – REDD.
  • · Moratorium on new fossil fuel development
  • · Other Platform positions

1. SHARED VISION: Shared vision political outcome paragraph to be lobbied within the

Copenhagen Share Vision section of the negotiations. This paragraph is on the priority on

Indigenous Peoples’ rights for the overarching principles of the Copenhagen outcomes.

Platform 1: Acknowledging and determined to respect international human rights

standards that establish moral and legal obligations to protect and promote the full

enjoyment of indigenous peoples’ collective rights in the context of climate change,

including their rights to their lands, territories and resources, traditional knowledge, their

free, prior and informed consent consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of

Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and their full and effective participation in all climate

change related processes at the global, regional, national and local levels.

The shared vision must acknowledge the future survival of the Circle of Life – the rights of Mother Earth –

the biodiversity and ecological systems including the survival and affirm the vital role of Indigenous

Peoples and local communities. It is the Indigenous Peoples who have the knowledge to teach the world

on how to adapt and how to ensure a paradigm shift from the current economic model of development.

The shared vision must acknowledge the historical responsibility of developed countries in terms of

causing a climate debt, which comprises an ecological, adaptation and an emissions debt. The shared

vision must emphasize the need to take into account the historical responsibility of developed countries

for the generation of emissions and their inequitable use of atmospheric space, denying developing

countries the environmental space needed for their well-being and sustainable development. Only when

the climate debt of the developed countries – their historical responsibility for both adaptation and

mitigation is addressed – will the equity principle have been fulfilled and development for all nations will

become possible.

The shared vision must provide for ambitious action to rapidly stabilize the concentrations of

greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to ensure temperature rise is well below 350 ppm (parts per million)

CO2 equivalent and for temperature rise to be limited to no more than 1.5 degree Celsius (2.7 degrees

Fahrenheit). Stabilization of GHG emissions should be very ambitious and ensure the right of all

countries and Mother Earth as we know her, to survive. The shared vision must acknowledge the

urgency for developed countries to have deeper cuts in emissions to enable adequate space for

developing countries to be effective in sustainable development initiatives and the eradication of

poverty.

The shared vision must reflect the urgency of action and must recognize the needs of Small-Island

States, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the communities of the Arctic regions. Impacts on the

Small-Island States, LDCs and Arctic communities should be a key benchmark.

The long-term global goal should focus on how to enable implementation of mitigation and adaptation

actions. The vision must include technology transfer and the provision of financial resources. Within

States where there are Indigenous Peoples, this financial and technological support should have

mechanisms for this support to go directly to Indigenous Peoples who are doing their own mitigation

and adaptation measures.

The world has recognized that climate change is happening much faster that the science has predicted

and that an ambitious and urgent response is required. The shared vision must acknowledge the need to

accelerate the pace of negotiations and seek convergence and consolidation. The long-term goal for

climate mitigation must be based upon the most recent science and the precautionary principle.

2. RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND FULL AND EFFECTIVE

PARTICIPATION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN UNFCCC

Support language to be inserted within all appropriate negotiating protocols and agreements of the

Convention (UNFCCC), its subsidiary bodies, the Kyoto Protocol and specifically advocating for

language within the UNFCCC Non-Paper 39, Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action

(AWG-LCA) under the Convention, Subgroup on paragraph 1(b) (iii) of the Bali Action Plan, language to

be supported:

Platform 2: In accordance with applicable universal human rights instruments and

agreements, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous

Peoples, and taking into account national circumstances, and legislation that is in

compliance with universal human rights standards, ensure respect for the knowledge

and rights of indigenous peoples, including their rights to lands, territories and

resources, and the rights of members of local communities and to ensure their full and

effective participation including free prior and informed consent.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) must uphold the inherent and

fundamental human rights and status of Indigenous Peoples, affirmed in the United Nations Declaration

on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and other international human rights instruments and

agreements. The term “peoples” is recognition of the fact that Indigenous Peoples are peoples with the

collective right to self-determination as recognized in the UNDRIP, and are diverse and not a

homogenous entity. UNDRIP adopted in 2007, clearly defines Indigenous Peoples are being distinct

peoples, belonging to diverse communities. This terminology is also recognized in the International

Labor Organization Convention No. 169.

On the road to Copenhagen and beyond COP15, the rights of Indigenous Peoples and recognition of the

UNDRIP must be inserted in appropriate sections of negotiated text. It is noted that most countries in

the world today, including those 144 countries who voted in favor of the adoption by the UN General

Assembly of the UNDRIP, do not have existing national legislation on Indigenous Peoples’ rights. It is

crucial that the UNDRIP is entered into negotiating text for it is recognized as the minimum international

standard for the survival, protection and well-being of Indigenous Peoples and remain as a framework

for the UNFCCC. The UNFCCC has yet to fully recognize Indigenous Peoples as key participants.

Indigenous Peoples must be fully recognized and respected in all decision-making processes and

activities related to climate change. This includes our rights to our lands, forests, territories,

environment and natural resources as contained in Articles 25–30 of the UNDRIP. When specific

programs and projects affect our lands, territories, environment and natural resources, the right of self

determination of Indigenous Peoples must be recognized and respected, emphasizing our right to Free,

Prior and Informed Consent, including the right to say “no”.

3. CARBON EMISSIONS REDUCTION TARGETS BY ANNEX 1 COUNTRIES

Platform 3: Support a binding aggregate emissions reduction target for developed

countries (Annex 1) of 49% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 95% by 2050. Support all

national and global actions to stabilize CO2 concentrations below 350 parts per million

(ppm) and limiting temperature increases to below 1.5ºc.

Within the UNFCCC, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the

Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) is the body that was formed in 2005 to discuss and eventually recommend the

scale of commitments by Annex 1 Parties (developed countries) in reducing their greenhouse gas

emissions in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. The first commitment period which

commenced in 2008 expires in 2012 (the existing Kyoto Protocol). Developing countries are frustrated

that Annex I countries are delaying in putting forward the proposed scale of emission reductions for the

second period of commitment, despite the fact that the AWG-KP has been working close to four years

now. There is a general opinion that accepts a fundamental principle that developed countries shall take

the lead in combating climate change. While Annex 1 countries are failing to make progress, small island

communities in the Pacific and communities in the Arctic regions are experiencing climate impacts now.

Indigenous Peoples must call for the most stringent and binding emission reduction targets. A growing

body of western scientific evidence now suggests what Indigenous Peoples have expressed for a long

time: Life as we know it is in danger. Western scientists tell us that climate change is accelerating, that

changes are happening faster than expected. Western science tells us that global emissions need to

peak within the next ten years. In accordance with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

(IPCC) prescriptions, it reports for all developed countries to take on reduction of greenhouse gas

emissions by 2020 in the range of 25 to 40 percent based on 1990 levels. At COP 15 in Copenhagen, one

of its goals is for the States to agree on a post-Kyoto Protocol binding emissions reduction target

agreement.

New scientific information made available since the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report shows that

changes in ocean acidification, melting of permafrost, and ice melting are happening much faster than

projected by the IPCC. Objectives must be made to reach stabilization of GHG concentrations at well

below 350 parts per million (PPM) and to limit temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees centigrade (see

below), based on pre-industrial levels, noting that emissions must peak in 2015. The IPCC report

recommends that Annex I countries must make reductions of more than 40% by 2020 and more than

95% by 2050 below 1990 levels. This supports the positions of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS),

Least Developed Countries (LDC) that are calling for 45% by 2020 and Bolivia that is calling for 49% by

2020, for the U.S. and Annex I countries to take on emission reductions significantly deeper than those

set out in the IPCC Reports. The developing countries have been demanding the U.S. and other Annex 1

countries reduce their emissions by 40% by 2020, at 1990 levels. Currently, U.S. climate legislation in the

House and Senate are proposing 6-9% reduction levels by 2020, using 1990 levels. This is unacceptable.

As Indigenous Peoples, we must raise the bar. As Indigenous Peoples, we are the guardians of Mother

Earth, and must make principled stands for the global well-being of all people and all life.

From 20 – 24 April, 2009, Indigenous representatives from the Arctic, North America, Asia, Pacific, Latin

America, Africa, Caribbean, and Russia met in Anchorage, Alaska for the first Indigenous Peoples’ Global

Summit on Climate Change. The Anchorage Declaration, which represents the collective positions of the

over 300 Indigenous Peoples’ present in Anchorage, supported the carbon emissions reduction target of

45% reduction by 2020 under 1990 levels.

Parts per million (PPM) is a way of measuring the concentration of different gases, and means the ratio

of the number of carbon dioxide molecules per million other molecules in the atmosphere. For all of

human history until about 200 years ago, our atmosphere contained 275 parts per million (PPM) of

carbon dioxide (CO2). The modern world is taking millions of year’s worth of carbon, stored beneath

Mother Earth as fossil fuels, and releasing it into the atmosphere. The planet now has 387 parts per

million CO2 – and this number is rising by about 2 parts per million every year. Scientists are now saying

that’s too much – that number is higher than any time seen in the recorded history of our planet – and

we’re already beginning to see disastrous impacts on people and places all over the world. These

impacts are combining to exacerbate conflicts and security issues in already resource-strapped regions.

The Arctic is sending us perhaps the clearest message that climate change is occurring much more

rapidly than scientists previously thought. In the summer of 2007, sea ice was roughly 39% below the

summer average for 1979-2000, a loss of area equal to nearly five United Kingdom’s. Many scientists

now believe the Arctic will be completely ice free in the summertime between 2011 and 2015, some 80

years ahead of what scientists had predicted just a few years ago.

Propelled by the news of these accelerating impacts, some of the world’s leading climate scientists have

now revised the highest safe level of CO2 to 350 parts per million.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2007 report stated that even 2 degrees C (3.6

F) above pre-industrial levels is likely to have serious impacts, especially in terms of stressing water

supplies and creating more malnutrition, disease, and drought. Through 2008, the global average

temperature had already warmed roughly 0.7 degrees Celsius, above preindustrial levels, meaning that

by some measures we’re already one third of the way toward hitting the 2 degree ceiling. And

temperatures are now rising faster than in earlier decades in the 20th century. Governments of the

world, at Copenhagen and beyond Copenhagen must decide for ambitious action to rapidly stabilize the

concentrations of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to ensure temperature rise is well below 350 ppm

(parts per million) CO2 equivalent and for temperature rise to be limited to no more than 1.5 degree

Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). Stabilization of GHG emissions should be very ambitious and ensure

the right of all countries and Mother Earth as we know her, to survive.

4. ADAPTATION

Platform 4: Indigenous Peoples call for effective, well-funded adaptation safety nets, at

the domestic and international level for Indigenous Peoples. A common, but

differentiated mitigation strategy is needed to protect indigenous Peoples, who in many

regions, in both developed and developing countries are most vulnerable to climate

change and who currently are experiencing climate related impacts.

The Bali Action Plan: paragraph 1 (c) on “Enhanced action on adaptation” which spells out the need for

urgent implementation of adaptation actions is now being discussed under the Ad Hoc Working Group

on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA). While all agree on the need for adaptation measures,

differences appear among countries on two counts: a) the question of responsibility and b) where the

money is to come from. Within these debates, the issues of adaptation by of our indigenous

communities are not being adequately addressed – neither at the international nor national (domestic)

level.

Adaptation to climate change is vital: its impacts are already happening, as observed by our Indigenous

Peoples from the Arctic regions, to the hunters and gatherers of North America, to the people of the

Pacific Rim and oceans, to the Indigenous Peoples of Latin America, Africa, Asia and Russia. Shortages of

water and food, increased strength of tropical storms, coastal inundation, acidification of the oceans,

droughts and changing spread of disease vectors will all lead to greater risks to health and life for billions

of people, particularly our land-and-water-based indigenous communities in both developed and

developing countries.

There are many options and opportunities for countries to adapt, with adjustments and changes

required at every level: community, national and international. Appropriate adaptation strategies

involve a synergy of the correct assessment of current vulnerabilities to climate change impacts; use of

appropriate technologies; and information on traditional coping practices, diversified livelihoods and

current government and local interventions. National and international adaptation strategies could

benefit from knowledge of community-based adaptation measures and local coping strategies of our

indigenous communities.

Frameworks for setting up adaptation funding must be linked to GHG emissions, based on the polluter

pays principle, with criteria established for contributions and for prioritization of resources. Adaptation

funding mechanisms must be prioritized for meeting the adaptation needs of Indigenous Peoples – from

both developed and developing countries.

5. CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISMS (CDM) – Beyond Kyoto Protocol

Platform 5: Industrialized countries will need to meet their obligations for financial

transfers in a way that is independent from and additional to their emission reduction

obligations. Several non-offsetting public and other funding mechanisms to help

developing countries reduce emissions and adapt to climate have recently been

proposed for the post-2012 regime. Carefully constructed public and other fund-based

approaches must replace offsetting in any post-2012 international agreement that stands

a chance of pulling Mother Earth back from climate disaster.

The CDM was established under the Kyoto Protocol with the stated aims of reducing the crisis of cutting

greenhouse gas emissions in industrialized countries (Annex 1 developed countries), and promoting

sustainable development in developing countries. Under these carbon-emission trading regimes,

developed industrialized countries of the North can earn credits to offset against their emission targets

by funding clean technologies, such as solar power, mega-hydro electric dams, in poorer countries of the

global South. Countries can also claim credits for planting trees that soak up CO2 – so-called carbon

“sinks”. The offset buyers – industrialized country companies, energy and oil transnational corporations

and governments – use the credits to show compliance with Kyoto Protocol-mandated emissions

reductions. The Kyoto Protocol also provides for “Flexible Mechanisms” – which are mechanisms for

countries to reach their emission targets without actually reducing emissions at home. These include

emissions trading – where one country buys the right to emit from another country which has already

reduced its emissions sufficiently and has “spare” emissions reductions.

Unfortunately, since the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, mechanisms such as the CDM has failed

to meet either of its goals and emerging concerns that it is undermining the effectiveness of the Kyoto

Protocol. A significant proportion, perhaps the majority of CDM credits are from projects that do not

actually reduce emissions. Some projects applying for the CDM are causing serious social and

environmental harm, and human right violations. There are increases in reports of the implementation

of CDM having structural flaws and cheating by project developers.

Other concerns with CDMs are: offsetting will provide little, if any, benefit to Least Develop Countries

(LDCs) and Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS); unfair share of climate burden for developing

countries; CDM is fundamentally biased towards larger developing countries and double, triple and even

quadruple counting of offsets. Many developed countries have clearly stated their intention to use

financial flows from carbon offsets as an excuse to escape from their financial obligations to developing

countries for mitigation and adaptation under the UNFCCC Convention and the Bali Action Plan.

Developed countries plan to double count their international offsets b y ; (1) counting emission

reductions from offsets in a developing country as meeting the developed country’s mitigation target,

and (2) counting financial flows from offset projects as fulfilling the developed country’s financial

obligations to developing countries. There is even potential for triple and quadruple counting. Triple

counting comes from developed countries counting any climate-related financial flows toward their

official development assistance (ODA) obligations. Quadruple counting would come into play when both

a developed and a developing country claim emission reductions from the same offset project as

mitigation in each respective country, even though a reduction can only actually occur in one location.

Deep emissions cuts by industrialized countries will be necessary in the years after the first phase of

Kyoto expires in 2012, as will much larger financial flows to support shifts towards low-carbon

development paths in developing countries (and for helping these countries lessen the impacts of

climate chaos). For all the reasons described above, it is clear that the CDM will undermine these goals if

it continues as an offsetting mechanism beyond 2012. Industrialized countries will need to meet their

obligations for financial transfers in a way that is independent from and additional to their emission

reduction obligations. Carefully constructed fund-based approaches must replace offsetting in any post-

2012 international agreement that stands a chance of pulling Mother Earth back from climate disaster.

6. REDD (REDUCING EMISSIONS FROM DEFORESTATION AND FOREST

DEGRADATION) and REDD Plus

Platform 6: As a result of lack of guarantees and assurances that the rights of Indigenous

peoples are recognized, we call for the suspension of all REDD/REDD+ initiatives in the

territories of forest dependent Indigenous Peoples and local communities within

developing countries until such a time that Indigenous Peoples’ rights are fully

recognized and promoted. Indigenous Peoples’ land, forests and natural resource rights

must be recognized prior to the inclusion of forest dependant Indigenous Peoples and

local communities’ lands, territories and forests in REDD/REDD+ and carbon offset

schemes.

Indigenous Peoples recognize the position of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate

Change (IIPFCC), which reiterates that Indigenous Peoples have been, and continue to be, the primary

guardians of forests. For generations, Indigenous Peoples have managed to utilize forests resources in a

sustainable manner. Forests have not only provided shelter and food to Indigenous Peoples; they also

form the basis of many cultures, and have various spiritual and cultural values for us that cannot be

expressed in monetary values. In addition, many of the forests being considered for utilization in

REDD/REDD+ (Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Desertification) and other carbon trading and

offset mechanisms are located within our ancestral lands and territories.

It is recognized that many Indigenous Peoples within the forested regions, at the grassroots level are in

opposition to the commercialization and commodification of forests and recommend that Parties and

other key stakeholders involved in the UNFCCC and other international and national climate policy and

mitigation initiatives be educated to understand the different, holistic world view of Indigenous Peoples

and to understand the different values that forests have for Indigenous Peoples and for humankind.

Climate change mitigation and sustainable forest management must be based on different mindsets

with full respect for Nature, and not solely on market-based mechanisms. It must be acknowledged that

the trading of carbon means the ownership of atmosphere and privatization of air that conflict with

indigenous spiritual values, cosmovisions and worldviews. REDD is a property right issue concerning

forests and carbon. With some indigenous communities it is difficult and sometimes impossible to

reconcile with traditional cosmovision beliefs the participation in REDD and carbon offset projects that

provide monetary benefits for use of traditional knowledge, payments from a commodification system

and compensation for environmental services.

Other concerns with REDD/REDD+

There are other issues to be resolved concerning the implementation of REDD/REDD+ (see an IEN report

booklet on REDD). Some of these are: alternative mechanism for financing for REDD, taking the carbon

market out of the conservation of forests; concerns with a potential reality that REDD will always remain

a component of the carbon market, with opinions that the money behind it was always going to come

mainly from industrialized countries and large corporations looking for more pollution licenses to enable

them to delay action on climate change; concerns that even the technical structure of REDD reflects its

market orientation(REDD posits a numerical climatic equivalence between saving forests and reducing

the burning of fossil fuels. This equation is indefensible scientifically. Its only function is to make different

things tradable in order to generate fossil fuel pollution licenses. A non-market REDD would not need to

claim this false equivalence between biotic and fossil carbon); concerns that REDD will always be a

speculative plaything of the financial markets – to the detriment of the climate and human rights alike;

concerns that already, the biggest investors in carbon credits are not companies that need them in order

to meet their government-regulated pollution targets, but Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs;

concerns with methodologies to calculate emissions reductions; concerns on the question of who owns

the forest and the carbon in the trees; concerns with how REDD is utilized by northern countries to

mitigate and meet their emission reduction targets and how this offsetting of their emissions in the

North creates toxic hotspots to local communities and violates the rights of Indigenous Peoples of the

North; concerns with how the provisions of the UNDRIP and the standards of FPIC would be recognized

and implemented at the national and sub-national level, whereby in some countries, the rights of

Indigenous Peoples and rights to land are not recognized; concerns that if REDD is used to offset

emissions in the developed world, then it would flood the carbon market, depress carbon prices and

slow the transition to clean energy.

Platform 7: As Indigenous Peoples continue to question and resist the implementation of

REDD, it is recognized that many REDD/REDD+ initiatives are being fast-tracked by the

UNREDD Program and the World Bank. In these situations, Indigenous Peoples must be

empowered, as part of continuous Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) processes, to

decide whether and how they wish to participate within the REDD framework, ensure the

full recognition of their collective rights in such participation, and build further capacity

in order to ensure continued full and effective participation within the REDD framework.

Parties must implement the standards of FPIC and the principles of full and effective

participation a n d in accordance with universal human rights instruments and

agreements, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous

Peoples.

Indigenous Peoples further acknowledges the potential participation of Indigenous Peoples who decide,

through a process of FPIC, to participate in REDD and carbon offset initiatives. We recognize that

Indigenous Peoples are diverse communities with differing values and needs occupying different types

of forests. We affirm that Indigenous Peoples have the right and capacity to decide whether their lands

should be considered for REDD/REDD+ or other carbon offset projects. In these cases, Indigenous

Peoples must be empowered, as part of continuous FPIC processes, to decide whether and how they

wish to participate within the REDD and other carbon offset frameworks, to ensure the full recognition

of their rights in such participation, and to build further capacity for full and effective participation, and

benefit sharing within the REDD and carbon offset frameworks as the most natural guardians of the

forest lands.

Platform 8: Related to REDD+, we are demanding the public and other funding

mechanisms for REDD be directly funded rather than tied to the carbon market. This

would ensure for more environmental integrity. Forest conservation and protection of

forest biodiversity can be funded by non-carbon offset mechanisms, including

adaptation activities related to forests. The following points must be considered:

1. A publically fund-based mechanism that allows for equitable distribution of funds.

2. Not allow for off-set mechanisms.

3. Able to protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local forest-dependent

communities as there is no transfer of rights of carbon ownership to the market.

4. Ensures sovereignty and national as well as local control over REDD+ activities.

5. Monoculture tree plantations not be defined as part of a sustainable forest system.

Other positions to advocate for at Copenhagen and beyond:

Platform 9: Support Indigenous Peoples’ request the UNFCCC’s decision-making bodies

to establish formal structures and mechanisms for and with the full and effective

participation of Indigenous Peoples.

Platform 10: Support Indigenous Peoples’ request that the UNFCCC organize regular

Technical Briefings by Indigenous Peoples on traditional knowledge and climate change;

Phase-Out and Moratorium of Fossil Fuels

Platform 11: Establish a process that works towards the full phase-out of fossil fuels,

without nuclear power, with a just transition to sustainable jobs, energy and

environment. We are against the expansion of and new exploration for the extraction of

oil, natural gas and coal within and near Indigenous lands, especially in pristine

environments.

Reducing carbon emissions has to mean ending fossil fuel exploration and shifting to renewable

energies. These could play a substantial role in achieving the cuts we need, but only when coupled with

a low-consumption lifestyle.

False Solutions

Platform 12: We challenge States to abandon false solutions to climate change that

negatively impact Indigenous Peoples’ rights, lands, air, oceans, forests, territories and

waters. These include nuclear energy, large-scale dams, geo-engineering techniques,

“clean coal”, agro-fuels, plantations, and market based mechanisms such as carbon

trading, the Clean Development Mechanism, and forest offsets. The rights of Indigenous

Peoples to protect our forests and forest livelihoods must be ensured.

Platform 13: We call upon the UNFCCC to explicitly exclude financial support to

monoculture tree plantations from any mechanisms, funds, investment programs,

financial facilities that may be established to address deforestation and forest

degradation.

From 20-24 April, 2009, Indigenous representatives from the Arctic, North America, Asia, Pacific, Latin

America, Africa, Caribbean and Russia met in Anchorage, Alaska for the Indigenous Peoples’ Global

Summit on Climate Change. IEN fully supports the consensus statement of the Summit that reads as

follows:

Fund to be established for Indigenous Peoples Participation in Climate Processes

Platform 13: We call for adequate and direct funding in developed and developing States

and for a fund to be created to enable Indigenous Peoples’ full and effective participation

in all climate processes, including adaptation, mitigation, monitoring and transfer of

appropriate technologies in order to foster our empowerment, capacity-building, and

education. We strongly urge relevant United Nations bodies to facilitate and fund the

participation, education, and capacity building of Indigenous youth and women to ensure

engagement in all international and national processes related to climate change.

For more information:

The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) is a member Indigenous Peoples Organization (IPO) of the

International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC). IIPFCC is the recognized Indigenous

Peoples Caucus within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. For American

Indian and Alaska Natives, Canadian First Nations, Aboriginal Peoples and Métis, and Indigenous Peoples

of the world to participate in the international UN climate talks, please contact IEN for regional (global)

contacts.

The Anchorage Declaration: http://www.indigenoussummit.com/servlet/content/declaration.html

The IEN REDD Report Booklet: http://www.ienearth.org

Reports from the UN Climate Talks by Third World Network: http://www.twnside.org.sq/climate.htm

Other Useful Information and Reports:

Friends of the Earth: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/carbon_trading_05112009.html

International Rivers Network: http://www.internationalrivers.org/en/global-warming

REDD Monitor: http://www.redd-monitor.org/

Tebtebba-Guide on Climate Change and IPs: http://www.tebtebba.org/

INDIGENOUS ENVIROMENTAL NETWORK

Main office: P.O. Box 485, Bemidji, Minnesota USA 56619

Telephone: + 1 218 751 4967; Fax: + 1 218 751 0561

Email: ien@igc.org (Tom Goldtooth, ED); ienenergy@igc.org (Jihan Gearon, NECP)

Web: www.ienearth.org

http://www.ienearth.org/docs/INDIGENOUS_PEOPLES_ROAD_MAP_TO_COPENHAGEN_Final%20November_2009.pdf

Mystic Lake Declaration on Climate Change

Posted in Climate Justice Declarations from Around the World, Indigenous Rights | Declarations with tags , , on February 14, 2010 by Cory Morningstar

Mystic Lake Declaration on Climate Change

From the Native Peoples Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop

Indigenous Perspectives and Solutions

At Mystic Lake on the Homelands of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Prior Lake, Minnesota

November 21, 2009

As community members, youth and elders, spiritual and traditional leaders, Native organizations and supporters of our Indigenous Nations, we have gathered on November 18-21, 2009 at Mystic Lake in the traditional homelands of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Dakota Oyate. This Second Native Peoples Native Homelands Climate Workshop builds upon the Albuquerque Declaration and work done at the 1998 Native Peoples Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We choose to work together to fulfill our sacred duties, listening to the teachings of our elders and the voices of our youth, to act wisely to carry out our responsibilities to enhance the health and respect the sacredness of Mother Earth, and to demand Climate Justice now.

We acknowledge that to deal effectively with global climate change and global warming issues all sovereigns must work together to adapt and take action on real solutions that will ensure our collective existence. We hereby declare, affirm, and assert our inalienable rights as well as responsibilities as members of sovereign Native Nations. In doing so, we expect to be active participants with full representation in United States and international legally binding treaty agreements regarding climate, energy, biodiversity, food sovereignty, water and sustainable development policies affecting our peoples and our respective Homelands on Turtle Island (North America) and Pacific Islands.

We are of the Earth. The Earth is the source of life to be protected, not merely a resource to be exploited. Our ancestors’ remains lie within her. Water is her lifeblood. We are dependent upon her for our shelter and our sustenance. Our lifeways are the original “green economies.” We have our place and our responsibilities within Creation’s sacred order. We feel the sustaining joy as things occur in harmony. We feel the pain of disharmony when we witness the dishonor of the natural order of Creation and the degradation of Mother Earth and her companion Moon.

We need to stop the disturbance of the sacred sites on Mother Earth so that she may heal and restore the balance in Creation. We ask the world community to join with the Indigenous Peoples to pray on summer solstice for the healing of all the sacred sites on Mother Earth.

The well-being of the natural environment predicts the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual longevity of our Peoples and the Circle of Life. Mother Earth’s health and that of our Indigenous Peoples are intrinsically intertwined. Unless our homelands are in a state of good health our Peoples will not be truly healthy. This inseparable relationship must be respected for the sake of our future generations. In this Declaration, we invite humanity to join with us to improve our collective human behavior so that we may develop a more sustainable world – a world where the inextricable relationship of biological, and environmental diversity, and cultural diversity is affirmed and protected.

We have the power and responsibility to change. We can preserve, protect, and fulfill our sacred duties to live with respect in this wonderful Creation. However, we can also forget our responsibilities, disrespect Creation, cause disharmony and imperil our future and the future of others.

At Mystic Lake, we reviewed the reports of indigenous science, traditional knowledge and cultural scholarship in cooperation with non-native scientists and scholars. We shared our fears, concerns and insights. If current trends continue, native trees will no longer find habitable locations in our forests, fish will no longer find their streams livable, and humanity will find their homelands flooded or drought-stricken due to the changing weather. Our Native Nations have already disproportionately suffered the negative compounding effects of global warming and a changing climate.

The United States and other industrialized countries have an addiction to the high consumption of energy. Mother Earth and her natural resources cannot sustain the consumption and production needs of this modern industrialized society and its dominant economic paradigm, which places value on the rapid economic growth, the quest for corporate and individual accumulation of wealth, and a race to exploit natural resources. The non-regenerative production system creates too much waste and toxic pollutions. We recognize the need for the United States and other industrialized countries to focus on new economies, governed by the absolute limits and boundaries of ecological sustainability, the carrying capacities of the Mother Earth, a more equitable sharing of global and local resources, encouragement and support of self sustaining communities, and respect and support for the rights of Mother Earth and her companion Moon.

In recognizing the root causes of climate change, participants call upon the industrialized countries and the world to work towards decreasing dependency on fossil fuels. We call for a moratorium on all new exploration for oil, gas, coal and uranium as a first step towards the full phase-out of fossil fuels, without nuclear power, with a just transition to sustainable jobs, energy and environment. We take this position and make this recommendation based on our concern over the disproportionate social, cultural, spiritual, environmental and climate impacts on Indigenous Peoples, who are the first and the worst affected by the disruption of intact habitats, and the least responsible for such impacts.

Indigenous peoples must call for the most stringent and binding emission reduction targets. Carbon emissions for developed countries must be reduced by no less than 40%, preferably 49% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 95% by 2050. We call for national and global actions to stabilize CO2 concentrations below 350 parts per million (ppm) and limiting temperature increases to below 1.5ºc.

We challenge climate mitigation solutions to abandon false solutions to climate change that negatively impact Indigenous Peoples’ rights, lands, air, oceans, forests, territories and waters. These include nuclear energy, large-scale dams, geo-engineering techniques, clean coal technologies, carbon capture and sequestration, bio-fuels, tree plantations, and international market-based mechanisms such as carbon trading and offsets, the Clean Development Mechanisms and Flexible Mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol and forest offsets. The only real offsets are those renewable energy developments that actually displace fossil fuel-generated energy. We recommend the United States sign on to the Kyoto Protocol and to the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We are concerned with how international carbon markets set up a framework for dealing with greenhouse gases that secure the property rights of heavy Northern fossil fuel users over the world’s carbon-absorbing capacity while creating new opportunities for corporate profit through trade. The system starts by translating existing pollution into a tradable commodity, the rights to which are allocated in accordance with a limit set by States or intergovernmental agencies. In establishing property rights over the world’s carbon dump, the largest number of rights is granted (mostly for free) to those who have been most responsible for pollution in the first place. At UN COP15, the conservation of forests is being brought into a property right issue concerning trees and carbon. With some indigenous communities it is difficult and sometimes impossible to reconcile with traditional spiritual beliefs the participation in climate mitigation that commodifies the sacredness of air (carbon), trees and life. Climate change mitigation and sustainable forest management must be based on different mindsets with full respect for nature, and not solely on market-based mechanisms.

We recognize the link between climate change and food security that affects Indigenous traditional food systems. We declare our Native Nations and our communities, waters, air, forests, oceans, sea ice, traditional lands and territories to be “Food Sovereignty Areas,” defined and directed by Indigenous Peoples according to our customary laws, free from extractive industries, unsustainable energy development, deforestation, and free from using food crops and agricultural lands for large scale bio-fuels.

We encourage our communities to exchange information related to the sustainable and regenerative use of land, water, sea ice, traditional agriculture, forest management, ancestral seeds, food plants, animals and medicines that are essential in developing climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, and will restore our food sovereignty, food independence, and strengthen our Indigenous families and Native Nations.

We reject the assertion of intellectual property rights over the genetic resources and traditional knowledge of Indigenous peoples which results in the alienation and commodification of those things that are sacred and essential to our lives and cultures. We reject industrial modes of food production that promote the use of chemical substances, genetically engineered seeds and organisms. Therefore, we affirm our right to possess, control, protect and pass on the indigenous seeds, medicinal plants, traditional knowledge originating from our lands and territories for the benefit of our future generations.

We can make changes in our lives and actions as individuals and as Nations that will lessen our contribution to the problems. In order for reality to shift, in order for solutions to major problems to be found and realized, we must transition away from the patterns of an industrialized mindset, thought and behavior that created those problems. It is time to exercise desperately needed Indigenous ingenuity – Indigenuity – inspired by our ancient intergenerational knowledge and wisdom given to us by our natural relatives.

We recognize and support the position of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC), operating as the Indigenous Caucus within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), that is requesting language within the overarching principles of the outcomes of the Copenhagen UNFCCC 15th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) and beyond Copenhagen, that would ensure respect for the knowledge and rights of indigenous peoples, including their rights to lands, territories, forests and resources to ensure their full and effective participation including free, prior and informed consent. It is crucial that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is entered into all appropriate negotiating texts for it is recognized as the minimum international standard for the protection of rights, survival, protection and well-being of Indigenous Peoples, particularly with regard to health, subsistence, sustainable housing and infrastructure, and clean energy development.

As Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples living within the occupied territories of the United States, we acknowledge with concern, the refusal of the United States to support negotiating text that would recognize applicable universal human rights instruments and agreements, including the UNDRIP, and further safeguard principles that would ensure their full and effective participation including free, prior and informed consent. We will do everything humanly possible by exercising our sovereign government-to-government relationship with the U.S. to seek justice on this issue.

Our Indian languages are encoded with accumulated ecological knowledge and wisdom that extends back through oral history to the beginning of time. Our ancestors created land and water relationship systems premised upon the understanding that all life forms are relatives – not resources. We understand that we as human beings have a sacred and ceremonial responsibility to care for and maintain, through our original instructions, the health and well-being of all life within our traditional territories and Native Homelands.

We will encourage our leadership and assume our role in supporting a just transition into a green economy, freeing ourselves from dependence on a carbon-based fossil fuel economy. This transition will be based upon development of an indigenous agricultural economy comprised of traditional food systems, sustainable buildings and infrastructure, clean energy and energy efficiency, and natural resource management systems based upon indigenous science and traditional knowledge. We are committed to development of economic systems that enable life-enhancement as a core component. We thus dedicate ourselves to the restoration of true wealth for all Peoples. In keeping with our traditional knowledge, this wealth is based not on monetary riches but rather on healthy relationships, relationships with each other, and relationships with all of the other natural elements and beings of creation.

In order to provide leadership in the development of green economies of life-enhancement, we must end the chronic underfunding of our Native educational institutions and ensure adequate funding sources are maintained. We recognize the important role of our Native K-12 schools and tribal colleges and universities that serve as education and training centers that can influence and nurture a much needed Indigenuity towards understanding climate change, nurturing clean renewable energy technologies, seeking solutions and building sustainable communities.

The world needs to understand that the Earth is a living female organism – our Mother and our Grandmother. We are kin. As such, she needs to be loved and protected. We need to give back what we take from her in respectful mutuality. We need to walk gently. These Original Instructions are the natural spiritual laws, which are supreme. Science can urgently work with traditional knowledge keepers to restore the health and well-being of our Mother and Grandmother Earth.

As we conclude this meeting we, the participating spiritual and traditional leaders, members and supporters of our Indigenous Nations, declare our intention to continue to fulfill our sacred responsibilities, to redouble our efforts to enable sustainable life-enhancing economies, to walk gently on our Mother Earth, and to demand that we be a part of the decision-making and negotiations that impact our inherent and treaty-defined rights. Achievement of this vision for the future, guided by our traditional knowledge and teachings, will benefit all Peoples on the Earth.

Approved by Acclamation and Individual Sign-ons.

http://cagreening.blogspot.com/2010/02/mystic-lake-declaration-on-climate.html

The Anchorage Declaration | Indigenous People’s Global Suimmit on Climate Change

Posted in Climate Justice Declarations from Around the World, Indigenous Rights | Declarations with tags , , on February 14, 2010 by Cory Morningstar

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The Anchorage Declaration

24 April 2009

From 20-24 April, 2009, Indigenous representatives from the Arctic, North America, Asia,

Pacific, Latin America, Africa, Caribbean and Russia met in Anchorage, Alaska for the

Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change. We thank the Ahtna and the Dena’ina

Athabascan Peoples in whose lands we gathered.

We express our solidarity as Indigenous Peoples living in areas that are the most vulnerable to

the impacts and root causes of climate change. We reaffirm the unbreakable and sacred

connection between land, air, water, oceans, forests, sea ice, plants, animals and our human

communities as the material and spiritual basis for our existence.

We are deeply alarmed by the accelerating climate devastation brought about by unsustainable

development. We are experiencing profound and disproportionate adverse impacts on our

cultures, human and environmental health, human rights, well-being, traditional livelihoods, food

systems and food sovereignty, local infrastructure, economic viability, and our very survival as

Indigenous Peoples.

Mother Earth is no longer in a period of climate change, but in climate crisis. We therefore insist

on an immediate end to the destruction and desecration of the elements of life.

Through our knowledge, spirituality, sciences, practices, experiences and relationships with our

traditional lands, territories, waters, air, forests, oceans, sea ice, other natural resources and all

life, Indigenous Peoples have a vital role in defending and healing Mother Earth. The future of

Indigenous Peoples lies in the wisdom of our elders, the restoration of the sacred position of

women, the youth of today and in the generations of tomorrow.

We uphold that the inherent and fundamental human rights and status of Indigenous Peoples,

affirmed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), must

be fully recognized and respected in all decision-making processes and activities related to

climate change. This includes our rights to our lands, territories, environment and natural

resources as contained in Articles 25–30 of the UNDRIP. When specific programs and projects

affect our lands, territories, environment and natural resources, the right of Self Determination of

Indigenous Peoples must be recognized and respected, emphasizing our right to Free, Prior and

Informed Consent, including the right to say “no”. The United Nations Framework Convention

on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreements and principles must reflect the spirit and the

minimum standards contained in UNDRIP.

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Calls for Action

1. In order to achieve the fundamental objective of the United Nations Framework Convention

on Climate Change (UNFCCC), we call upon the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the

Parties to the UNFCCC to support a binding emissions reduction target for developed countries

(Annex 1) of at least 45% below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 95% by 2050. In recognizing

the root causes of climate change, participants call upon States to work towards decreasing

dependency on fossil fuels. We further call for a just transition to decentralized renewable energy

economies, sources and systems owned and controlled by our local communities to achieve

energy security and sovereignty.

In addition, the Summit participants agreed to present two options for action: some supported

option A and some option B. These are as follows:

A. We call for the phase out of fossil fuel development and a moratorium on new fossil

fuel developments on or near Indigenous lands and territories.

B. We call for a process that works towards the eventual phase out of fossil fuels, without

infringing on the right to development of Indigenous nations.

2. We call upon the Parties to the UNFCCC to recognize the importance of our Traditional

Knowledge and practices shared by Indigenous Peoples in developing strategies to address

climate change. To address climate change we also call on the UNFCCC to recognize the

historical and ecological debt of the Annex 1 countries in contributing to greenhouse gas

emissions. We call on these countries to pay this historical debt.

3. We call on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Millennium

Ecosystem Assessment, and other relevant institutions to support Indigenous Peoples in carrying

out Indigenous Peoples’ climate change assessments.

4. We call upon the UNFCCC’s decision-making bodies to establish formal structures and

mechanisms for and with the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples. Specifically

we recommend that the UNFCCC:

a. Organize regular Technical Briefings by Indigenous Peoples on Traditional Knowledge

and climate change;

b. Recognize and engage the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change

and its regional focal points in an advisory role;

c. Immediately establish an Indigenous focal point in the secretariat of the UNFCCC;

d. Appoint Indigenous Peoples’ representatives in UNFCCC funding mechanisms in

consultation with Indigenous Peoples;

e. Take the necessary measures to ensure the full and effective participation of Indigenous

and local communities in formulating, implementing, and monitoring activities, mitigation,

and adaptation relating to impacts of climate change.

5. All initiatives under Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) must

secure the recognition and implementation of the human rights of Indigenous Peoples, including

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security of land tenure, ownership, recognition of land title according to traditional ways, uses

and customary laws and the multiple benefits of forests for climate, ecosystems, and Peoples

before taking any action.

6. We challenge States to abandon false solutions to climate change that negatively impact

Indigenous Peoples’ rights, lands, air, oceans, forests, territories and waters. These include

nuclear energy, large-scale dams, geo-engineering techniques, “clean coal”, agro-fuels,

plantations, and market based mechanisms such as carbon trading, the Clean Development

Mechanism, and forest offsets. The human rights of Indigenous Peoples to protect our forests and

forest livelihoods must be recognized, respected and ensured.

7. We call for adequate and direct funding in developed and developing States and for a fund to

be created to enable Indigenous Peoples’ full and effective participation in all climate processes,

including adaptation, mitigation, monitoring and transfer of appropriate technologies in order to

foster our empowerment, capacity-building, and education. We strongly urge relevant United

Nations bodies to facilitate and fund the participation, education, and capacity building of

Indigenous youth and women to ensure engagement in all international and national processes

related to climate change.

8. We call on financial institutions to provide risk insurance for Indigenous Peoples to allow

them to recover from extreme weather events.

9. We call upon all United Nations agencies to address climate change impacts in their strategies

and action plans, in particular their impacts on Indigenous Peoples, including the World Health

Organization (WHO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

(UNESCO) and United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). In particular,

we call upon all the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other relevant

United Nations bodies to establish an Indigenous Peoples’ working group to address the impacts

of climate change on food security and food sovereignty for Indigenous Peoples.

10. We call on United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to conduct a fast track

assessment of short-term drivers of climate change, specifically black carbon, with a view to

initiating negotiation of an international agreement to reduce emission of black carbon.

11. We call on States to recognize, respect and implement the fundamental human rights of

Indigenous Peoples, including the collective rights to traditional ownership, use, access,

occupancy and title to traditional lands, air, forests, waters, oceans, sea ice and sacred sites as

well as to ensure that the rights affirmed in Treaties are upheld and recognized in land use

planning and climate change mitigation strategies. In particular, States must ensure that

Indigenous Peoples have the right to mobility and are not forcibly removed or settled away from

their traditional lands and territories, and that the rights of Peoples in voluntary isolation are

upheld. In the case of climate change migrants, appropriate programs and measures must

address their rights, status, conditions, and vulnerabilities.

12. We call upon states to return and restore lands, territories, waters, forests, oceans, sea ice and

sacred sites that have been taken from Indigenous Peoples, limiting our access to our traditional

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ways of living, thereby causing us to misuse and expose our lands to activities and conditions

that contribute to climate change.

13. In order to provide the resources necessary for our collective survival in response to the

climate crisis, we declare our communities, waters, air, forests, oceans, sea ice, traditional lands

and territories to be “Food Sovereignty Areas,” defined and directed by Indigenous Peoples

according to customary laws, free from extractive industries, deforestation and chemical-based

industrial food production systems (i.e. contaminants, agro-fuels, genetically modified

organisms).

14. We encourage our communities to exchange information while ensuring the protection and

recognition of and respect for the intellectual property rights of Indigenous Peoples at the local,

national and international levels pertaining to our Traditional Knowledge, innovations, and

practices. These include knowledge and use of land, water and sea ice, traditional agriculture,

forest management, ancestral seeds, pastoralism, food plants, animals and medicines and are

essential in developing climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, restoring our food

sovereignty and food independence, and strengthening our Indigenous families and nations.

We offer to share with humanity our Traditional Knowledge, innovations, and practices

relevant to climate change, provided our fundamental rights as intergenerational

guardians of this knowledge are fully recognized and respected. We reiterate the urgent

need for collective action.

Agreed by consensus of the participants in the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate

Change, Anchorage Alaska, April 24th 2009

http://www.indigenoussummit.com/servlet/content/declaration.html

For a People’s Protocol and a People’s Movement on Climate Change (A Summary)

Posted in Climate Justice Declarations from Around the World with tags , on February 14, 2010 by Cory Morningstar

Injustice lies at the root of the climate crisis. A tiny minority of the world’s population based in the advanced capitalist countries in the North is primarily responsible for accelerating climate change that is already inflicting more death, destruction and suffering to millions of the world’s poor and disadvantaged.

In their relentless pursuit of profits, Northern corporations have burned vast and increasing amounts of fossil fuels and destroyed forests to feed energy and inputs into production, dumping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at levels that is now warming the planet and disrupting the climate. The global economic system involves the appropriation and lopsided use by a powerful global elite of the planet’s shared resources, and the disempowerment and dispossession of the majority of the world’s people. This basic social process is behind two centuries of profit-oriented capitalist growth. It bequeathed increasing prosperity and power to the Global North and private corporations through the over-exploitation of natural resources, and forced poverty, colonialism, and underdevelopment upon millions of people, who now suffer the hardest impacts of climate change despite having no responsibility for it. In the last 30 years, under the banner of free market globalization, and with the help of the IMF, World Bank, and WTO, Northern-based transnational corporations have expanded their power over Southern economies and resources, and intensified their pollution of the atmosphere and destruction of the environment.

Efforts for climate action have hitherto failed to stem the causes of climate change and bring justice to the poor and peoples of the South. Northern governments and corporations have not only refused to fully honor their historical obligation to reduce emissions and support climate actions in the South, but have exploited the climate crisis to enforce false solutions that create new profit opportunities, expand their control over natural resources, and exacerbate global warming. Powerful Northern and corporate interests have undermined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as evidenced by its Kyoto Protocol. The same powers are sabotaging current negotiations for a just post-2012 climate regime, as they stall on committing emissions cuts that the scientific evidence requires, as well as sufficient funding to cover the costs of adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. They are also aggressively pushing for an agreement that would require developing countries to take on binding emissions cuts, or worse, abandon multilaterally-determined binding emissions commitments altogether.

We, the people, need a platform that raises real solutions, registers our voices, and articulates our demand for social justice. Real solutions go beyond “business-as-usual” technology- and market fixes along which powerful interests have set and confined the climate agenda. Real solutions require the reallocation of the world’s resources between and within nations for equity and social justice; the reversal of neoliberal globalization; the restoration of people’s sovereignty over resources, economies, and institutions; and the compensation by corporations and the Global North of the poor and peoples of the South for the losses they are forced to bear as victims both of climate change and the social system that is behind it. Socially just solutions also make for scientifically and ecologically sound ones. Using natural resources equitably and democratically, and supplanting the drive for private profit with the fulfillment of social needs as the principal economic goal will reset human society’s relationship with the environment on a far more sustainable path.

We need a people’s movement to advance our solutions. Solving the climate crisis requires far-reaching social transformation. Unequal patterns of power behind such injustices as poverty, hunger, exploitation, and colonialism are the same ones that have caused ecological destruction and climate change. And as with other injustices, the climate crisis and its roots can only be dealt with through political struggles by the people. We need a grassroots-based people’s movement on climate change to promote the people’s agenda on climate action and social transformation, fight for solutions that secure justice and democratic rights for the people, and challenge efforts from powerful elite and corporate interests that seek to divert and undermine our movement.

http://peoplesclimatemovement.net/component/content/article/13/86-for-a-peoples-protocol-and-a-peoples-movement-on-climate-change-a-summary

Coral Triangle group calls for massive emissions cut

Posted in Climate Justice Declarations from Around the World with tags , , , , , , on February 14, 2010 by Cory Morningstar

Coral Triangle group calls for massive emissions cut

Posted at 02:06 on 20 November, 2009 UTC

The six member countries of the Coral Triangle group say that developed countries should reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2015.

Environment ministers from the group’s members – Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand, East Timor and Solomon Islands – have been in Honiara this week for the fifth Coral Triangle Initiative senior officials meeting.

The Solomons Minister for Environment Gordon Darcy Lilo says they have identified three critical threats to their marine ecosystem: sea-level rise, ocean acidification and coral bleaching.

With a new secretariat for the group being established in Indonesia, Mr Lilo says the Coral Triangle countries have been galvanised into a major drive for action on climate change.

“In spite of the fact that 53 percent of the whole world coral are within this triangle, if we continue the current practices that we are doing, there is no reason for us not to believe that they are at threat, because the sea-level rise that is happening right now is also changing the growth of the corals and is affecting the whole marine ecosystem.”

Gordon Darcy Lilo

News Content © Radio New Zealand International
PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand

http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=50436

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