Cultural Survival call for greater participation in global climate action

Cultural Survival

Indigenous representation is essential in moving world leaders to take immediate action on climate change and the Cultural Survival delegation is joining the Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus and other Indigenous and allied leaders in pushing policymakers for urgent and holistic responses to climate chaos.

Cultural Survival is calling for proactive efforts to centre, resource, and respect Indigenous rights, leadership, and stewardship must be prioritised in all layers of decision-making as we engage to combat climate change.

To ensure Indigenous Peoples’ rights are respected, protected, and fulfilled in the Just Transition to a green economy, Cultural Survival delegation will be advocating for Indigenous self-determination, participation, leadership, and Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in the following areas: Loss and Damage, Direct Access to Funds, Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, Human Rights and Securing Indigenous Rights in the Green Economy.

Cultural Survival’s delegation participated in the two-day preparatory meetings of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC), where over 200 Indigenous representatives from the seven socio-cultural regions discussed key issues that will be presented to negotiators, such as Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, Loss and Damage and non-economic losses impacting Indigenous identities, cultures, languages, ceremonies, livelihoods. They also discussed topics such as financial mechanisms, direct access to funding for all Indigenous Peoples, human rights-based approach, and more. During the meeting, Indigenous representatives worked on the text of the Opening Statement of the IIPFCC which was delivered at the Opening Ceremony of COP 27.

“Climate change is a matter of life and death,” said Nourene Ahmat Yaya. “State actions have fallen far short, Greenhouse gas emissions and global temperatures are increasing, threatening genocide for Indigenous Peoples in Africa, the Arctic, Coastal, Small Island and all other ecosystems.

“Indigenous Peoples’ rights are inherent, collective and internationally recognized, including rights to life, self-determination, lands and territories, food systems, and free prior and informed consent. We will not allow these rights to be diminished by conflating us with minorities, vulnerable groups or local communities.

“We have the right to full and direct participation, including our youth, women, persons with disabilities and knowledge holders, in all UNFCCC bodies and processes including the new Article 6 grievance mechanism and the creation of a new financing mechanism accessible to Indigenous Peoples from all regions and eco-systems.

“Carbon markets and offsets, geo-engineering, “Net Zero” frameworks, “Nature-based solutions”, “ecosystem services” do not cut emissions and are new forms of colonization. The NDC’s must include clear indicators for drastic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, including the accelerated phase out of fossil fuels in order to maintain the 1.5-degree Paris commitment.

“The Paris Agreement also commits States to respect, promote and consider their obligations to the rights of Indigenous Peoples in climate action. The Global Stock Take must focus on implementation of these commitments.

“We commit to real solutions based on our knowledge, practices and time-tested sciences, and the full exercise of our rights, at the United Nations and in our own territories. We will continue to work with you for the survival of our children, and yours.”

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