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ndigenous Peoples Organisations (IPO) [DRAFT] Statement to the State Parties of the COP 11/MOP 1 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Tiohtiá:ke, Mohawk Traditional Territory, Canada

I28 November – December 09, 2005

We the representatives of Indigenous Peoples have traveled from the four directions of our sacred Mother Earth to participate in the 11th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) and 1st Session of the Meetings of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP 1) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

We are here to present our voices to the Parties of the Conference on matters that concern our special knowledge and relationship with Mother Earth and the survival of our communities and of the world. This knowledge and relationship are sacred and must be honoured, protected and loved. It is imperative that Indigenous Knowledge Systems are recognized and their important contributions respected within the body of climate sciences.

We have consistently emphasized the need to be given a space for full, direct and active participation within the official discussions of the UNFCCC meetings. We would like to recognize the work and support given to us by the late and distinguished Ms. Joke Weller-Hunter, who helped advance our participation as Indigenous Peoples in this important process. (*end?)

During the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (1995-2004), the United Nations has clearly recognized our rights to participate in the UN processes through the establishment of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).  The UN Permanent Forum, in its 2nd session, had recommended to the UNFCCC through the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to consider the establishment of the Working Group on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change for the effective participation of Indigenous Peoples [EC.19/2003/32].

We reaffirm our inherent rights over our territories, lands and resouces.  Our cosmovision strongly binds biological diversity, cultural and spiritual identity and unites our peoples with our ancestral territories. This is the fundamental basis for our existence, health and livelihoods which are being disproportionately threatened and destroyed by climate change and its consequences.

We reaffirm previous Indigenous climate declarations:

  • The Albuquerque Declaration, “Circles of Wisdom. Native Peoples/Native Homelands Climate Change Workshops”, in preparation of the COP 4, UNFCCC, Buenos, Aires, November 1998;
  • Intervention of the representative from COICA and the Climate Alliance, COP 4, UNFCCC, Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 1998;
  • Resolution of the Indigenous Organizations in the International Workshop on International Policies on Climate and Indigenous Peoples held in Geneva in 1999;
  • The Quito Declaration on Climate Change Negotiations, Quito, Ecuador, May, 2000;
  • Declaration of the First International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change, Lyon, France, September 2000;
  • The Hague Declaration of the Second International Forum of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities on Climate Change, COP 6, UNFCCC, The Hague, Netherlands, November 2000;
  • The Bonn Declaration Third International Forum of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities on Climate Change, COP 6.5, UNFCCC, Bonn, Germany, July, 2001;
  • Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Caucus Statement, COP 7, UNFCCC, Marrakech, Kingdom of Morocco, November 2001;
  • International Indigenous Peoples Caucus Statement, COP 8, UNFCCC, New Delhi, India, October 2002;
  • The Bali Principles at Bali, WSSD Prep Com 4, Indonesia, June 2002;
  • The Kimberley Declaration and the Indigenous Peoples. Plan of Implementation on Sustainable Development, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, South Africa, August 2002;
  • Milan Declaration of the 6th International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change, COP 9, UNFCCC, Milan, Italy, November 2003; and,
  • Declaration of the Indigenous Peoples Attending COP 10, UNFCCC, Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 2004.

We remind the Parties to the Conference that the “the vital role of Indigenous Peoples in sustainable development” was affirmed by the political declaration of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, 2002 in paragraph 25.

We also reaffirm the international provisions already acknowledged in other international instruments and mechanisms that ensure our participation and contribution within the discussions, such as:

  • The Rio de Janeiro Declaration on the Environment and Development (in particular Principle 22),
  • Agenda 21 (in particular Chapters 11 and 26);
  • the Convention on Biological Diversity (in particular Article 8 (j) and related provisions);
  • the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;
  • the Statement on Forest Principles and IPF/IF/UNFF;
  • Convention 169 of the ILO on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, among others.

We, the representatives of the Indigenous Peoples Organisations (IPO) present at the 11th session of the Conference of the Parties and the first session of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP 1) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, state our principles and present the following proposals on matters concerning our peoples and communities.


We call upon the members of the 11th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) and the 1st Session of the Meetings of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP 1) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change the following:

  • Recognize the efforts of Indigenous Peoples to gain support from the Parties of the Conference and seek to establish mandates to support the formation of the Ad hoc Working Group on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change for the timely, effective and adequate solutions in response to the urgent situation caused by climate change.
  • Provide the necessary support to Indigenous Peoples for their full and effective participation in all levels of discussion, decision making and implementation, and ensure that the necessary funding be provided to guarantee such participation and to strengthen their capacities.
  • Include ‘Indigenous Peoples and climate change’ as a permanent item in the agenda of the COP/MOP, and of the Subsidiary Bodies meetings with specific reference to issues including disparities and vulnerability of impact, mitigation, adaptation, poverty, social and cultural impact, and other climate change related issues.
  • Establish in-session workshops, including Indigenous experts meetings, in the five years action program of the SBSTA that facilitates the discussion of the effects of climate change on indigenous peoples. This workshop will discuss themes such as: specific impacts on fragile and vulnerable ecosystems, the interconnection between climate change and poverty, short and long term effects of the CDM, knowledge and traditional practices such as: weather forecasting capacity, participation in the evaluations of the impacts, adaptation mechanism, mutual learning about climate change and sustainable development.
  • Include Indigenous Peoples as a permanent item in the agenda of the Meetings of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP) with specific reference to disparities, successes and impact in the implementation of modalities, procedures and mechanisms for evaluation and assessment of the Kyoto Protocol and its Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) initiatives. Indigenous Peoples and their identified experts should be consistently involved in the monitoring, evaluation, and impact assessment of all interventions in or affecting Indigenous territories.
  • Incorporate in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI), principles which address transparency, free, prior and informed consent and equitable benefit sharing with Indigenous Peoples in order to accomplish the objectives of lowering greenhouse gas emissions and achieving sustainable development in developed and developing countries.
  • All development projects within Indigenous ancestral territories must respect our fundamental rights to lands, waters, territories, self-determination and ensure our right to our free, prior and informed consent. Many CDM and Sinks projects1 do not contribute to climate change mitigation and sustainable development.
  • Support the creation and adequate financing of the Adaptation Fund to be accessed by Indigenous Peoples to address the potential and actual impacts of climate change in a manner compatible with our traditional knowledge, customs, culture, lifestyles and aspirations.
  • Include Indigenous Peoples in UNFCCC capacity building initiatives and propose that special capacity building be undertaken for Indigenous Peoples. Such capacity building should strengthen our participation in climate change negotiations.
  • Implement Climate Impact Assessments which take into account Indigenous Knowledge Systems, culture, social values, spirituality and ecosystems; as well as the full and equal participation of indigenous peoples in all aspects and stages of the assessment.

Recognizing all of the above, we call upon the Parties to the UNFCCC to recognize that through the protection and promotion of Indigenous Peoples rights and through recognizing and integrating our dynamic and holistic visions, we are securing not only our future, but the future of humanity and social and environmental justice for all.

Signatories: ________________________________________________________________________

Mr. Parshuram Tamang, International Alliance Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forest

Mr. Marcial Arias, Fundacion para la Promocion del Conocimiento Indigena – Panama

Mr. Ian Aujare,Zazao Environmental Righs Organizations – Solomon Island

Mr. Johnson Cerda, Asociacion Indigena de Limoncocha – Ecuador

Mr. Crescencio Resendiz Hernandez, International Alliance Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forest

Mr. Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network

Mr. Serge Ashini Goupil, Sustainable Development Institute Assembly of First Nations Quebec and Labrador

Mr. Clayton Thomas-Muller, Native Energy Campaign, Indigenous Environmental Network

Ms Jihan Gearon, Indigenous Youth of the Climate Justice Corps

Ms. Heather Milton-Lightning, Youth Network, Indigenous Environmental Network

Ms. Anna Pinto, Centre for Organisation Research and Education

Ms. Lynn Jacobs, Kahnawake Environment Protection


1 The modalities and procedures for afforestation and reforestation project activities under the CDM do not respect and guarantee our right to lands, territories, and self-determination. Sinks are particularly troubling.  Confusing fossil carbon with biological carbon results in sinks being phantom reductions which do not actually address the problem of climate change.



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