In this 36th session of UNFCCC SBI, we are fully aware that the body has a wide range of issues under its consideration. We would like to ensure the inclusion of specific concerns relevant to Indigenous Peoples.
We are among those most impacted by climate change. The issues of approaches to address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts, national adaptation plans, and funds for adaptation and least developed countries are of utmost importance and must be addressed with our full and effective participation. In relation to these issues, we reiterate the need for recognition of our traditional knowledge, which we have sustainably used and practiced for generations; and the need to integrate such knowledge in global, national and sub-national efforts. This knowledge is our vital contribution to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
As to the assessment of implementation, the SBI should ensure that national communications implement commitments to the Convention, including adequate systems of information on safeguards. These systems should include information on the respect for the knowledge and rights of indigenous peoples, by taking into account relevant international obligations and instruments, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ILO Convention 169. Such system should also report on the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples. It should also report on actions that are consistent with the conservation of natural forests and biological diversity, and on how social and environmental safeguards are implemented.
We call for more effective collaboration and synergy in the implementation of the commitments under the UNFCCC, together with other UN agencies and bodies, such as UNPFII, as well as multilateral banks and funding agencies, with policies and guidelines on Indigenous Peoples.
Since the early COPs and intersessionals, Indigenous Peoples have been actively calling for mechanisms that would allow the inclusion of our voices, solutions and knowledge in climate change decision-making at all levels. To further improve existing mechanisms for the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples, we make the following recommendations:
- The setting up of an Indigenous Peoples’ Expert body which would act as a technical advisory body and a consultative resource during negotiations and contribute to the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all UNFCCC subsidiary bodies, activities, mechanisms and programmes.
- A technical support unit for Indigenous Peoples’ issues and indigenous focal points in the UNFCCC Secretariat should be established under the Adaptation, Technology Transfer, Capacity Building, and Science Programmes.
- The UNFCCC should facilitate the participation of indigenous peoples in climate policy-making and negotiations through the establishment of a voluntary trust fund, building on the functions and format of the trust fund set up at the CBD.
- Existing UN Indigenous mechanisms such as the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII), the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (SRIP), should be proposed as UN Observers with participation at UNFCCC meetings.
We believe that this is the opportune time for the Parties to strongly consider our proposals because we Indigenous Peoples, are on the frontlines of climate change and our voices and our knowledge is needed for successful strategies for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ FORUM ON CLIMATE CHANGE (IIPFCC)
Statement to the UNFCCC- Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI)
25 May 2012, Bonn, Germany