Statement of International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) SBSTA Contact Group Meeting

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12 Nov. 2013, Warsaw, Poland
Thank you co-chairs, for this opportunity to speak on behalf of International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC).
We would like to reiterate that most of the remaining forests in the world today, are found in indigenous peoples’ customary-owned or managed territories, lands and resources. Therefore, any decision on our lands and forests, should not in anyway, interfere to our fundamental rights. In this context, we would like to put forward the following recommendations:

    We would like to express our serious concern regarding the pre-ambular paragraph on livelihoods in Annex 5. The term “livelihoods” inherently encompasses the ways of life of indigenous communities, therefore implying that traditional livelihoods “may be dependent on activities related to drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.”As many indigenous communities around the worldhave demonstrated that traditional livelihoods are not related to drivers of deforestation. Rather, indigenous peoples’ traditional forest conservation and management practices have contributed both to adaptation and mitigation of climate change. Our livelihoods need to be acknowledged as part of the solution, not part of the problem.Therefore, we would like to request the parties to rephrase the paragraph and make it clear that forest-related traditional livelihoods of indigenous peoples do not cause deforestation.

Non-carbon benefits should be valued properly and should be defined within a human rights framework including respect and recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples to lands, territories and natural resources. It must also take into account our unique world-views, traditional knowledge, customary governance systems and our immeasurable cultural and spiritual values.

The methodological guidance on non carbon benefits and Safeguard Information Systems (SIS) must respect, recognize and promote the community based participatory monitoring and information systems, including traditional knowledge, customary laws, forest management systems and practices of indigenous peoples. Technical assistance and capacity building must be prioritized and supported for indigenous peoples.

We are encouraged by the inclusion of REDD in the Green Climate Fund. We also note the presence of provisions for Safeguard and Grievance Mechanisms in the Governing Instrument of the GCF. We call on the parties to support our call that proper institutional representation and access of indigenous peoples to the Green Climate Fund as observers to the Board be put in place.

Finally, we urge REDD partnership to ensure that, all climate change adaptation and mitigation policies, strategies, actions and programmes respect the collective rights of indigenous peoples to forests, land, territories and resources, in line with the international standards and instruments such as UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and ILO Convention 169.

Thank you.

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