Statement of International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) in the opening plenary of Subsidiary Body on Implementation, June 1, 2015

Indigenous peoples have sustainably managed their ecosystems and biodiversity for thousands of years and have contributed minimal carbon emissions. Yet, the accelerating climate devastation brought about by unsustainable development is causing profound and disproportionate adverse impacts on indigenous peoples - 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. It is therefore necessary to decisively address the issue and stop further destruction of life and to ensure the future of the next generations.

Given the magnitude of climate change impacts and the challenges to enhance resilience and capacities of communities, we reiterate the following:

  • Protect the rights of indigenous peoples to our land, territories and resources and secure our traditional knowledge, innovations and adaptation practices that have sustained diverse ecosystems.
  • Ensure full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in the development, implementation and monitoring of any mitigation and adaptation plans in order to achieve an effective work plan that will result in beneficial impacts to indigenous peoples.
  • We call for the establishment of dedicated funds and mechanisms to ensure direct access to, and administration and management by indigenous peoples of funds to enhance and further develop our adaptation capacities and to strengthen our traditional knowledge, livelihoods and customary land tenure, which we have sustained for generations; and
  • Financial support must also cover compensation for already damaged and lost lands, resources and livelihoods of indigenous peoples due to the adverse impacts of climate change.
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