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Indigenous people reject carbon markets without rights and safeguards

Foto: WWF

Servindi, December 8, 2019. - The Global Caucus of Indigenous Peoples demands United Nations Climate Summit (#COP25) to include the respect for human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples mention in the Article 6 of the #ParisAgreement.

Through a press conference held on Saturday, December 7, indigenous spokesmen from various parts of the world denounced the threat posed by the market mechanisms for life and indigenous territories in Article 6.

Tunga Rai, from the Federation of Indigenous Nationalities of Nepal, said: "We own our nature and have knowledge about it. We, the peoples, contribute to mitigate the climate change with our traditional practices."

"Article 6 has a huge potential impact on our livelihoods and our nature. That is why we demand Article 6 to be amended, including our rights," Tunga continued.

Regarding the delegations of the States that have been negotiating the market mechanisms, Tunga stressed that, human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples are not to be negotiated and it is an obligation to respect them.

Tung stated, "We are not pleading. We demand respect for our rights.”

Foto: Servindi

The young Nakira Rangle, of the Aotearoa (Maori) people of New Zealand, criticized that official climate discussions have market mechanisms as their main response to climate change.

Nakira said, "Global mechanisms on the so-called climate solutions enabled by Article 6 threaten to continue exploiting the water and land of indigenous peoples.”

"The impacts on the oceans can be even greater than those on land. It is urgent that the voices of the indigenous peoples are heard and safeguards are included against market mechanisms," he continued.

Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, from Indigenous Climate Action (Canada), expressed concern about the serious implications of market mechanisms for indigenous communities. "Indigenous peoples are leaders in climate solutions, not market," he emphasized.

"The administration of our communities has guided the world in the preservation of some of the richest carbon areas on the planet" and "today it is our lives and communities that are being threatened."

The current main problem is extractivism. Carbon markets will continue this trend by endangering the boreal forests that store huge amounts of carbon.

He said his country, Canada, is positioned as a climate leader and that it cultivates good relations with indigenous communities, but if we exclude human rights from Article 6, we are threatening and further excluding indigenous peoples.

Kimaren Ole, from Kenya, explained that the climate crisis is a self-inflicted crisis by human beings who have prioritized monetary gains over life and people.

Kimaren stated that, we have reached this crisis because the development paths that have been prioritized have seen nature as a supermarket.

Climate change is an essential threat to indigenous communities and is the result of the market. "It is absurd that we now return to the market to find a solution to the crisis caused by the same market," he said.

"If we do not include respect for the human rights and rights of indigenous peoples, be sure that we are going to dig a hole that leads humanity down," he concluded.

Regarding the resistance to include the mention of rights in Article 6, Kimaren wondered: Why are we in Madrid at COP25? Who are we saving the world for if it's not for the people? Why is there a resistance to recognizing human rights if we are here for humanity?

The panelists agreed on the need to include both the mention of human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples because the former are usually related to or reduced to individual rights.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples includes collective rights, and it is important to highlight this distinction even more if it is a carbon market that will involve indigenous peoples and communities.

Pending Approval

On the other hand, thanks to an intervention by the Mexican delegate, the inclusion of human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples in the draft text was proposed in the respective subgroup.

This proposal would have been seconded by the representation of Canada. In addition, the representation of the Sami Parliament sent a letter to the European Union for this representation to adopt the inclusion of rights in Article 6.

However, the final decision depends on the representations of other States Parties, many of which tend to impede the inclusion of rights, so the issue is pending for further development in the second week of COP25, in which the official delegates will come to seal the final agreements.

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