Indigenous Peoples’ Rights: Addressing Implementation gaps of the Paris Agreement through the Local Communities Indigenous Peoples Platform

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Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), International Working Group on Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) and Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) co-organized a side event “Indigenous Peoples’ Rights: Addressing Implementation gaps of the Paris Agreement through the Local Communities Indigenous Peoples Platform” on 7 November 2017. The local communities and indigenous peoples’ platform was established by decision 1/CP.21 for the exchange of experience and sharing of best practices on mitigation and adaptation in a holistic and integrated manner. Furthermore, the decision recognizes the need to strengthen knowledge, technologies, practices and efforts of local communities and indigenous peoples relating to addressing and responding to climate change.

This event was one among the number of events organized to celebrate indigenous peoples’ day at COP23 in Bonn Zone on 7 Nov. This is the first time indigenous peoples’ organizations were allowed to organize indigenous peoples’ day in the Conference of Parties (COP). The panelists of the event comprised of the representatives of indigenous peoples from Asia, Africa and Russia as well as representatives of European Union (EU) and Canada Government.

Ms. Grace Balawag, Global Steering Committee Member of Asia region, shared the background and recent developments of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform. Mr. Geert Fremout, representative of European Union (EU) shared EU understanding and take on Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform.

Mr. Larry Hegan, Senior Policy Advisor for Environment and Climate Change Canada, shared about the point of convergence relating to the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples, that came out from the informal dialogue held between indigenous peoples and Parties in Ottawa in Sept. 2017. Mr. Larry stressed on the importance to respect views and perspectives of indigenous peoples and to ensure their full and effective participation in the COP23 discussion on LCIP platform. Further, Mr. Larry expounded that the platform is not about indigenous peoples, it is for indigenous peoples.

Mr. Tunga Sampang Rai, National Coordinator of NEFIN Climate Change Partnership Programme, highlighted how traditional knowledge of Indigenous Loba in Nepal is rooted to their natural resource management and governance systems. Mr. Rodion Sulyandziga, former co-chair of International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) expounded on the linkages between human rights and climate change.

Ms. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Co-chair of International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) shared the preparations and strategy of IIPFCC for COP23 in relation to the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform. Ms. Hindou called on the UNFCCC parties to ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in the decision making meetings and processes relating to the LCIP platform. She explained that indigenous peoples have come to the COP23, not only to participate as an observer but also to be heard by climate policy makers

The side event facilitated an active and constructive discussion between UNFCCC parties (EU and Canada) and indigenous peoples in relation to the local communities and indigenous peoples’ platform. The opening remarks was given by Ms. Kathrin Wessendorf of IWGIA. The side event was moderated by Mr. Lakpa Nuri Sherpa, AIPP Environment Programme Coordinator and the Focal Point of International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

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