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Two Degrees is Too High - Our Many Strong Voices Must be Heard

UNFCCC/COP 13 Statement by Indigenous Peoples

The world’s indigenous peoples do not accept the much advocated target of limiting the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius. For indigenous peoples - including in the Arctic, small island developing states, forests, and dry-land and low-lying areas - this increase will mean the destruction of our cultures, livelihoods, traditional knowledge and communities.

The limited access for indigenous peoples to financial resources is constraining our efforts to implement traditional and modern adaptation measures. Despite the adaptation work already pursued by a number of our communities, climate change and its consequences are outpacing our fight to survive.

UN human rights instruments protect the rights of all. In particular, the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples recognizes the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples to a sustainable existence on our traditional lands. The effects of climate change violate our internationally recognized human rights.

Based on this, the indigenous peoples call upon the international community to commit to a process of negotiations in the lead up to 2012 that is inclusive, based on traditional knowledge and science, and works to ensure the survival of the global community in all its richness. We call upon the UNFCCC to facilitate our full participation in the forthcoming COPs and all relevant processes and to include the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues as an international observer.

Indigenous peoples representing a significant global community increasingly and disproportionately impacted by climate change call upon the UN Secretary General to ensure their rightful representation in the post-Kyoto negotiation process to facilitate the development of a responsive and inclusive post-2012 climate framework.

As stated by the executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, it is essential to recognize and value indigenous and local communities as custodians of the Earth’s biodiversity. There must be a global effort to work together, drawing on the unique knowledge of the peoples of the world with a special appreciation for the knowledge of indigenous peoples.

Our many strong voices must be heard.

Petter Haugneland | alfa
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