International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change AWG-KP Opening Intervention –Tuesday, November, 29, 2011 – Durban/COP17 Read by Ben Powless, Indigenous Environmental Network

International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change AWG-KP Opening Intervention –Tuesday, November, 29, 2011 – Durban/COP17 Read by Ben Powless, Indigenous Environmental Network

Thank you Mr. Chair,

I speak to you on behalf of the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change.

We recognize that the Kyoto Protocol is the only legally binding international instrument we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Indigenous Peoples, especially in Africa, are already suffering from the impacts of climate change. We do not have time to wait. We need a commitment for a legally binding outcome.

Indigenous peoples are concerned that Annex I countries are actively working towards burying the Kyoto Protocol instead of delivering the emissions cuts necessary to save our precious Mother Earth, and all life.

This could result in at least 5 degrees warming, and could lead to the destruction of our cultures and the ecocide of our territories.

We acknowledge the Kyoto Protocol has many flaws, including violations of human rights within the implementation of the Clean Development Mechanism. We are also concerned at the possible inclusion of nuclear power as a CDM measure. However, the prospect of Kyoto dying in Durban, without a viable alternative, would be disastrous.  We instead want to see the Protocol strengthened.

We would consider only alternatives to market based mechanisms for adaptation and mitigation funding.  We also call for the AWG-KP to incorporate safeguards for adaptation and mitigation measures that are negatively impacting Indigenous Peoples.

Measures must be included to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ rights to lands, territories and resources, full and effective participation, as well as the right to free, prior and informed consent, in line with applicable universal human rights instruments, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Therefore, Indigenous rights and Indigenous knowledge must be recognized in discussions of Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry. We also reiterate our support for an Indigenous Peoples’ Expert Group to be formed under the Kyoto Protocol jointly with Indigenous Peoples.

Thank you.