Indigenous Peoples in Peru have achieved a significant landmark in the fight against climate change, with the country set to launch the world’s first Indigenous Climate Platform (PCI). Coming nearly four years after such a mechanism was endorsed by the Paris Climate Agreement, the PCI will allow indigenous peoples to meet in order to share knowledge and practices, and to implement holistic solutions to address climate change at local, regional and national levels, with government funding and support.
This announcement follows an initial round of negotiations between Indigenous Peoples’ organisations and the Peruvian Government, during the first phase of a formal consultation process on Peru’s Legal Framework for Climate Change (Law 30754). The law seeks to provide a legal framework to implement and monitor Peru’s response to the climate change crisis including its formal commitments to the UNFCCC to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2050.
The negotiations began amidst calls from indigenous organisations for “true climate protection ambition to curb the destruction of Peru and the world’s natural and social foundation”. The indigenous Amazonian organisation (AIDESEP) and the National Organisation of Indigenous Women (ONAMIAP) have outlined a series of key calls to action and proposals for modification of the new law. The organisations noted that, faced with climate catastrophe, Indigenous Peoples are already contributing to climate mitigation and adaptation within their territories.
In addition to the creation of the PCI, the initial negotiations produced important commitments to strengthen indigenous alternatives to forest protection, including the so-called ‘Indigenous Amazonian REDD’, an indigenous adaptation of conventional “Reducing Emissions from Degradation and Deforestation” schemes (REDD)
However, leaders of AIDESEP warned that key issues remain to be agreed upon during subsequent phases of the consultation process. These include providing indigenous peoples with direct access to funds for climate action; measures to control carbon credit speculation; and a significant increase in curbing extractive industries which drive greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation and social conflict in indigenous territories.
"We hope that all of our proposals will be incorporated into final agreements… because through these means we can stop the violation and the destruction of our Amazon. We want the Prior Consultation process to be as transparent and effective as possible in order to curb extractive activities that affect our communities. We want the State to guarantee the rights of our peoples," said Edwin Montenegro, member of the Awajún people and AIDESEP leader.
The next phase of the negotiations begins on 19 August 2019.
NOTES: “Indigenous Amazonian REDD” are schemes which have been proposed and developed by AIDESEP and COICA since 2011. They focus on initiatives that are not paid for by controversial carbon offset schemes, as well as on channelling funds to securing collective land rights and forest governance. For more information see this short film.