Indigenous Caucus Make First Statement on the Opening Day of the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 14th Session of Conference of the Parties (COP14)

Statement of the

International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change (IIPFCC) to the 29th Session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA), during the 14th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP14) of the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

December 1, 2008 


The International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC), representing IPs from different parts of the world met from 27–29 November 2008 here in Poznan, Poland, to prepare for the Fourteenth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC.

We, the Indigenous Peoples have suffered the worst impacts of climate change without having contributed to its creation.

We must not be placed in the position of suffering from mitigation strategies which we believe have offered false solutions to the problem at hand. And even worse, many of the mitigation and adaptation schemes being discussed in UNFCCC and related processes threaten our rights and our very existence.

Mitigation projects, including REDD and CDM, implemented by Parties and private sector are carried out without the free prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples there by affecting our livelihoods and violating our human rights.

These projects are encroaching on areas of lands sacred to us, and producing the forced eviction of many of our brothers and sisters from their ancestral territories. 

Furthermore, proposed ‘scientific’ mitigation and adaptation solutions, methodologies and technologies being discussed here and elsewhere do not reflect Indigenous Peoples’ cosmovision and our ancestral knowledge.

So-called ‘consultations’ with us, often only take the form of simply informing our communities. Consultations should not be limited to specific communities and organizations but should involve all affected and involved indigenous peoples, including our representative organizations.

We the Indigenous Peoples demand full participation in the implementation of all areas of work concerning Climate Change and Forests.

We put the following recommendations forward:

·         To ensure a rights-based approach in the design and implementation of climate change policies, programmes and projects. In particular, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples must be recognized, implemented and mainstreamed in all of the Convention activities;

·         To ensure the right to Free Prior and Informed Consent in line with internationally recognized standards of good governance;

·         To develop methodologies and tools for impacts and vulnerability assessments  in consultation with indigenous peoples;

·         To recognize and use traditional knowledge and integrating it with scientific knowledge in assessing impacts and coming up with adaptations;

·         To ensure the proper capacity building of indigenous peoples in technologies for adaptation;

·         To immediately  suspend  all REDD initiatives in Indigenous territories until Indigenous Peoples’ rights are fully recognized and promoted;

·         To include  indigenous peoples’ experts in the implementation of phase II of Nairobi Programme of Work;

·         To set up a disaster reduction strategies and means to address loss and damage associated with climate change mitigation projects and policies, impacts in indigenous peoples territories;

 Thank you.

Note: The International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change (IIPFCC) is the Indigenous Peoples Caucus convened during the UNFCCC COP14. The Caucus represents Indigenous participants from the North and South.


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