Getting the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform right at COP23
13 November 2017
The Fijian presidency has rightfully stressed that the operationalization of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform is a critical outcome that must be delivered on at COP 23.
For more than 20 years, the UNFCCC has failed to allow indigenous peoples to have their voice adequately heard. This is despite the value of indigenous peoples” experiences and traditional knowledge for mitigating and adapting to climate change in harmony with ecosystems. Recognising the need to strengthen the participation of indigenous peoples in the process and the value of traditional and indigenous peoples” knowledge, Parties agreed in Paris to establish a Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform. They agree that this platform will deliver three functions: knowledge, capacity for engagement, and climate change policies and actions. Most importantly, the Platform will be operationalized at COP 23.
Parties have now only 5 days left to agree to the structure of this platform. These discussions must be guided only by two bases: ensuring the effective delivery of the three functions, and respecting the five principles laid out by the indigenous peoples Caucus €” including the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples both in the design of the platform and its structure.
In negotiations during the past week, one Party attempted to undermine the rights recognized in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples despite the fact that these rights have been endorsed by all UN member states for a decade.
The parties must oppose attempts to instrumentalise the UNFCCC and to undermine the rights of indigenous peoples and should not tolerate any attempt to use these rights as negotiation bargaining chips.
ECO will be watching closely the negotiations over the coming days and stands with indigenous peoples in calling on Parties to operationalize the platform at this COP in a manner that responds to the rights and demands of local communities and indigenous peoples.