Young Indigenous Peoples Call On States to #FixArticle6

5 December 2019

ECO is happy to share this part of our platform with the Indigenous Peoples Caucus to help amplify their voice.

Today young Indigenous Peoples from across the world took collective action on the floor at COP25, calling on states to #FixArticle6. 

World governments are currently negotiating the technical advice for the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Rulebook. Article 6 relates to the creation of both market and non-market mechanisms to reduce emissions. The outcomes of the negotiation must uphold and extend existing protection of human and Indigenous rights. Just like we need ambitious commitments in all climate mitigation strategies. It is not just the inclusion of human rights that the indigenous caucus is calling for, but, the inclusion of indigenous rights. It is specifically about protecting collective rights, which are crucial to the customary governance and traditional ways of life of Indigenous Peoples. 

Words, prayers, songs, and chants were propelled across Hall Four by young Indigenous People in an attempt to remind negotiators of the human element inherent in Article 6. Ta”kaiya Blaney Tla”Amin, Nation Coast Salish delegate, shared her frontline experiences of fossil fuel expansion, enabled by state governments within the occupied territories of so called Canada, “€¦this looks like Teck Mine, this looks like coastal Gaslink pipeline, the Trans-mountain pipeline and many more industrial mega projects that Canada pushes through –  meanwhile claiming to be a climate leader. With Canada not pushing for the recognition of the rights of indigenous people in Article 6, all we see is the continuation of indigenous genocide within climate solutions. This is not just about protecting the people and protecting the lands that we steward – this is about the fact that allowing for the appropriation of indigenous lands for carbon offsets does not work as a climate solution.” 

Ruth Miller, Curyung Tribe of Dena”ina Athabaskan, Anchorage, Alaska, shares the stories of her people in the Circumpolar North, where warming is occurring at two to three times the rate of the global average, “We are the first environmental refugees. Our people are having to leave our ancestral homelands that we have fought for and defended for thousands of years because of the impacts of climate change, driven by forces focused on profit and extraction.” 

“Indigenous Peoples are at the frontline, not only of profit-driven industries supported by state governments, but also at the front line of climate solutions. It is well known that 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity sits within indigenous territories.” 

Ruth goes on to say, “when we come here today to fight against the exclusion of our people’s recognition, our people’s power, our people’s right to self-governance in Article 6, we are saying that we matter, because it is our communities that are leading the fight.”

Indigenous Peoples are and have always been, leaders in climate justice. In order to continue this crucial work, for the sake of not only Indigenous lives, but all life on Earth, Article 6 must ensure safeguards for indigenous rights.

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