International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change

IIPFCC opening statement on AWG-KP 16, April 5, 2011



April 5, 2011 Bangkok, Thailand

Read by: Pasang  Dolma Sherpa, Tebtebba Foundation

Mr. Chair,

Thanks for allowing us to make a brief intervention. Increasing GHG emissions is having tragic impacts on, us, indigenous peoples in terms of loss of lives, destruction of our ecosystems and ancestral territories and increasing food, water, habitat and resource insecurity.

We urgently appeal to the Annex 1 Countries to commit to increase their ambitions to cut their GHG emissions and to ensure that there is no gap between the first and second commitment period of KP. This means that any attempt to ignore the KP or transfer KP Commitments to a pledge and review process under the LCA should not be done at all costs. We heard the EU say at the first day that they can meet their commitments by 2020 and 2050, but we think they can even meet this earlier and even increase these targets higher. So we call on the EU not to condition their efforts on meeting their commitments on the efforts of others.

Obviously, there are countries like the USA which will not join the KP and who are insisting that a bottom-up and pledge and review approach is the way to go. We do not support this approach as this will not guarantee the goal of limiting the global temperature to 2 and 1.5 degrees Celsius. The USA and Annex 1 countries should not sacrifice the lives and rights of indigenous peoples and all vulnerable peoples to maintain their unsustainable production and consumption patterns which is the main cause of climate change.  

We call on Annex 1 countries to reach a decision of definitions, modalities, rules and guidelines relating to LULUCF activities. The emissions from LULUCF in Annex 1 countries should be accurately accounted for. The definition of forests under the LULUCF should also be revised not to include monocrop plantations which contribute to GHG emissions.

Finally, we urge the AWG-KP to address the socio-economic and environmental impacts of flexibility measures of the KP. The increasing number of hydroelectric dams under the CDM is causing displacements of indigenous peoples from their territories and biofuel plantations coming under the guise of reforestation and afforestation is leading to expropriation of indigenous lands. The recent nuclear accident in Japan should urge countries not to continue building nuclear power plants as the uranium used for these are also causing destruction to our territories.

In conclusion, we ask that our human rights as contained in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples be respected in all KP activities and the advice of the IIPFCC should be sought and considered.

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