- Indigenous Rights Threatened at Climate Talks
Indigenous Rights Threatened at Climate Talks
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In the final day of negotiations over proposed decision text for REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation), deep divisions arose over proposed language to ensure the protection of indigenous peoples and local communities. The United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand opposed the inclusion of any language recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities as well as any references to other relevant international standards, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The specific recognition of indigenous peoples rights was strongly supported by many including Bolivia, the European Union, Norway, Mexico, Switzerland and others. The final draft text only noted the importance of indigenous peoples’ participation.
Outraged that the word “rights” was removed from the text, several indigenous peoples groups, and joined by several other allied human rights and environmental organizations, protested in the conference corridors shouting “No rights, No REDD.” Marcial Arias Garcia, from Panama and the International Alliance of Indigenous-Tribal People of the World, said “The indigenous people are profoundly concerned as our basic rights have been violated.