Indigenous Peoples' Climate Change Portal

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IPFCCC Press Statement Print

Indigenous Peoples denounce attempts by Annex 1 to weaken the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol

We, Indigenous Peoples, express our profound concern over the lack of political will and commitment of state Parties especially those from the Annex 1 block spearheaded by the US to conclude the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen with a legally binding agreements on ambitious real emission reduction targets.

Considering our spiritual and traditional attachment to land and territories for our livelihoods and daily existence, and the fact that we are the most directly impacted by the climate change, any outcomes on these negotiations will both short and long term direct consequences to our very existence and survival on earth.

We deplore all efforts to weaken the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and especially the Kyoto Protocol thereby shifting responsibilities and burden to the developing countries who have never contributed to the climate mess in which we are today.

It is then critically important, and a matter of life and death for indigenous peoples that any agreement on climate change must ensure the legal recognition of our human rights and the protection of our traditional knowledge to achieve a just and equitable outcome of the climate change negotiations.

We therefore call on all state parties and the global community to fulfill and respect their current commitments and outcomes from Copenhagen that must include the following:

  1. A legally binding outcome in the form of an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol for the further commitment period 2013-2020.
  2. A binding aggregate emissions reduction target for developed countries (Annex 1) of 49% below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 95% by 2050.
  3. Recognition that international human rights standards serve as a guide to tackle climate change, underscoring the fundamental, moral and legal obligations to protect and promote the full enjoyment of our human rights including our rights to lands, territories and resources, right to subsistence, food sovereignty, right of traditional knowledge and free, prior and informed consent, among others, as enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  4. The full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in all climate change related processes at the global, national and local levels.
  5. Ensure the direct financing to and by indigenous peoples and local communities for adaptation and mitigation measures.
  6. Establishment of an Expert Group on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change under the Conference of Parties (CoP) of the UNFCCC, and under the Meeting of Parties (MoP) of the Kyoto Protocol, with indigenous expert members and the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples.


The survival of our peoples, the human family and Mother Earth is at stake. State Parties must stop obstructing real solutions. We have only one Mother Earth, and all Parties must fulfill their responsibilities and obligations. END

4 November 2009, Barcelona, Spain
International Indigenous Peoples' Forum on Climate Change