Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Parties fail Indigenous Peoples and Biodiversity

The negotiations on REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in developing countries) have concluded and have failed Indigenous Peoples and Biodiversity.

Early drafts of the decision included recognition of the interests and rights of Indigenous Peoples and the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples (plural). The final draft only makes reference to participation of Indigenous People (singular).

Despite the efforts of environmental groups and some Parties, the importance of protecting biodiversity was also kept out of the decision.

Here is the intervention read in plenary by the Climate Action Network:

Madam Chair,

A year has passed since Bali, and what has been done?

What progress has been made on Indigenous and community rights?

How will REDD protect biodiversity?

What emissions will be counted and what rules will be applied?

The two SBSTA workshops coming into this meeting made real progress on methodological issues, which you intended to carry further here.

The CBD AHTEG advice on biodiversity was received and welcomed by some Parties.

Indigenous peoples asked to be heard, so when the Secretariat invited them, they came expecting to have a voice.

Instead, all reference to their rights and interests has been deleted.

Your negotiating text does not even refer to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And the removal of that “S” was critical.

A failure of political will has also seen the results of the workshops and the advice of the CBD ANTEG languish here.

We remind you all: the preservation of biodiversity is not a co-benefit; it is fundamental to the success and goals of REDD.

Our task here today is to protect the biological heritage of our earth and the rights and interests of all of its peoples. SBSTA has failed this crucial imperative.

It is our hope that ministers will now pick up what SBSTA has dropped.

Thank you.

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