IP group asserts role in combating climate change

“WE’RE defenders not just victims,” a group of indigenous people said as the entire world observes Earth Day.

A leader of Global Indigenous Peoples stressed the importance of Indigenous Peoples in combating the climate crisis in time when the “Scientist Rebellion” raised alarm on the “grossly inadequate” current climate actions.

Beverly Longid, global coordinator of International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination & Liberation (IPMSDL) and International Officer of Katribu Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas, shared this during the “Let the Earth Breathe: 3 to 5 Years Left!?” discussion last April 23 in time for Earth Day.

“There might be a certain extent or a certain level of acknowledgement but the actual participation or even acknowledgement of the role of Indigenous Peoples are missing yet we are one of the hardest hit in terms of the impact of climate change,” she said.

The IPs are also one of the least contributors of climate change, according to Longid.

Indigenous Peoples protect around 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity though comprising only approximately 6.0 percent of the global population, she said.

But IP's contribution in addressing issues of the climate crisis is underrepresented in scientific discourse, Longid added.

She said widespread attacks against Indigenous Peoples and the encroachment and destruction of their territories for business activities remain to be serious impediments in addressing climate change.

“If we look at the data of human rights monitors, it would indicate that Indigenous Peoples are one of the sectors in society that are under attack and largely these would stem from their current defense or protection of their lands, territories, and waters from further plunder and destruction,” Longid said.

According to an investigation by Front Line Defenders (FLD) and the international consortium Human Rights Defenders Memorial, at least 358 human rights defenders were killed in 2021.

Nearly 60 percent of the total were land, environment, or Indigenous rights defenders, with more than a quarter being indigenous, Longid said.

“We need to have a shift in terms of the direction of current narratives and discourses by looking at Indigenous Peoples not simply as victims of climate change but also as active actors in addressing climate change,” added Longid.

The assertion to full, effective and meaningful participation; right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC); engagement with other impacted sectors and groups, transparency and accountability, and stricter regulation for investments were also highlighted as contributions in addressing climate change.

“We must be considered as partners in development wherein we are able to participate in governance, participate in the crafting of climate policies, and at the same time being able to participate in decision making processes in relation to activities that would impact on our rights and at the same time that would impact on the issue of climate change,” Longid said.

She said the concerted action and solidarity among different group including indigenous peoples in addressing the youth, environment and IP advocates in the audience.

The Let the Earth Breathe webinar is organized by Kabataan para sa Tribung Pilipino (Katribu Youth) and International IPMSDL in partnership with Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines.


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.