quinta-feira, 15 de setembro de 2011

Climate Policies and Indigenous Rights: Beyond Carbon

Climate Policies and Indigenous Rights



by Gretchen Gordon

When climate policies like agrofuels promotion threaten indigenous rights, we may have tried to address a carbon
emissions problem, but we’ve created a human rights problem. In the current climate crisis, striving for real sustainability
means looking beyond carbon calculations, and even beyond climate change. It means designing policies that consider
entire social, economic, and environmental systems and how those systems interact. And it means prioritizing not just
short-term goals, but more overarching values like human rights, indigenous rights, biodiversity, environmental quality,
social equity and inclusion. One of the unique things about an indigenous rights-based approach to climate change is that
it can, in many cases, be a means of promoting each of these overarching values simultaneously.

Policymakers and climate advocates should push for an indigenous rights-based approach to climate change.

This approach should take guidance from indigenous peoples and indigenous peoples’ coalitions to: 1) address the real
drivers of climate change and avoid false solutions; 2) establish formal structures and mechanisms for effective
participation of indigenous peoples; and 3) integrate binding indigenous rights standards throughout climate policies and

Policymakers and advocates should ensure that climate policies:

1) provide for the resources and mechanisms necessary to ensure effective direct participation of indigenous peoples in policymaking, and
to guarantee the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples in the proposals that impact them;

2) consider the impacts of climate change on indigenous peoples and acknowledge the contribution of indigenous peoples to climate change
mitigation and adaptation;

3) explicitly reference the rights of indigenous peoples, including their collective rights, rather than merely referencing the interests
of, or impacts on, indigenous communities;

4) acknowledge indigenous rights as inalienable human rights which carry obligations enforceable under international law;

5) include binding indigenous rights safeguards at or above the minimum standards established by the Declaration, including the right to free,
prior and informed consent; and provide specific guidance as to the content and implementation of these rights;

6) establish adequate mechanisms and provide necessary resources for effective monitoring, enforcement, and redress to ensure compliance
with indigenous rights standards.

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