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Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

E-SAK KA OU DECLARATION

PREAMBLE

Life and land are the same. We are the same as the land. We come from the land. We go back to the land. We cannot see the land as our possession, because, really, we belong to the land. If we understand this, we’ll know how to share and give. But if we don’t understand, we’ll fight and take land to make it ours.” – Joni Odochao, Karen elder

Asia is a region of high biological and cultural diversity, where we, Indigenous Peoples, play a vital role in conserving and managing our land, territories, waters and resources. However, we also face multiple challenges and threats from climate change, deforestation, land degradation, violation of human rights, and so-called development. Therefore, it is essential for governments to support, recognize, and respect our values, practices, land, territories, waters, and resources.

Guided by the wisdom of our ancestors and elders, who have defended our land, territories, waters and resources since time immemorial;

Committed to fulfilling our role as stewards of the land, territories, waters, nature, and our cultural heritage;

Motivated by the desire to continue promoting Indigenous Peoples’ values of community solidarity, caring, and sharing, to future generations and to the wider community;

Alarmed by rapid biodiversity loss, uncontrolled global warming, and widespread pollution, all of which are degrading our quality of life and threatening our cultures, predicting a dismal future for current and future generations, and the planet and life on earth;

Conscious that the biodiversity, climate, and pollution crises are rooted in the unjust socio-economic and political structures and relations that violate human and Indigenous Peoples’ rights, for which the perpetrators and duty-bearers should be held accountable;

Reiterating that we are entitled to our collective rights as stated in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which all governments must recognize and respect in their legal and policy frameworks. Attempts by governments to dilute the rights of Indigenous Peoples through generalizations and other terminologies that distort our identity and legal rights shall not be tolerated;

Affirming that Indigenous Peoples’ active participation in all relevant policy-making and decision-making processes is vital for achieving the vision and objectives of co-existence and well-being of humans and nature;

We, the 47 delegates to the Asia Regional Conference on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Biodiversity, and Climate Change, held on November 5-8, 2023 in Krabi, Thailand, representing 32 Indigenous Peoples’ communities, women, youth, persons with disabilities, and development organizations from 11 countries, concluded the conference with the assertion of our rights and the call for safeguards to protect these rights, as stated in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

We now forward this Conference Declaration as a statement of our collective position as Indigenous Peoples towards seeking collaborative solutions to the urgent concerns and issues confronting us and the whole of humankind.

Please click here to read the full E-Sak Ka Ou Declaration English Version

E-Sak Ka Ou Declaration Ilocano Version
E-Sak Ka Ou Declaration Spanish Version
E-Sak Ka Ou Declaration Swahili Version
E-Sak Ka Ou Declaration Thai Version
E-Sak Ka Ou Declaration Vietnamese Version

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