Recognising the contributions of Indigenous Peoples in global climate action?

On 28 February 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a ground-breaking report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability of climate change. The report is conclusive about the increasing and accelerating impacts of climate change on Indigenous Peoples’ territories and livelihoods.

However, the IPCC goes a step further.

It recognises that this vulnerability is not a mere consequence of climate change, but a product of the intersection of multiple social, historical and institutional processes that have excluded and marginalised Indigenous Peoples from decision-making processes. These findings represent a breakthrough in how Indigenous Peoples are portrayed in the global climate change discourse.

Furthermore, the report is conclusive about the agency of Indigenous Peoples. Their contributions towards adaptation and their Indigenous knowledge systems are explicitly acknowledged. Indigenous Peoples’ engagement in climate governance generates sustainable responses and makes it possible to address climate change from a more just perspective. To facilitate this, the IPCC encourages the recognition of Indigenous Peoples and the strengthening of their self-determination. It also calls for measures that, based on justice and equity, address the historical conflicts that determine Indigenous Peoples’ vulnerability in the first place.

While these affirmations represent a significant step forward, more decisive actions are still needed to strengthen Indigenous Peoples’ effective participation in climate governance.

In response to this, IWGIA in collaboration with the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) and Pastoralists Indigenous NGO Forum (PINGO’s Forum) presents a briefing note analysing the findings of the IPCC report concerning Indigenous Peoples. Furthermore, the briefing note – written by Rosario Carmona, Joanna Petrasek MacDonald (ICC), Dalee Sambo Dorough (ICC), Tunga Bhadra Rai (NEFIN), Gideon Abraham Sanago (PINGO’s Forum) and Stefan Thorsell (IWGIA) proposes a series of recommendations to enhance Indigenous Peoples’ participation in the next IPCC cycle and in national climate governance.

Click here to download the full briefing paper in [ English ] [ Spanish ]

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