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Mother Earth can live without us, but we can’t live without her.

We, the Indigenous Peoples, nations and organizations from all over the world, gathered at the World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, from April 19th to 22nd, 2010 in Tiquipaya, Cochabamba, Bolivia, after extensive discussions, express the following: Read the rest of this entry »


To confront climate change, humanity must reconnect with its origins. There are an estimated 370 million Indigenous peoples throughout the world, distributed in perhaps 5,000 communities scattered across more than 70 countries, all of which have maintained different ways of life in harmony with nature.

The only way we can contribute to the future of humanity and our planet is through recuperating our origins, strengthening our cultural practices and our forms of collective organization for the sustainable use and management of natural resources, guaranteeing the rights of Indigenous peoples, and promoting traditional knowledge and notions about living in harmony with Mother Earth.

This Working group is a space in which to channel the voices, wisdom, and reclamation of our origins that are present today in Indigenous and First Nations peoples. We aim to encourage and promote Indigenous visions, practices, and relationships of harmony with nature, and to share proposals regarding climate change and the defense of Mother Earth.

Objective of the Group in Terms of Debate and Product

  • Retrieve and revalidate our indigenous and native roots to confront climate change issues and contribute to restoring harmony with nature.
  • To agree on measures for ensuring the rights of indigenous peoples in the negotiations, policies and measures to face climate change.

Main topics to be discussed by the group

  • What are the visions, lifestyles and traditional knowledge that we must recover and reevaluate from our indigenous origin to address climate change issues?
  • What measures are necessary to ensure the rights of indigenous peoples in negotiations and climate change policies?


  • In 1989 the General Conference of the International Labor Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, adopted the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention referred to guarantee their respect for its integrity, as collective subject of rights. 

The ILO 169 Convention defines that are “regarded as indigenous on account of their descent from populations which inhabited the country, or a geographical region to which the country belongs, at the time of conquest or colonization or the establishment of present state boundaries and that, irrespective of their legal status, retain some or all of their own social, economic, cultural and political institutions, or part thereof.”

This recognizes labor rights, human and fundamental freedom of indigenous and tribal peoples, values, social practices, cultural, religious and spiritual.

  • On December 21, 1993 the UN Resolution 48/163 proclaimed the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People. This decade tries to strengthen international cooperation for the problems the people will suffer with respect to their human rights, environment, development, education and health. Beginning with this decade, the International Day of Indigenous People is observed every August 9th. The second decade is declared by Resolution 59/175 in 2004.
  • By means of Resolution 2000/22, on July 28thth, 2000 the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations establishes a Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The forum was created as a subsidiary body of ECOSOC, and advisory body to review topics related to economic and social development, culture, environment, education, health, human rights. indigenas /2004/res_2000_22.html
  • From October 28 – 30 of 2000, 36 Indigenous Organizations from throughout the Americas participated in the Continental Indigenous Summit. In this meeting they issued the Teotihuacan Declaration, which calls for the unity of all indigenous peoples to strengthen organization and solidarity to safeguard the rights of our peoples and future generations. primera/teotihuacan.html
  • On September 13th, 2007 The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • In the World Summit of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change from April 20 to the 24 of 2009, in Alaska, the Anchorage Declaration was adopted in which  a set of proposals on the issues is developed.
  • The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues of the United Nations, during the seventh session from April 21 to May 2 of 2008 in New York, has addressed as a special issue “Climate change, biocultural diversity and the livelihood: the role of custody exercised by indigenous peoples and new challenges.” In which it states that the survival of the lifestyle of indigenous peoples depends in great part on the commitments and agreements on climate change. It indicates that indigenous peoples must carry the heaviest burden of adaptation and their way and of living, their food sovereignty, health, integrity, traditional knowledge, culture and their own existence are being affected.

  • On January 14th, 2010 the United Nations publishes the current state of world’s indigenous peoples. This report indicates that one the most important threats that confront the indigenous peoples is the displacement of their lands, territories and resources, violation and human rights abuses.

Projects  and Proposals

• Indigenous peoples in the world summit in April 2009 in Alaska, proposed that the negotiations on climate change will maintain the spirit and standards of the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples Rights.

• The IV Continental Summit of Indigenous Abya Yala, May 31 2009, proposes the construction of community plurinational states and Climate Justice Tribunal. At this meeting, they agree to make demontrations in defense of mother earth.

• During the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change, Copenhagen in December 2009. The Indigenous Caucus decided to present its proposals on climate change and indigenous peoples’ rights through the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales. These proposals are referred to the implementation and observation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, their rights of their traditional knowledge and others.

Proposes the full participation of indigenous peoples in the process and decision making on climate change. The rights to their lands, territories and resources, respect free and informed consent. To ensure their participation as holders of forest and land possession. Also, they called to take into account the rights of mother earth and all natural beings.,,

Reference  documents:

• United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 1994.

• Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention of 1989.

• The Anchorage Declaration in April 2009.

• Report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Action of long-term cooperation under the Convention. Copenhagen 7 at 15 December 2009.

• Klimaforum09 Declaration “System changed not climate change” December 2009.

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