Hubertus Samangun, the Focal Point of the Indigenous Peoples delegation to the UNFCCC and the Focal Point for English Speaking Indigenous Peoples of the Global Forest Coalition
BALI, 7 December 07: Indigenous peoples representing regions from around the world wore gags that read UNFCCC (for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) protesting their isolation from the politically sensitive conference.
Yesterday their delegation was forcibly barred from the meeting of UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer with civil society representatives, despite having been invited to attend.
Samangun accused the UN of systematic exclusion on many other counts: there is no seat or name plate in the plenary for the GFC, "nor for the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the highest-level body in the United Nations that addresses indigenous peoples rights” . Native peoples are "hardly mentioned in the more than 5 million words of UNFCCC documents,” despite the fact that they suffer directly from climate change and so-called mitigation projects .
Delegates attacked as "false solutions" carbon trading, agrofuels and CDM forest projects. “This process has become nothing but developed countries avoiding their responsibilities," said Fiu Mata'ese Elisara-Laula, of Samoa. “Projects like REDD sound very nice but they are trashing our indigenous lands. "People are being relocated and even killed; my own people will soon be under water."
Full text and follow-ups are on the Common Dreams and Global Justice Ecology sites. See also Larry Lohmann's well-researched book Carbon Trading, jointly published by the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, the international Durban Group for Climate Justice and the UK-based Corner House.