Dec 10, 2008
The opposition from certain countries to resolutions is as depressing and predictable as the weather.
As it gets closer to the end of two long weeks, many people I've been talking to are just ready to go home. I'm sure part of it is due to the overcast, rather miserable weather but it's also because the texts that are set to come out of these negotiations are looking far too inadequate.
Yesterday, important wording around the recognition of Indigenous Peoples' and forest peoples' rights was removed from a text on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation(REDD) - a mechanism which I suppose was designed to protect forests, but in its current form can undermine land rights, encourage the conversion of forests to plantations, and reduce the value of forests to their carbon content... among other things.
We remain hopeful that we can get this wording back into the Draft Text, however it was a big blow to Indigenous Representatives here. Actually, that's an understatement. There was outrage, tears and anger, particularly at the four countries who opposed the text - Canada, United States, Australia and New Zealand. Not surprisingly, these are the same (only) four countries that voted against the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007.
Response came in the form of an impromptu protest, and campaigners raising it with several delegates from Indonesia, Australia, the US and more. What impact this will have though is uncertain. With Indigenous Peoples having no official voice in the UNFCCC process, it may require a lot more yelling to get their rights recognised not just in the REDD but in all mechanisms which affect rights to land, food and livelihoods.
Yours in solidarity, hope and a hint of depression,