Recommendations from the Indigenous Environmental Network for adoption by the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues​

Theme: Indigenous Peoples, human health, planetary and territorial health and climate change: a rights-based approach

Dates: 17-28 April 2023
The Forum calls upon the UNFCCC COP and Parties to the Paris Agreement (PA/CMA) ensure that the Article 6 Governing Body does not allow offsets to NDCs that were generated in whole or in part by violations of Indigenous rights, particularly their right to territorial and human health, such as their production and consumption of their traditional means of subsistence, and their Sovereignty and Self-determination.

The Forum, keeping in mind the IPCC’s Synthesis report of March 2023, and recalling the Secretary General’s conclusion that humanity is committing suicide with its addiction to fossil fuels, calls upon the PA/CMA to avoid false and unproven solutions to global warming, particularly those that affect Indigenous Peoples’ human and territorial health, in Article 6 and other mechanisms of the Paris Agreement, including, inter alia, so called technologies which are tested on Indigenous Territories, such as Carbon Dioxide Removals (land and ocean based carbon offsets, CCS, CCUS, DAC, Ocean Fertilization etc.), Solar Radiation Mitigation (Stratospheric Aerosol Injection such as Scopex, Surface Albedo modification such as Arctic Ice Project), and Marine Geoengineering (other forms of ice modification, Marine Cloud Brightening, and Ocean Fertilization.

The Forum notes that current administrative processes of the United Nations do not facilitate Indigenous Peoples’ participation and therefore requests that the Secretary-General instructrelevant United Nations entities, particularly the UNFCCC COP and PA/CMA to ensure Indigenous Peoples’ full and effective participation as Peoples and not as civil society or local communities, but as Peoples, in all PA national, regional and international processes and make the necessary arrangements as a matter of urgency. The Permanent Forum recommends that the United Nations system continue to build the capacities of Indigenous Peoples and their organizations, consistent with their cultures, languages and world views, to develop their knowledge and skills to have their rights respected, protected and fulfilled.

The Forum notes with concern the unsatisfactory World Bank and other international banking and funding institutions’ policies regarding the funding for vulnerable States and Indigenous Peoples, and calls for an independent funding mechanism or entity for direct grants to vulnerable states. This includes ensuring direct grant funding through the Loss and Damage Finance Facility (LDFF). International Financial Institutions (IFIs) should not be put in a position to demand loan paybacks or earn returns on vulnerable states.

Strict adherence to the participation of Indigenous Peoples in development projects continues to be lacking and the Forum recommends that greater efforts be directed towards compliance machinery within the Bank and other IFIs with regard to development projects from the inception of any planning, when dealing with projects and design and approval processes, continuing throughout to post-project enforcement mechanisms.

Keeping in mind the theme of this session, the forum reiterates Paragraph Number 28 of Session 4 (2005):

The Forum encourages the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to recognize the importance of and emphasize support for indigenous agricultural systems, including forestry, shifting cultivation, fisheries, livestock, pastoralism and hunting-gathering systems, and their associated biodiversity, foods, knowledge systems and cultures. It encourages FAO to promote the responsible use of culturally appropriate agricultural inputs and technology so as to protect the traditional livelihoods and life-ways of indigenous peoples and protect their agricultural systems from the carbon market.

The Forum as an urgent matter also repeats its recommendation that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change establish an ad hoc open-ended intersessional working group on indigenous peoples and climate change, whose objectives would be to study and propose timely, effective and adequate solutions to respond to the urgent situations caused by climate change. The Forum furthermore recommends that the Convention consider providing necessary funding support to Forum members and indigenous peoples to guarantee their participation and to strengthen their participation.

We recommend to the Permanent Forum at its 22nd session that it establish a Working Group or a commission to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, especially with regard to Goal 3, of the global policy known as 30×30. The majority of the world’s biodiversity is located in Indigenous People’s territories.  Therefore, any 30×30 programs or projects should not be on or near Indigenous Peoples’ territories.

In addition, 30×30 should not be implemented on any territories without a grievance mechanism because it threatens lands, territories and natural resources and other goals that put the rights of Indigenous Peoples around the world at serious risk. In addition, any territories included in a 30×30 project or program should not be allowed in any carbon pricing system, carbon market or offset system whether voluntary or compliance markets. 

The inadequacy of the UN reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD and REDD+)) program must be addressed. Indigenous Peoples collective rights, and the negative effects on their right to territorial and human health, such as their production and consumption of their traditional means of subsistence, and their Sovereignty and self-determination have not been substantiated through the REDD process. Therefore, the Permanent Forum recommends to the PA/CMA that all REDD programs and projects go through a full review by the UNFCCC, with the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples Organizations to assess the validity of programs that claims to:

  1. Reduce emissions from deforestation; 
  2. Reduce emissions from forest degradation;
  3. Uphold Indigenous Peoples sovereignty and rights; and,
  4. Build a grievance mechanism that allows Indigenous Peoples to identify and name NGOs, corporations, the UN, states, verifiers and other entities involved in setting up REDD programs and projects for violating their rights and unfounded practices of enlisting Indigenous Peoples into REDD projects and programs.

New York, April 16, 2023


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