Indigenous Peoples to the Norwegian Government: Listen to Us!

Press release from Forest Peoples Programme


Indigenous peoples denounce lack of transparency and participation in French-Norwegian  partnership on forests and climate discussions.


Indigenous peoples were excluded when forest countries and donor governments met in Paris on March 11, 2010 to discuss a major forests and climate initiative.
The parties met under an invitation from the French and Norwegian governments to start developing governance structures for the 3.5 billion USD Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) readiness funds announced in Copenhagen at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP15 last December. The UNFCCC negotiations are still far from delivering final commitments in full respect of indigenous peoples’ rights.


“Failure to include indigenous peoples from the very inception of the French-Norwegian initiative is unacceptable. The lock-out from the Paris meeting is further evidence of the urgency to ensure full and effective participation of indigenous peoples at all levels of negotiations and discussions on issues related to their land, resources and territories and to their rights as recognized by international legal agreements and instruments such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP)” said Mina Setra, an indigenous representative from The Alliance of Archipelagic Indigenous People (AMAN), Indonesia.


“Lack of proper engagement and consultation with indigenous peoples is not only confined to international processes but is also a common feature of key REDD processes at the national level. We therefore urge governments to ensure that any architecture under discussion to administer REDD readiness funds be rights-based, accountable, transparent and participatory” said Pacifique Mukumba Isumbisho from CAMV (Support Center for Indigenous Pygmies and Vulnerable Minorities), Democratic Republic of Congo.


Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) continues to work with the broader indigenous peoples coalitions to ensure that any decision on interim REDD financing will be anchored to the recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ rights, such as the right to access to information, consultation and participation, the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and the right to their land and forests.


FPP calls on the Norwegian government to ensure that indigenous peoples are fully involved and consulted in the process leading up to the meeting to be held in Oslo in May when heads of government and heads of state are expected to approve the REDD partnership proposal.


 

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