COP25 President meets with indigenous representatives to consolidate their contribution to global climate action

Minister of the Environment and COP25 President, Carolina Schmidt, together with the United Kingdom’s Regional Ambassador for Latin America of COP26, Fiona Clouder, met virtually with indigenous representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean to learn about their experiences in dealing with climate change.

COP25 Presidency, within the framework of the commemoration of the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, invited indigenous organizations on climate change to a space for analysis and presentation of their visions regarding Climate Change and Nature-based Solutions, with the purpose of strengthening the linkage of the world’s indigenous communities with the States in the challenges that have been established in the area of climate change since the Paris Agreement and in the Platform of Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples (LCIPP, for its acronym in English) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The webinar on Indigenous Peoples and climate change, referred to “The contribution and link between Indigenous Cosmovision and NBS” was an instance to also analyze the current situation of indigenous communities and climate change, within the framework of the new context of Covid-19.

“COP25 Presidency, with the strong conviction to enhance the contribution of indigenous peoples in climate action, has supported global indigenous participation, and especially Latin American participation in international instances, opening spaces for dialogue and the promotion of their knowledge ancestral. In this context, this webinar presented the main recommendations that indigenous brothers and sisters have for the process of building climate change policies in each country and we learned about the visions on climate change and solutions based on nature from the perspective of the indigenous worldview,” said the Minister of the Environment and COP25 President, Carolina Schmidt.

“Now more than ever is the time to work together – exchanging ideas and best practices, building international understanding and joint approaches – to confront both the pandemic and the other crisis that threatens us as humanity: climate change,” said Fiona Clouder, diplomat and COP26 UK regional ambassador for Latin America.

“We need to get up, clean our waters, take care of our climate. For us the Earth is sick and we need to recover it,” was the call of Kiriath Campillay of the Diaguita people (Chile), spiritual guide of his people and representative of the Indigenous Caucus of Chile on Climate Change.

For his part, Estebancio Castro from the Kuna People (Panama), consultant on the rights of indigenous people and Climate Change, and member of the facilitative working group of the Platform of Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples (LCIPP) of the UNFCCC, explained that “for many, when we talk about the Worldview, we talk about our spirituality and our resources. The importance of indigenous peoples with that unique relationship they have with their territory, their lands and their resources cannot be separated to develop or contribute to the climate crisis. It is necessary to see how we support with mitigation”.

For Johnson Cerda of the Kichwa People of Limoncocha (Ecuador), Director DGM / GEA, Conservation International / International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change (IIPFCC), it is important to ensure land titling, full and effective participation, and their participation in climate change negotiations. “The experiences that indigenous peoples have are key to the effort that we all want to make to face climate change,” he said.

Hortencia Hidalgo, from the Aymara people (Chile), Network of Indigenous Women on Biodiversity of Latin America and the Caribbean (RMIB-LAC)/International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change (IIPFCC), reinforced that “indigenous peoples have fundamental knowledge for any activity to face the effects of climate change. We can be a contribution to society”.

The representative of the Mapuche Williche people (Chile), Juan Arriagada, and spokesperson for the Chilean Indigenous Caucus on Climate Change assured that “indigenous peoples continue to believe in a genuine dialogue where our rights, territory and spirituality are respected.”

The objective of this webinar is that the opinions and experiences shared serve to reveal the learning and wisdom of indigenous peoples in the design of the policies of the States Parties to the UNFCCC as well as to strengthen the relationship between the different actors in the process of the UNFCCC and indigenous communities.