Pursuant to a decision at COP23 held in Bonn, German in 2017, Parties (governments) to the UNFCCC initiated the operationalization of the local communities and indigenous peoples platform, and decided that the overall purpose of the platform will be:
● To strengthen the knowledge, technologies, practices and efforts of local communities and indigenous peoples related to addressing and responding to climate change,
● To facilitate the exchange of experience and the sharing of best practices and lessons learned on mitigation and adaptation in a holistic and integrated manner, and
● To enhance the engagement of local communities and indigenous peoples in the UNFCCC process;
The Parties also decided that the platform will deliver the following three functions:
(1) Promotion of knowledge through the exchange of experiences, technologies, practices taking into account the free, prior and informed consent of the knowledge holders;
(2) Building the capacities of indigenous peoples and local communities, and Parties to engage with the platform and the UNFCCC; and
(3) Facilitating the integration of knowledge systems, practices and innovations when implementing international and national actions, programmes and policies for a stronger and more ambitious climate action.
Additionally, at COP23, Parties recommended that the interests and views of local communities and indigenous peoples, as well as the principles proposed by indigenous peoples organizations be taken into account.
The principles proposed by the IIPFCCC and - after intense negotiations - accepted by the parties were:
● full and effective participation of indigenous peoples;
● equal status of indigenous peoples and Parties, including in leadership roles;
● self-selection of indigenous peoples representatives in accordance with indigenous peoples’ own procedures; and
● adequate funding from the secretariat and voluntary contributions to enable the implementation of the functions of the platform;
Further steps towards operationalization of the platform, will include a multi-stakeholder dialogue to be scheduled at the SBSTA 48 meeting (30 April – 10 May 2018), which will seek to define the role of a facilitating working group and a work plan. This dialogue will be co moderated by the Chair of SBSTA and a nominated indigenous representative.
The IIPFCC informed the Indigenous Peoples Caucus of this goal at the close of COP23 and that the IIPFCC-GSC will receive regional nominations for the co-moderator until 15. January 2018.
Three nominees from the regions were presented during this period including:
1.) Grace Balawag, Tebtebba Foundation (Nomination supported by the Asia Region)
2.) Estebancio Castro, (Nomination supported by the Latin American Region)
3.) Roberto Borrero, International Indian Treaty Council (Nomination supported by North America, the Arctic, Russia, and the Pacific Regions)
The African region has expressed support of a consensus selection and it is a goal of the IIPFCC to affirm the indigenous co-moderator by consensus.
As of 22. March, Asia has withdrawn their nomination, leaving two nominees - Estebancio Castro and Roberto Borrero.
The issue will be now be undertaken by the IIPFCC-GSC co-chairs who will seek to reach a final decision on the co-moderator by 17. April.
Runar Myrnes Balto; Lola Cabnal; Maina Talia