Indigenous and forest peoples’ rights according to international agreements and their implications for international climate policies By Asbjørn Eide Professor emeritus, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights First Chairman, UN Working Group on Indigenous Peoples’ Righs (1982 -)
Those who descend from groups that lived traditionally in the region concerned before the borders of the state or of the colonial borders were drawn and before the arrivals of those who are presently dominant,
And who have maintained some or all of their traditions or customs
Self-identification as indigenous is an essential element in the definition of indigenous
Problems in recognition by states
Marginalisation and evictions of indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are often evicted
Their customs concerning ownership and users’ rights often not respected
Land taken for plantations or for contract cash crop farming
Growing concern: Plantations for agrofuel
Large-scale development projects destroy livelihood for indigenous peoples
States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands,territories and resources. Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the customs, traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoples concerned
The right to redress or compensation for land taken
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to redress, by means that can include restitution or, when this is not possible, just, fair and equitable compensation, for the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used, and which have been confiscated, taken, occupied, used or damaged without their free, prior and informed consent.
Conservation and protection of their environment
Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources. States shall establish and implement assistance programmes for indigenous peoples for such conservation and protection, without discrimination.
Article 32.2. States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.
Promoting respect for and application of indigenous peoples rights
Article 42: The United Nations, its bodies, including the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and specialized agencies, including at the country level, and States shall promote respect for and full application of the provisions of this Declaration and follow up the effectiveness of this Declaration.
Article 43: The rights recognized herein constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world.
Climate change: The agrofuel threat and the indigenous peoples
Global warming a product of GHG emissions
The predominant concern with GHG from transport
GHG emission from deforestation and from disruption of wetland and peat cancels out all benefits derived from the use of biofuel in transport
The expanding production often takes place by clearing areas inhabited by indigenous and forest peoples