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Opening Statement of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) at SB58 in Bonn, Germany

The following is the Opening Statement of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) at the UNFCCC SB58 meeting in Bonn, Germany, made on June 5, 2023. Cultural Survival's Edson Krenak (Krenak), Lead on Brazil, and Polina Shulbaeva (Selkup), Consultant, are at the 58th sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) taking place from June 5-15, 2023 at the World Conference Center in Bonn, and tracking climate change negotiations. 

Good morning Mr. President, 

The International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) reiterates the urge for respect and implementation of the Paris Agreement Preamble on human rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Climate change is a matter of life and death for us in all regions. State actions have fallen far short, Greenhouse gas emissions and global temperatures are increasing. For example, in my region Asia, strong typhoons in coastal territories, rapid snowmelt and avalanches in high Himalayas are taking lives and lifeways.

We call for a real reduction in emissions at the source, rapid phase-out of fossil fuels, rather than carbon offsets. Indigenous knowledge holders have affirmed that no amount of monetary compensation can repair the losses we are already experiencing impacting our ways of life. Loss and damage mechanisms [at the UNFCCC] must prioritize prevention rather than compensation. Indigenous Peoples from all regions must have direct access to and management of all funding for adaptation, mitigations and loss and damage.

We express our concerns with the growing tendency to combine and equate us with “local communities” who are still yet undefined. We emphasize that we are not opposing the participation of any entities that self-identify as "local communities". However, we call on Parties, the COP Secretariat and UNFCCC Constituted Bodies to cease their current practice of combining the terms “Indigenous Peoples” and “Local Communities” in their decisions, names of bodies, and programs.

We call for our full and equitable participation including by youth, women, persons with disabilities and knowledge holders in the formulation, and implementation of all climate actions to meet the 1.5-degree Paris commitment.

Thank you.