The Indigenous Platform: A win-win for climate and indigenous rights

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Yesterday I observed a side event that left me feeling anxious about our future. With all the acknowledgment of climate change and the steps taken by parties to the UNFCCC since 1992, greenhouse gas emissions are still rising. In fact, nowhere on the graph presented did the tangent show progress in decreasing emissions. That’s right!…
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We are working on it!

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Attending COP23 as an observer is a privilege because you are able to attend international multilateral negotiations. You witness established alliances use their power as a block and observe the dynamics of side negotiations. In these international multilateral negotiations, delegates agonize over words and paragraphs. They set their lines in the sand early and often….
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Protestors as Nonparty Stakeholders

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Today at COP23, the United States Climate Action Center event “America’s Pledge on Climate Change,” had speakers that included Walmart’s Senior Vice President of Sustainability, the Mayor of Pittsburgh, California Governor Jerry Brown, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. They reassured the world that America’s Paris contribution would be met regardless of inaction at the…
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Unlocking the secrets of the past

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In adapting to climate change, the decision makers of today can find great wisdom in the traditional knowledge of indigenous people. Traditional farming practices can offer a huge potential for resilience and adaptation to climate change. In Kenya, for example, traditional varieties of plants are more genetically diverse than modern varieties, and are better able…
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Climate Change and Indigenous Governance

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COP23 commenced its series of Thematic Days with Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which included a series of side events on the protection of traditional indigenous knowledge and how this knowledge is being used in climate change action. Indigenous people are directly connected with the land and therefore feel the effects of climate change on the ground…
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Closing the UNFCCC Gender GAP?

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The Gender Action Plan, with its apt acronym – GAP – was on the agenda earlier this month at the UNFCCC intersessional meetings in Bonn, Germany. And, rightly so. Women’s equal and meaningful participation in the development and implementation of effective climate policy is an agreed goal of the Parties to the Convention. Since COP7…
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Just Peace through Climate Action

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This year, the COP demonstrated the priority of climate justice by recognizing the first official Climate Justice Day on the UNFCCC Programme. The celebration of Climate Justice Day explored the social dimensions of climate action while elevating the spirit of cooperation and solidarity that led to the Paris Agreement. In fact, COP 22 highlights the…
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Using the Paris Agreement to Incorporate Indigenous Peoples Knowledge into Climate Change Policies

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Panelists presenting today on indigenous peoples knowledge outlined land use and resource management practices adopted by indigenous peoples that are viable and sustainable approaches to climate change adaptation. To date, climate change approaches have focused largely on utilizing modern technologies and developing new technologies to the detriment of indigenous peoples. Panelists began by describing specific…
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Loss and damage at SB44 – Whither the WIM?

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While, as we posted last week, loss and damage (L&D) was not on the agendas of the Subsidiary Bodies or the APA at the UNFCCC intersessional meetings held in Bonn, May 16-26, some attention was paid to this important issue. Four side events covered varying aspects of L&D policy and action, both inside and outside…
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Caught on the Front Lines of Climate Change

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In an event hosted today by WOCAN (Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management), six inspiring women shared their stories of community, loss, and leadership. The panel was comprised of women from diverse and remote regions of the world, including a Native American of the Ponca Nation, a representative from the Democratic…
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Celebrating Gender Day at COP21

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Today is Gender Day at COP21. In celebration, the Women and Gender Constituency of the UNFCCC recognized the winners of the Gender Just Climate Solutions competition. These winners were celebrated for their great work combating climate change in a “gender-just” manner. Island Eco from the Marshall Islands won the Technical Climate Solution Award for its…
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Side (event) . . .

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Side events can more than occupy one’s time at a COP.  Presented by a range of actors — academics, activists, businesses, government agencies — they can range in content and quality.  Thus I was fortunate that the few I attended at COP19, given my focus on tracking the ADP negotiations, were fascinating and informative. On the…
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More on the High Level Panel Event on the Land Use Sector and Forests

This post adds a bit more detail to Chris Knowles’ earlier post. The President of the Conference of Parties convened a “High-level panel event on the land use sector and forests” on Monday 18 November at COP19 . The President himself was in attendance, but his representative opened the meeting emphasizing the importance of the…
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Dilemmas within REDD+: It’s Hard to be the Good One

In theory REDD+ is simple: Communities are paid to conserve their forests instead of logging them. Further up, countries get credit for reducing their rate of deforestation. In practice, it creates some moral dilemmas for the virtuous community that conserves its forest. Consider a hypothetical group of 100 communities in a forested area.   There…
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Incorporating Indigenous Rights and Perspectives

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“It is not the institutions that define the work we do… it is our relationships.” — Tim Bull Bennett When considering what topic to follow through the chaos of COP19, and feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the acronym soup, I retreated to a topic I know: advocating for incorporation and respect for Indigenous perspectives, drawing on…
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