Although indigenous peoples have not or only to a very limited extent contributed to the causes of the present climate changes they are increasingly confronted with its negative consequences. Best known may be the situation of the Inuit who are direct victims of the melting polar ice and permafrost in the Arctic region. But at the same time indigenous peoples in the Himalayas and in the Andes face a change in the flora and fauna on which they depend for their daily lives. For indigenous peoples living in desert areas, the breeding of cattle is getting more and more difficult because of increasing droughts. In tropical rainforests the reduction of rainfall and an increased chance of forest fires can be a serious threat for the numerous indigenous peoples living in these areas. Indigenous peoples living in coastal areas or on islands are being threatened by the rising sea level, and in temperate ecosystems the weather is getting more and more unpredictable, dry periods for instance becoming too short to dry the fish and seaweed.
Even though indigenous peoples are among the first victims of climate change and some have already developed new strategies to adapt to climate change, they hardly have a voice in policies to combat climate change. International policies for carbon emission reductions can even have further negative consequences for indigenous peoples.
Related NCIV activity:
- Policy dialogue on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)
REDD is a financial mechanism to pay countries who can prove that they reduce their deforestation rate, in order to reduces carbon emissions worldwide. This can be an opportunity for indigenous peoples that live in these forest to prevent it from being cut down, but it can also be a an incentive for governments to claim ownership of forests on land and territories of indigenous peoples in order to claim the payments for the forest services. This is why NCIV is also actively advocating safeguards for the rights of indigenous peoples in relation to the proposed REDD mechanism. Read more>>