Abu Dhabi, UAE : The COP28 Presidency has announced new measures to enhance the effective participation of Indigenous Peoples and authentic visibility of Indigenous People-led solutions at COP28, the high-level climate talks in to be held in Dubai in November.
Measures include financial support for Indigenous elders to attend the Conference, subsidized accommodations for 150 delegates from Indigenous organizations, the first-ever translation services for Indigenous Peoples, and funding a report on the economic opportunities of providing direct access to finance for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities undertaking climate action.
The announcement was made by Her Excellency Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, at an event on Friday co-hosted by the COP28 Presidency and the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change.
“Indigenous Peoples are one of the nine official constituencies – organizations which have the status of observers – in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” said Ms. Al Mubarak. “Still, their valuable perspectives remain underrepresented in multilateral climate processes, and they receive a very small share of the international funding for climate action.”
The COP28 Presidency and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions team have been engaging with Indigenous Peoples organizations throughout the year, including via two high-level side events and a series of bilateral meetings held in April on the sidelines of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues where views were exchanged on unlocking the roadblocks for authentic and effective engagement at COP28.
“One recurring theme in the discussions has been the need for greater inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in the negotiations process,” said Ms. Al Mubarak. “At the meeting on Friday, we followed-up on these conversations, shared progress and discussed other ways to ensure meaningful and authentic engagement of Indigenous leaders and youth at COP28.”
“This is far more than a moral imperative. We simply won’t be able to solve the climate crisis without authentically incorporating the leadership of Indigenous Peoples and other traditionally underrepresented groups such as women and youth,” said Ms. Al Mubarak, who is also President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Among the announced initiatives was a Global Data Study on Indigenous Peoples. It will seek to understand opportunities in investing in Indigenous Peoples’ funds and organizations. The study has the potential to address a key challenge faced by Indigenous organizations: limited direct access to finance.
Other measures include:
- Indigenous elders, including those from each of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues socio-cultural regions, will receive support to attend COP28.
- Subsidized accommodation for Indigenous Peoples during COP28 UAE
- Interpretation services for the 10th Meeting of the LCIPP Facilitative Working Group.
For Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, the Coordinator of the Association of Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT), and the Co-Chair of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC), the initiatives “represent progress towards the inclusion and recognition of the rights and knowledge of indigenous communities, especially for COP28."
“Indigenous peoples can bring concrete solutions for climate adaptation and mitigation, and their voice needs to be heard,” said Ms. Ibrahim. “I hope that COP28 will lead to concrete results for climate action and support to those who are on the front line of climate change.”
The steps announced by Ms. Al Mubarak are in addition to other measures that have already been taken. These include the COP28 Presidency supporting the Indigenous Peoples Pavilion in the Blue Zone as well as ensuring ceremonial space at the conference. There will also be a joint COP28 Presidency-UN Climate Change High level Champions dialogue on a just transition at COP28 with Indigenous Peoples and a dedicated day to Indigenous Peoples (December 5) on the COP28 two-week thematic program.
While in New York, Ms. Al Mubarak also discussed the need to boost direct funding for nature stewardship initiatives by Indigenous Peoples at a lunch attended by donors and community organizations. The issue of the lack of direct access to finance faced by Indigenous Peoples and territorial communities is actively championed by Ms. Al Mubarak.
“Indigenous Peoples have acted as stewards of nature in their ancestral lands,” said Ms. Al Mubarak. “Just consider that they comprise less than five per cent of the world’s population, yet they are responsible for protecting more than 80 per cent of its remaining biodiversity. These vital contributions need to be honored and scaled up.”
Spanning 90 countries, there are an estimated 476 million Indigenous Peoples, primarily residing in Asia, who offer a wealth of ecological and traditional knowledge, particularly within Indigenous Peoples' forestlands which exhibit significantly lower deforestation rates compared to other regions. Indigenous Peoples' long-recognized practices play a crucial role in addressing climate and biodiversity challenges. This underscores the importance of amplifying Indigenous Peoples' voices in global climate dialogues and facilitating direct funding for climate initiatives within these communities.
- COP28 UAE will take place at Expo City Dubai from November 30-December 12, 2023. The Conference is expected to convene over 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors.
- As mandated by the Paris Climate Agreement, COP28 UAE will deliver the first ever Global Stocktake – a comprehensive evaluation of progress against climate goals.
- The UAE will lead a process for all parties to agree upon a clear roadmap to accelerate progress through a pragmatic global energy transition and a “leave no one behind” approach to inclusive climate action.”
About Razan Al Mubarak:
Elected President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in September 2021, Razan Al Mubarak is the second woman to lead the organization in its 75-year history and its first president from West Asia. She also serves as UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for the leadership team of COP28 UAE, which will take place in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023. For more than 20 years, Razan has played a vital role in guiding the United Arab Emirates toward a more sustainable future while spearheading progressive environmental protection, species conservation, and climate action across West Asia and globally. Her diverse experience leading the largest environmental regulatory agency in the Middle East, an international philanthropic organization supporting species conservation projects worldwide, and an NGO focused on citizen engagement earned her recognition as one of the top 100 Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum in 2018.
For more information visit: https://www.razanalmubarak.com