Indigenous people are victims of climate change’s impacts and can be agents of change. Last week, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, Razan Al Mubarak, and COP28 Director-General and Special Representative, Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, during their visit to the United Nations Headquarters in New York, stressed the importance of closer collaboration with indigenous communities in driving solutions to the climate crisis at the 22nd Session United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Al Mubarak, who is also the President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, during her keynote address, said that there was a need for the inclusion of the indigenous people as “full partners” and include them in the decision-making processes that affect their lands, health, resources and way of life.
“The Paris Agreement states that climate change is a common concern for all humankind, and when taking action to address climate change, the rights of Indigenous peoples should be respected, promoted, and enacted,” she said.
“It is imperative that we work together to ensure the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as we seek solutions to solve the climate crisis,” Al Mubarak added.
Al Mubarak also emphasized the importance of using the traditional knowledge of the indigenous people in the fight against climate change and referred to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Glasgow Climate Pact, and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework for the same while also recognizing the numerous contributions made by the Indigenous peoples in achieving sustainable development and protecting the environment and biodiversity.
In their respective engagements, both members of the COP28 leadership team reiterated the UAE’s commitment to closer collaboration with indigenous communities in driving solutions to the climate crisis.
“As a UN Climate Change Champion, I am committed to partnering with you to support your efforts and to promote solutions from indigenous peoples to solve the climate crisis,” said Al Mubarak.
Briefing the representatives of the Group of 77 + China, Al Suwaidi spoke about the potential areas of cooperation and highlighted the UAE’s dedication to working closely with developing countries in the Global South for an all-inclusive COP28 in Dubai later this year.
The two delegates also met and engaged with young people, women, indigenous groups, business leaders, civil society groups, and city and sub-state governments, emphasizing the critical role that indigenous youth can play in building climate resilience and safeguarding against the impacts of climate change.
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