Conferences of the Parties COP 16 - 20
COP 20, in Lima, Peru, December 2014
The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC took place on December 1 - 12, 2014 in Lima, Peru - a country with a 4 million indigenous population.
The COP 20 focused on getting closer to agreeing on a new binding agreement on emission reductions. Discussion also focused on land-use, agriculture and REDD+, which are all important to indigenous peoples’ rights and livelihood.
On 27 and 28 November, indigenous peoples and States had a dialogue meeting (co-organised by the Peruvian Government and Indigenous Peoples' Major Group) to discuss common priorities. After the meeting, the IIPFCC published a position paper.
COP 19, in Warsaw, November 2013
The two main outcomes of COP19 were a “Warsaw international mechanism on loss and damage” and the “Warsaw Framework for REDD+”, which is a series of seven decisions on the implementation modalities for the REDD+ mechanism.
Indigenous peoples’ representatives in this COP were not as many as in previous years, partly due to the limited quotas assigned to observer organizations. However, they maintained their advocacy and lobbying work and, ultimately, gained a number of achievements.
Read more about the achievements as seen from an indigenous perspective in The Indigenous World 2014
COP 18 in Doha, Qatar, December 2012
COP 18 did not provide ground-breaking results but rather laid out the roadmap for the negotiations towards a globally-binding agreement on emissions reductions that aims to be finalised in 2015. Parties to the COP approved the so-called “Doha Climate Gateway”, in which they formally agreed on three main assignments: 1) a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol; 2) the termination of the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP; and 3) the operationalization of the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP).
COP 17 in Durban, November - December 2011
From 28 November – 9 December 2011, the international climate community met in Durban, South Africa, for the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Indigenous peoples were represented in great numbers, negotiating for their rights to be respected and protected in a number of issues crucial for all aspects of their lives and their environments.
In October 2011, indigenous peoples met in Oaxaca, Mexico at the invitation of the government of Mexico, in order to prepare for and to discuss strategies and priorities for their involvement at the COP17. These are summarized in the Oaxaca Action Plan of Indigenous Peoples: From Cancún to Durban and beyond.
Taking stock of COP 17
The decisions emerging from COP17 in Durban were, in many ways, disappointing from an indigenous rights angle. Most importantly, they make no direct reference to “indigenous peoples”. As an outcome of the 2nd technical workshop in Oaxaca, the indigenous representatives adopted the Oaxaca Action Plan of Indigenous Peoples: From Cancún to Durban and Beyond, which formed a common platform for indigenous peoples’ advocacy and lobbying in Durban, as well as the basis for the post-Durban processes, spanning the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, the Qatar COP18 of the UNFCCC and the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples scheduled for 2014.
The action plan identifies a series of key challenges that indigenous peoples will work to overcome. These include the lack of implementation/operationalisation of the positive elements of the Cancún Agreement, particularly relating to respect for the rights of indigenous peoples, and the establishment of mechanisms for their full and effective participation in climate change processes on all levels.
Cop 16 and other developments of 2010
A clear failure, a small step in the right direction or a lifeboat for a desperate multilateral system? Indeed, assessing the outcome of the 16th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, held in Cancún in December 2010, is a complex exercise given the many elements and variables to be taken into account.