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Environment and Climate Change

In recent years, climate change has posed a new range of threats and challenges to indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples across the world are disproportionately affected by climate change and yet have not been allowed full and effective participation in the global negotiations on climate change as required by Articles 19 and 41 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

IWGIA’s approach is to combine support to indigenous peoples’ participation in the Climate Change discussions taking place within the UN and their advocacy efforts at the UNFCCC negotiations with local projects aimed at empowering indigenous communities to respond effectively to international and national mitigation schemes.

Promoting rights-based, equitable and pro-poor REDD strategies

In addition to its direct impact on the environment and thus the livelihood of indigenous peoples, the various schemes to mitigate climate change may turn out to be yet another threat to indigenous peoples’ lands and livelihoods. On the other hand, they may offer opportunities for strengthening indigenous communities’ forest tenure and for income generation. The challenge facing indigenous communities is to critically assess the potential threats and benefits and to take an informed decision.

Training for leaders is a key strategic component of IWGIA’s program on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) and indigenous peoples, which is being implemented in various African and Asian countries.

The program seeks to raise awareness among indigenous communities of climate change and REDD and to strengthen the capacity of their leaders to conduct advocacy work and negotiations on REDD with States.

Training manuals are being developed and translated into local languages, regional training of trainers is being conducted, followed by national and local level training in the partner countries.