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IWGIA and Forests of the World foster debate on human rights and climate change

October 3 2016
IWGIA and the Danish NGO Forests of the World will hold a conference at the Danish Parliament next October 27th . The conference will focus on Denmark’s commitments and responsibility to protect climate, halt deforestation and ensure indigenous peoples’ rights within the frameworks of the new global initiatives. The conference is open for the public and Danish politicians, civil society and academia are invited to engage in the debate.

Both, the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the Climate Agreement signed last year during the COP21 in Paris, are strong tools to combat climate change. At the same time, these are mechanisms that ensure responsible resource consumption and the rights for all to a decent and sustainable life.
The Climate Agreement signed in Paris recognises the rights of indigenous peoples and mentions the role of the world’s forests in the fight to protect the climate and environment of the Earth. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal no. 15 “Life on land” and Goal 12 “responsible consumption and production” also emphasise the importance of sustainable use of the world’s forest resources as crucial for ecological and economic development in the future.
Climate change is not only an environmental issue

The latest figures from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) show, that global deforestation accounts for as much emission of CO2 as the entire world’s transport sector. It is well documented that in areas where indigenous peoples’ territorial rights are recognised, deforestation rates are lower and the storage of CO2 is higher. At the same time, climate change poses one of the greatest threats for the poorest and most vulnerable groups in the world, in particular indigenous peoples. Climate change is not simply an environmental issue, it also poses a central question about protection of human rights.
Thus, the protection of forests and indigenous peoples’ rights are important elements in the Paris Agreement to achieve the long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature well below 2°C and preferably 1,5 °C.  
The conference will focus on and discuss how Denmark with its strong expertise and long tradition for supporting indigenous peoples rights, can take lead in promoting the understanding that rights, forests and climate change are inextricably linked in order to ensure a successful implementation of both the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, both now and in the long term.
With the signing of the Paris Agreement and the adoption of the sustainable development goals, Denmark has a unique opportunity to once again promote itself as one of the leading countries supporting indigenous peoples’ rights.

How to participate?

Register sending an e-mail by October 24th to Andreas Petersen at