United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Peoples’ Presentation at the Final Plenary of the 7th Session of the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals:
Agenda Item: Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction
10 January 2014, Trusteeship Council, UN Headquarters, New York
Presented by Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Tebtebba (Co-Organizing Partner for Indigenous Peoples’ Major Group)
Thank you Mr. Co Chairs.
Addressing climate change and disasters are crucial for indigenous peoples all over the world. Effectivity in addressing these is linked intricately with how our rights to our lands, territories and resources as well as respect for our traditional knowledge and customary governance and practices in sustainably managing our ecosystems, are respected. In this context, we would like to reiterate the points we often raise, which is to ensure that the human rights based approach, ecosystem approach, as well as culture and cultural values are integrated into the SDG principles, goals, targets and indicators.
Full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in SDG design, policy and programme development and implementation from the local to global level is therefore an imperative. The need for multistakeholder participation has been stressed by many States who spoke in this meeting.
We would like to thank the Troikas, which include Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Nicaragua, Bolivia, among others, who mentioned indigenous peoples and indigenous knowledge in their interventions.
Our contributions to climate change solutions and disaster risk reduction and management cannot be underestimated, considering that we survived centuries of colonisation and climate change. Undoubtedly, we are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts and disasters. But we also have demonstrated great resilience to these. With support in terms of policies, integrated approaches and programmes, finance and technology, we can enhance this resilience and we can contribute to achieving sustainable development even further.
We are the ones who can demonstrate our capacities to preserve and
sustainably use our ecosystems and resources because of our respect for nature, our sustainable lifestyles and livelihoods, ethics and cultures which respect intergenerational equity.
We can continue doing this as long as our rights, under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and other human rights instruments, are respected, protected and fulfilled. We can contribute in pushing for a transformational framework and a paradigm shift for the Post-2015 Development Agenda. This is what is demanded from us in the face of these multiple crises of the economy, environment, social and cultural development. We should not miss this opportunity of shifting away from business as usual which caused these crises.
We are therefore looking forward to seeing our proposals, including respect for land tenure rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, become part of final outcome of this Open-Ended Working Group on SDGs. We will be having a workshop on indicators over this weekend and we plan to submit the results of this to you. Thank you Mr. Co-Chair.
Contact addresses:
Vicky@tebtebba.org, tebtebba@tebtebba.org
Tebtebba representative in New York: Galina Angarova: galina@tebtebba.org
Roberto Borrero, International Indian Treaty Council, IITC, mukaro@uctp.org
Websites: www.tebtebba.org, www.indigenousclimate.org