United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Indigenous Peoples

Thanks Mr Chair. The Indigenous Peoples major group welcomes this special session on SIDS; and
acknowledges the statements made by the panel, government delegations and other major groups. We
endorse the general positions presented by delegations of SIDS on global issues of climate
change which needs significant action from the CSD. We express the close affinity between the
situation of many SIDS and indigenous peoples, including those in other states.
With the current environment crisis, specifically the climate change crisis, we have witnessed more
enormous and more devastating disasters of hurricanes, tsunamis, rising sea levels, earthquakes and
more frequent storms experienced specifically by the SIDS. Many SIDS and other small islands
within larger states are populated by indigenous peoples who have been traditional stewards of their
biological and cultural diversity, and the various ecosystems found in their lands and waters. When
these lands and resources disappear; or are gravely altered due to these disasters and climate change
crisis, the local populations suffer the first and the worst impacts; and their survival is at stake.
Aggravating such serious situation, the SIDS are also hosts to various extractive industries of largescale
mining and logging which brought about more serious environmental degradation with the
unregulated toxic wastes to their lands and waters. Mining particularly in low lying coastal regions is
also in question more generally; as this has seriously impacted sustainable livelihoods greatly
depending on the lands and waters of SIDS.
While the local communities in the SIDS, including indigenous peoples, have coped and adapted to
these challenges in earlier years; the present-day magnitude and destructive nature of these extractive
industries and the devastating disasters resulting from the climate change crisis have seriously
challenged their resilience and capacities to adapt.
Mr. Chair, in such vulnerable situation of the SIDs, how will the CSD, member states and all the
stakeholders share the burden and responsibility to respond to this ecological and climate crises and
move towards a more concrete sustainable development of the SIDS?
It is imperative that the CSD, member States, corporations and all stakeholders make ourselves aware
and actively be included in all levels of engagements on these issues affecting all peoples; including
indigenous and land based peoples within the SIDS. We persist that the CSD and member states should
ensure to provide necessary mechanisms for a full and more effective participation of all stakeholders,
including indigenous peoples and local communities; at all stages of the review and decisions on
policies, programmes and projects that are being planned, designed and implemented towards SIDSspecific
sustainable development. Likewise, corresponding support for capacity development with
technological and logistical requirements should be seriously defined and provided for all these
processes and projects, specifically for disaster risk management and for specific sustainable
development initiatives within the SIDS, and hopefully will provide benefits for the most vulnerable
local communities within the SIDS. We reiterate and appeal to the CSD, member States, corporations
and all stakeholders to uphold the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in whatever
policies, programs and projects that are planned, designed and undertaken in indigenous peoples
communities within the SIDS; including the climate change architecture.