United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Indigenous Peoples

UN Commission on Sustainable Development 14th Session
Thematic Discussion Session
Friday, May 5, 2006
Indigenous Peoples Caucus Statement within the Afternoon Thematic Session on ?Enhancing
R&D in developing, deploying and disseminating technologies that help multiple impacts and
objectives in the thematic cluster?
Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, member of the Indigenous Caucus
Mr. Chair,
I would like to talk about indicators. Within the global system, there are numerous indicators
currently being utilized for measuring progress in governance, policy and programming
initiatives. A large proportion of these indicators are dependent on the nature and quality of data
that exists or is under development for measuring progress across various sectors - economic,
social, environment, but also to include education, health, culture, and human rights.
Within the first panel presentation, there was discussion on indicators related to sustainable
energy, climate change, industrialization and atmospheric pollutants.
The Indigenous Peoples Caucus is concerned the formulation of these goals, targets and
indicators, often do not include the participation of, or consultation with indigenous peoples and
local communities, thus resulting in a situation where indicators have not captured or have
inadequately achieved any value of the impacts and assets of indigenous peoples. They have also
not captured many criteria that are essential for the well-being of indigenous peoples, including
the protection of our health, lands, territories and resources, to be able to practice our culture, as
well as our own aspirations and perceptions of sustainable development.
Data collection and disaggregation has been identified as a major issue of methodology.
As a barrier and constraint of evaluating the true impacts of policy decisions to our indigenous
peoples, any integrated approach must have indicators based on indigenous peoples? own
perception of our own situation and experiences. This can only be done in partnership and
developed jointly with indigenous peoples, as mentioned by Canada.
As we go towards the CSD 15, there must be further an elaboration of the necessity of
disaggregating data. Within countries where there are indigenous peoples, there must be a review
and development of disaggregated data and information on indigenous peoples, in
partnership with indigenous peoples.
These indicators must identify priorities and criteria and methodologies that look at:
· Indicators that have methodologies that measure cultural and spiritual/cosmovision
· Indicators that can determine the distributional effects of energy, climate,
industrialization, atmospheric pollution and other environmental impacts on indigenous
peoples, women, children and vulnerable popula tions.
· Indicators that consider the full potential for disproportionately high and adverse human
health or environmental effects on indigenous peoples, women, children and vulnerable
Thank you.