AFN BULLETIN – AFN Calls for urgent action and more equitable participation of Indigenous Peoples Following COP26: UN Climate Change Conference 2021

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AFN BULLETIN – AFN Calls for urgent action and more equitable participation of Indigenous Peoples Following COP26: UN Climate Change Conference 2021

by ahnationtalk on November 18, 2021123 Views

AFN BULLETIN – AFN Calls for urgent action and more equitable participation of Indigenous Peoples Following COP26: UN Climate Change Conference 2021

The AFN sent a small delegation to the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, October 31, 2021 to November 12, 2021.

The AFN participated in many discussions highlighting First Nations climate leadership, including through a moderated discussion, Turtle Island Climate Action: Declaring Indigenous climate emergencies, which was livestreamed from the Indigenous Peoples Pavilion on November 4, 2021.

The AFN continues to call on the Government of Canada to include First Nations governance, laws and priorities in their climate plan.

The AFN urges all parties to the UNFCCC to push for full and effective participation for Indigenous Peoples in all future sessions, including COP 27 in Egypt.

First Nations are uniquely positioned to lead efforts to protect, conserve and sustainably manage the environment. We are the first to experience the impacts of climate change and we can be first responders in this global emergency.

COP26 was an important opportunity to advance the leadership of First Nations in addressing the global climate crisis, consistent with the recent resolution: Declaring a First Nations Climate Emergency (AGA 2019), and in line with the findings of the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) sent a small delegation to the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which took place in Glasgow, Scotland, October 31, 2021 to November 12, 2021. The AFN has been participating in international climate negotiations for the past several years, including with respect to the Paris Agreement in 2015.

As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, priority attention must return internationally to addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, and its structural drivers in order to rebalance the relationship with all of Creation. With record heatwaves, wildfires and floods around the world, there is no issue more pressing for all of humanity.

The AFN continues to call on the Government of Canada to include First Nations governance, laws and priorities in their climate plan. First Nations are uniquely positioned to lead efforts to protect, conserve and sustainably manage the environment due to our longstanding reciprocal relationship with all of Creation. COP26 was an important opportunity to advance the leadership of First Nations in addressing the global climate crisis, consistent with the recent resolution: Declaring a First Nations Climate Emergency (AGA 2019), and in line with the findings of the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

As we move forward in our work domestically, the AFN also urges all parties to the UNFCCC to take urgent and transformative climate action, and push for the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples. Canada is one of the few countries that offers delegation badges to organizations outside the federal government such as the AFN. Even with badges, participation in negotiation meetings is challenging, exacerbated by the health pandemic.

Representing the AFN at COP26 were Nova Scotia/Newfoundland Regional Chief Paul Prosper, Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) Secretary-Treasurer Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, UBCIC Climate Policy Analyst Josh Kioke and AFN Senior Policy Advisor of Environment, Lands, & Water Branch Graeme Reed.

Highlights included:

  • Participating in the Indigenous Peoples Caucus, including the Preparatory meetings, and confirming an updated three-year workplan at the Indigenous Peoples Platform negotiation.
  • Attending the Indigenous Clean Energy event on renewable energy leadership by Indigenous Peoples, with Regional Chief Prosper speaking on the importance of a First Nations Climate Lens
  • Leading a moderated discussion, Turtle Island Climate Action: Declaring Indigenous climate emergencies, which was livestreamed from the Indigenous Peoples Pavilion on November 4, 2021. Regional Chief Prosper was joined at the discussion by United Tribes of Michigan Executive Director, Frank Ettawageshik and National Congress of American Indians President, Fawn Sharp, which was moderated by Graeme Reed.
  • Witnessing the first-ever Annual Knowledge Keepers Gathering, which supported 28 Knowledge Keepers from all seven UN Indigenous socio-cultural regions and enabled them to address state parties.

As the AFN develops a National Climate Strategy, COP26 provided an opportunity to call on Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault to ensure that First Nations governance, laws and priorities breathe life into the Government of Canada’s climate plan committing to “position Indigenous climate leadership as a cornerstone of a strengthened climate plan.” COP26 also provided an opportunity for Regional Chief Prosper to meet with Minister Guilbeault, while sharing our priorities and seeking a commitment to continue the constructive dialogue at a domestic and international level.

COP26 Priorities

The AFN continues to advance several priorities related to First Nations climate leadership, rooted in our resolution: Declaring a First Nations Climate Emergency (AGA 2019)

Our priorities at COP26 were to:

  • Amplify First Nations’ and other Indigenous Peoples’ voices and climate leadership on the international stage, while supporting efforts for full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples in the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change);
  • Urge Canada to re-commit to urgent and transformative climate action in line with the Chiefs-in-Assembly resolution from 2019 and to advance these priorities in the international setting and;
  • Communicate the utility of a First Nations Climate Lens to help reconceptualize the root causes driving climate change and offer reimagined Indigenous-led solutions.

For more information, please contact:

Lori Kittelberg
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
604-340-3117 (mobile)
[email protected]

NT5

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