To Fight Climate Change Indigenous Peoples should Be Listened 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published on August 9,2021, the World Indigenous Peoples Day, part one of its Sixth Assessment Report. It observes that greenhouse gas concentrations are “unequivocally caused by human activities” and that already all regions of the world are impacted by the effects of climate change. 

Wampi youth from Peru (Alejandro Parellada)

Indigenous or First Nations people are among the first to face the direct consequences of climate change, due to their dependence upon, and close relationship, with the environment and its resources. 

International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), a human rights organisation expressed deep concern as Indigenous Peoples around the world are at the frontline of climate action and among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. 

‘Indigenous Peoples are stewards of nature and have been ringing the alarm of climate change for decades. They need to be listened to in global climate action’. Said in a press release IWGIA.   

Maasai in a dried river bed in Tanzania (Stefan Thorsell)

“As a new report has been launched today, Indigenous Peoples call for our knowledge on climate change to be recognised. Our governments must appreciate the role of Indigenous Peoples in biodiversity conservation and climate action.” said Gideon Sanago, a Maasai man from Tanzania. 

Daria Egereva, a Selkup woman from Siberia, Russia, believes her people will be among the most impacted in decades to come.  

“The year of 2021 has brought disease and disasters to the entire planet. Listening to stories from all corners of the world, one understands only too clear that none of this would have happened without humans. We see again forest fires, death of animals and nature. With melting ice in the North, we lose unique Indigenous cultures, traditions and knowledge. The changing climate, and the threats coming with this, forces Indigenous Peoples to migrate and forget forever that snow has tens of names and autumn comes twice.” 

Indigenous peoples who choose or are forced to migrate away from their traditional lands often face double discrimination. Reported United Nations.

Stefan Thorsell, IWGIA Climate Advisor, thinks Indigenous Peoples play an important role in the task to fight climate change.  

“We cannot ignore the fact that year after year, Indigenous Peoples from all regions of the world have warned of the impending path humanity is on. Indigenous Peoples are experiencing the effects of climate change first-hand. Despite constituting a mere 6% of the world’s population, they are protectors of nearly a quarter of the global land surface and the biodiversity it holds. Indigenous Peoples need to be listened to and must be heard at the COP 26 climate conference in October.” 

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