Bring Indigenous Voices into the Conversation About Climate Change

The United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries or UN-REDD was created to offer developing countries financial incentives for cutting down carbon emissions by preserving forests and biodiversity.

Addressing global climate change is vital, but unfortunately policies developed by the global North are not always harmonious with the livelihoods of the indigenous peoples that live on the lands. The watchgroup REDD-Monitor points out specific language in REDD’s call to action that can be problematic:

1. “conservation” sounds good, but the history of the establishment of national parks includes large scale evictions and loss of rights for indigenous peoples and local communities.

2.“sustainable management of forests” could include subsidies to commercial logging operations in old-growth forests, indigenous peoples’ territory or in villagers’ community forests.

3.“enhancement of forest carbon stocks” could result in conversion of land (including forests) to industrial tree plantations, with serious implications for biodiversity, forests and local communities. 

When groups of marginalized people barely have a voice at the state or national level, it is easy and convenient for world leaders to overlook them. But besides bringing unique perspectives and knowledge of the issue, indigenous peoples need to have a say in the fate of the land they live on.


Tell the Head UN-REDD Programme Secretariat Yemi Katerere that indigenous peoples must participate in deciding climate change policies by signing the petition.

Yves Picq

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Daniel M.
Past Member 5 years ago

Planting only 6 percent of the continental United States with biomass crops such as hemp would supply all current domestic demands for oil and gas.
Did you know the average American spends 33 of 40 working hours to support their need for energy? It's true; 80 percent of the total monetary living expense for everything we do is ultimately wrapped up in energy costs; from the energy it takes to make the food we eat, to fuel for the cars we drive, to the manufacturing, storage and transportation of the products we buy. And 80 percent of solid and airborne pollution in our environment can be blamed on fossil energy sources. It is estimated that America has already exhausted 80 percent of its fossil fuel reserves.
Industrial hemp is the number one biomass producer on earth, meaning an actual contender for an economically competitive, clean burning fuel. Hemp has four times the biomass and cellulose potential and eight times the methanol potential of its closest competing crop - corn. Burning coal and oil are the greatest sources of acid rain; biomass fuels burn clean and contain no sulphur and produce no ash during combustion. The cycle of growing and burning biomass crops keeps the world s carbon dioxide level at perfect equilibrium, which means that we are less likely to experience the global climactic changes (greenhouse effect) brought about by excess carbon dioxide and water vapors after burning fossil fuels.


Tess Thackara
Tess Thackara5 years ago

Indigenous people, who have done least to cause climate change are now potentially the ones most affected not only by climate change but also by measures to mitigate it. For an in depth exploration of the issues surrounding indigenous peoples and climate change read Survival International's report, The most inconvenient truth of all at

johan l.
paul l.5 years ago

Let us not be negative about this!
It is a great and worthwhile idea.
I just hope that not only monetary incentives are given but education about why they should protect the earth!

Linda M.
Linda M.5 years ago

everyone. please sign and share:

thanks so much

Nikolas Karman
Nikolas K.5 years ago

Great article, but people must understand that the United nations is a creation of those who caused our global warming problems we need to fix our own backyards and give full control of areas where indigenous live, to them.

Nellie K A.
Nellie K. Adaba5 years ago

I signed already.

Judy Emerson
Judith Emerson5 years ago

Indigenous peoples from all over the world are speaking freely and working hard to develop sound environmental policies at this week's World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change in Cochabamba, Bolivia! They deserve the same respect at the United Nations!

Doris S.
Doris S.5 years ago

great article

James Siberry
Past Member 5 years ago

great article, thanks

Michele C.
Michele C.5 years ago

Signed the petition