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नेपालका आदिवासी-जनजातिहरु
Indigenous People of Nepal

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Climate Change, Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples

New York, January 12, 2009- For Indigenous Peoples, the air, waters, lands, plants and animals, seas and sea ice constitute the totality of the natural environments which have traditionally sustained life since time immemorial. These natural ecosystems provide the basis for their traditional subsistence economies (farming, hunting, gathering, herding and fishing), their physical health, and collective material survival and are a requirement for the exercise of their right to development.

“Recognizing the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples which derive from their political, economic and social structures and from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, especially their rights to their lands, territories and resources”

- Preamble, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The sacred responsibility to maintain the health and integrity of the Natural World for future generations is also a central element of Indigenous Peoples’ spirituality, traditional ceremonial practices, religious expressions and ceremonial practice.

The climate is rapidly changing. Warming trends accelerating at an alarming rate are affecting the globe in many adverse ways. A century and a half of industrialization based on burning of fossil fuels (oil, gasoline and coal) accompanied by rampant loss of forests, “the lungs of the earth”, have released large amounts of “greenhouse gases” (GHG) into the Earth’s atmosphere and trap the heat released by the sun. These are primarily carbon dioxide and methane.

Climate change is already having severe impacts on the right to food sovereignty, food security and the inter-related rights to health and culture for Indigenous Peoples by threatening the ecosystems that are home to the plants and animals upon which they depended for their means of subsistence, physical survival and cultural strength. The means of subsistence of all Indigenous Peoples is affected.

“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children”
– Sitting Bull

“Our Grandfathers and Grandmothers are still holding a bundle to pray for the water to return, and to bring back a good rain and a good snow for the Land, for the people who remain on the Land, for their grandchildren and the animals.”

- Kee Watchman, Dineh Nation
Cactus Valley Red Willow Springs, Arizona

Read this document more

  Submission to the United Nations High Commissioner on Human by the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), NGO in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council  by:
Andrea Carmen
Executive Director, IITC Administration Office
456 N. Alaska St. Palmer Alaska 99645
+ (907) 745-4482
Email: andrea@treatycouncil.org
December 26th, 2008
   
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