April 2009

Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change

Inuit Circumpolar Council

20 April – 24 April 2009 (Anchorage, Alaska)


Organized by the Inuit Circumpolar Council with the assistance of the UNU-IAS Traditional Knowledge Initiative, the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change “Leading the Way” gathered some 400 participants, including indigenous peoples from 80 nations. The purpose of the summit was to enable Indigenous peoples from all regions of the globe to exchange their knowledge and experience in adapting to the impacts of climate change. With regard to a declaration to be presented to the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held in December 2009, in Copenhagen, Denmark, the most difficult debates were held with regard to a call for a moratorium on new oil and gas drilling and a phase-out of fossil fuels.


Media reports and resources on the summit:


UNU-IAS TKI Press Briefing and Video Material


The Summit’s website


Indigenous Peoples At World Summit to Share Climate Change Observations, Coping Techniques
Science Daily, 20 April 2009


Indigenous Peoples Demand Greater Role in Climate Debate

IPS, 20 April 2009


Indigenous groups hold Alaska climate change talks

Agence France-Presse, 20 April 2009


Earth’s tribes unite against climate threats

NewScientist, 21 April 2009


Indigenous people serve as guardians of forest carbon, must be involved in climate solutions

Mongabay.com, 22 April 2009


Native Peoples Sound Dire Warning

IPS, 22 April 2009


Indigenous youths offer their take on climate change

Associated Press, 22 April 2009


Launch of the Indigenous Peoples’ Guide: “False Solutions to Climate Change”

HuntingtonNews.net, 22 April 2009


Statement by the UN General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto

UN Statement, 23 April 2009


Include indigenous rights in global climate change policies, summit told

CBC Canada, 23 April 2009


Indigenous people encouraged to stand together

Associated Press, 24 April 2009


Climate change concerns unites the World’s indigenous peoples at Global Summit in Anchorage, Alaska

IPACC, 24 April 2009


Indigenous people share climate adaptation strategies

SciDev.Net, 24 April 2009


Climate change conference ends on disputed resolution

KTUU, 24 April 2009


Drilling drives a wedge at climate change summit

Associated Press, 25 April 2009


No consensus on climate change document at indigenous summit

CBC Canada, 27 April 2009

Assembly President calls for unity in protecting planet on Earth Day

UN news release, 22 April 2009


NEW YORK, USA: As the UN General Assembly officially designated 22 April as International Mother Earth Day, its president called on States to “cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth’s ecosystems.” General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto emphasized the role of indigenous communities in environmental management and development because of their traditional knowledge and practices. “States should recognize and duly support their identity, culture and interests and enable the effective participation of indigenous peoples in the achievement of sustainable development,” he said. Read the news release … Read the full statement …  

UNESCO, US Library of Congress and Partners Launch World Digital Library

UNESCO press release, 21 April 2009


PARIS, FRANCE: UNESCO and 32 partner institutions launched the World Digital Library (WDL), a Web site that features unique cultural materials from libraries and archives from around the world. The site includes manuscripts, maps, rare books, films, sound recordings, prints and photographs. It provides unrestricted public access, free of charge, to this material. It functions in seven languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish – and includes content in more than forty languages. “UNESCO welcomes the creation of the World Digital Library which reflects the values and priorities of our Organization,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura declared. “WDL offers an invaluable platform for the free flow of information, for international solidarity, for the celebration of cultural diversity and for the building of inclusive knowledge societies.” Read the press release … The World Digital Library …

Access and Benefit-sharing: Composition of the Expert Group on traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources

CBD notification, 22 April 2009


The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has published the list of selected experts and observers to participate in the meeting of the expert group on traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, to be held from 16-19 June 2009, in Hyderabad, India. Download the notification [pdf] …

Forests for the Future: Indigenous Forest Management in a Changing World

Indonesia’s Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance (AMAN) and Down to Earth, April 2009


A new book written by members of indigenous communities across Indonesia argues that traditional forest management practices can provide important lessons in the effort to slow climate change. The book warns that carbon finance schemes that allow industrialized nations to offset emissions by paying for forest conservation in tropical countries present “huge risks” to indigenous communities, including loss of livelihoods and the denial of their right to manage their forests. Read the book …

KENYA: Medicinal plants boost livelihoods

IRIN News, 22 April 2009


NAIROBI, KENYA: A project developing medicinal products from plants found in Kakamega forest, western Kenya, has transformed the livelihoods of nearby communities over the past few years, officials of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) have said. “We believe the project has a major role to play as a model for conservation or biodiversity and in the improvement of the livelihoods of communities living near the forest,” said Wilber Lwande, ICIPE leader of the applied bioprospecting programme. “It is also one of the ways of enabling indigenous traditional knowledge to be useful to humankind before [that knowledge] is entirely lost.” Read the article …

Chamorro culture thriving: Programs aim to grow knowledge in youth

Pacific Sunday News, 26 April 2009


GUAM, USA: Across the island, Guam’s youth are becoming more involved in the movement to preserve the Chamorro language and culture. The Historic Inalåhan’s Engaging Youth Project, for example, is designed to help youth learn about and appreciate their heritage through crafts workshops, cultural camps, and Chamorro dance and music that employ language and cultural practices. Read the article …

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