Summary Of Rio +20 International Conference Of Indigenous Peoples On Self-Determination And Sustainable Development

Indigenous Peoples Global Steering Committee for Rio+20

The Rio+20 International Conference of Indigenous Peoples on Self-Determination and Sustainable Development concluded on June 19, 2012: “United for our food sovereignty, traditional cultures and ways of life,” with the adoption by consensus the final Declaration. The conference was convened by the Committee for the Global Coordination of Indigenous Peoples Rio+20 with participation of representatives of Indigenous networks and organizations from seven regions of the world and the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. This Committee was established in August 2011 at the Indigenous Peoples Preparatory Meeting for Rio +20 in Manaus, Brazil. From that date forward seven regional preparatory meetings took place where an assessment was made of the Plan of Action which was adopted in Johannesburg en 2002. Indigenous Peoples promoted their central messages during the last few months for these messages to be considered by the governments in political declaration at Río +20.

During the Conference, 250 Indigenous women, men, youth, leaders, spiritual leaders, experts from global, continental, national, regional networks from Asia, Africa, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Russia, the Arctic and the Pacific. Some of the organizations involved are the following: the International Forum of Indigenous Women, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact- AIPACC, International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), la Enlace Continental de Mujeres Indígenas de las Américas (ECMIA), la Coordinadora Andina de Organizaciones Indígenas (CAOI), la Coordinadora de Organizaciones indígenas de Centro America (CICA), la Coordinadora de organizaciones indígenas de Mesoamerica- (CIMA), Indigenous organization of Russia – RAIPON, the Circumpolar Council of Arctic Organizations, the global network Indigenous youth, among others. Other organizations that participated include, AMAMN de Indonesia, MPIDO of Kenya, the Autonomous Regional Council of North Atlantic Nicaragua, ONIC of Colombia, CONFENAIE of Ecuador, Confederación de Mujeres Campesinas e Indígenas Bartolina Sisas de Bolivia, DENE Nation of North West Territories of Canada, Bangsa Adat Alifuri of Malaku and the Sami Parliament of Finland, among others.

The local and national representatives of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil also participated among those are the participants of the Campamento Terra Livre, COICA and COIAB. Civil society organizations, NGOs, academicians and the business sector were present. Grand Chief Ed John, Mirna Cunningham, Devasih Roy and Valmaine Toki, members of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues were also present, as well as Francisco Cali, the representative of UN Commiittee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, (CERD) and representatives of the Secretariat of the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs, (DESA).

The conference took place within the framework of the activities of the Cúpula de los Povos as part of Rio +20 at the Museo de la Republica in Rio de Janeiro. The Ford Foundation, the International Fund for Agricultural Development – IFAD and the Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean – Indigenous Fund and collaboration of IWGIA of Denmark, TEBBTEBA of the Philippines, the Center for Autonomy and development for Indigenous Peoples of Nicaragua, (in Spanish, Centro para la Autonomía y desarrollo de los pueblos indígenas de Nicaragua- CADPI), International Indian Treaty Council-IITC and the International Forum of Indigenous Women – FIMI.

The issues discussed at the Conference included the position of Indigenous Peoples at the Rio +20 conference and the key messages promoted in the negotiation process of the outcome document which are: the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for Sustainable Development, and culture as the 4th pillar for development, right to land, territories and natural resources, the promotion and respect for traditional knowledge and the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples for sustainable development.

Other issues discussed were the existing model development on Indigenous Peoples, the model of development of self-determination or Buen Vivir (Living Well) promoted by Indigenous Peoples, Food Sovereignty and Right to Food, and the role of women and indigenous youth. Representatives of the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon, COIAB, leaders of Roraima and other indigenous peoples of Brazil spoke of the situations their communities face. During the conference the participants the 2nd Karioca Meeting shared the results of their deliberations. Indigenous peoples´ spirituality was a constant feature for the organization and development of the Conference.

During the closing of the conference some of the participants included, the President of IFAD, Mr. Kanayo Nwanze, the Vice President of the Ford Foundation, Mr. Pablo Farias, Mr. Emile Frison, Director Biodiversity International, Mr. Francisco Cali, Vice President of the CERD, Mr. Luis Evelis Andrade and Mr. Mateo Martinez of the Indigenous Fund and the representatives of the Ministry, Gilberto Carvalho and FUNAI of the Brazilian Government who accepted the results of the discussions and copies of the book, “Sustaining and enhancing Indigenous People’s self- determined development: 20 years after Rio”, written by indigenous authors in which an assessment is made of the impacts on our peoples in the 20 years since the Rio Conference in 1992.

The Declaration of the “International Conference of Indigenous Peoples on Self-Determination and Sustainable Development” was adopted by consensus by the participants. Additionally, 2000 participants from the Campamento Terra Livre also endorsed the declaration, as well as other indigenous organization that participated in Río +20. The participants agreed by consensus in the Final Declaration that throughout history our fundamental systems of cultural beliefs and world vision based on the sacred relationship with Mother Earth have perpetuated our peoples and sustainable development can only exist with the full realization and fulfillment of human rights. We likewise affirm that sustainable development and self-determination of our peoples go hand in hand, to that end, it is fundamental to ensure territorial rights, territorial management, and the construction and strengthening of our dynamic community economies.

We commit to continue strengthening and defending our economies and our rights to our territories and resources against extractive industries, predatory investments, appropriation of our territories, forced displacements and unsustainable development projects. We call upon the world to reestablish dialogue and harmony with Mother Earth and adopt a new paradigm for civilization based on Buen Vivir in the spirit of collective survival, dignity, and well-being. We respectfully offer our cultural vision to collectively renew our relationship among ourselves and with Mother Earth to guarantee Buen Vivir (Living Well) with integrity. We will take these messages to Rio+20 and the United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in 2014.


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