Indigenous peoples and climate change

ILO at the Sixteenth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) is an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council. The Forum was established in 2000 with the mandate to deal with indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights. During this year’s session, the tenth anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is marked.

The ILO, being the institutional host to Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169) and an active member of the Inter-agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues (IASG) has regularly participated in the UNPFII’s sessions which offer an opportunity for dialogue among indigenous peoples, governments and UN agencies.

The ILO will continue to engage in the Forum’s discussions, highlighting the role of Convention No. 169 in putting in place laws, polices, and institutions at the country-level, which address indigenous peoples’ rights in the context of democracy, good governance and sustainable development for all.

The ILO will be holding a side-event to launch a new report on indigenous peoples and climate change.

Side-Event and Report Launch

26 April 2017, United Nations, New York

Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change: From Victims to Change Agents through Decent Work

This report analyses the situation of indigenous peoples in the context of climate change. It suggests that indigenous peoples are affected in distinctive ways by climate change, and also by the policies or actions that are aimed at addressing it. At the same time, it highlights that, as agents of change, indigenous peoples are essential to the success of policies and measures directed towards mitigating and adapting to climate change, especially their sustainable economic model and traditional knowledge. The report emphasizes the importance of the decent work agenda, including the ILO Convention No. 169 and Guidelines for a just transition, for empowering indigenous women and men, and ensuring that they can emerge as partners for achieving sustainable development and strong climate action.