Indigenous and territorial leaders from the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB) met with Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for United Nations, to discuss the state of territorial rights in local Mesoamerican communities. The delegation takes part in the Global Climate Action Summit which takes place in San Francisco, California, United States, during September 12-14, where they demand climate financing must be oriented towards communities that demonstrate results in defense of the climate.
The representatives posed the need to strengthen territorial rights to the Rapporteur, top authority in the indigenous agenda worldwide. Cándido Mezúa, from the Emberá Nation in Panamá; Belisario López, from the Guna Community in Panamá; Marcedonio Cortave, from the Forests Community Association in Petén, Guatemala; and Gustavo Sánchez, from the Mexican Forest Organizations Network (Red MOCAF), spoke for their communities in the encounter.
During their work visit, the representatives position their communities’ rights agenda in the region. They seek to guarantee territorial guarantee the territorial rights of indigenous peoples and local communities; provide access to climate funds for indigenous peoples and local communities; elevate the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities as critical to sustainability; and respect the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
Rapporteur acknowledges communities’ role for fight against climate change
Tauli-Corpuz recognized on Friday, during the Summit, that Indigenous Peoples and local communities’ participation is of great relevance in the fight against climate change.
“We can see now the evidences are showing that, actually, the natural resource management systems of indigenous peoples are the ones that work, precisely because they work in harmony with nature and they depend on nature for their survival”, she said during the panel Building a More Just World Through Climate Action.
The Rapporteur reaffirmed the importance of endowing communities of funding that allows them to manage their resources, as well as including their perspective in the fight against climate change.
The Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests participates in the Summit as part of a global alliance of peoples from Mesoamerica, Amazone, Brazil and Indonesia. Under “Guardians of the Forest”, the alliance drives the inclusion of indigenous and local communities in the discussion about climate change and funding distribution.