The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties 17th session completed its two week run today with Canada and Japan rethinking whether they want to pay attention to the committments those countries made under the Kyoto Protocols. Canada has instead of reducing its emissions by 2% increased its emissions by 6%. Other countries are having the same problem…China for one! Countries are digging in creating an atmosphere of quiet depression among delegates, and indigenous peoples have become more resolute in their opposition to the imposition of REDD in their forests, and demand more vigorously a place at the table with assurances of becoming freely informed and asked for their consent for the use and regulation of their territories.
It is more apparent now than it has been for several years that the climate negotiations have failed to formalize any kind of agreement or consensus on reversing CO2 and GHG emissions by the main emitters in the world. It is also clear that more people are coming to the understanding that the climate change tipping point was already met years ago and we are now in a global climate change spiral demanding close attention to human adapation and the local context for adaptation.
I have repeatedly noted in these columns that indigenous peoples have a great deal to offer themselves and to humanity on matters of adaptation. I have also called for a recognition of the need to formalize a “bottom up” negotiation approach choreographed by UN agencies and Indigenous Nations organizations. Our attention must now turn to securing the land and water ways necessary for life and ensure food security strategies to support life…adaptation must be our focus.
The Time has arrived for all parties to recognize that new strategies are necessary to meet the reality of an increasingly raging and changing climate already damaging lives, property and ways of life. Durban has now passed…meetings will be held and discussions will continue, but new energy must be put on the level of localities–microclimates where indigenous peoples are located. Differences between microclimates demand our attention and adaptation strategies demand our attention.