Statement at the 23rd UNPFII Made on Behalf of IPRI, REP and BHRRC
April 21, 2024

Distinguished delegates, Members of the Permanent Forum, Kopivosian

I represent the Right Energy Partnership with Indigenous Peoples, one of the organizing bodies together with the Indigenous Peoples Rights International and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre. 

In the past few days, we have had the privilege of convening with 87 Indigenous Peoples’ representatives from 35 countries, representing diverse nations and communities from around the world. Our discussions have brought to light the pressing issues surrounding the transition to renewable energy and its impacts on Indigenous Peoples territories and rights as well as initiatives of Indigenous Peoples in advancing their own renewable energy initiatives. 

The outcomes of our conference, reflected in the Declaration of Indigenous Peoples, underscore a collective resolve to create a future where Indigenous Peoples rights and dignity are upheld, environmental integrity is preserved, global solidarity is strengthened, and all peoples can thrive in harmony with the natural world.  We recognize and support the need to end fossil fuel reliance and shift to renewable energy as critical in addressing the climate crisis. However, we are alarmed by the increasing criminalization and attacks against Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders (IPHRDs) and the extraction of transition minerals without Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC).

We urge states to recognize and protect Indigenous Peoples’ rights, reform laws to end the criminalization of IPHRDs, and support Indigenous Peoples renewable energy initiatives. Companies and investors must respect FPIC, adopt equitable benefit-sharing mechanisms, and uphold human rights and environmental due diligence.

We also emphasize the critical role of energy utilities and regulators in engaging Indigenous Peoples as equal partners and ensuring fair compensation for the use of Indigenous lands and resources. Our declaration calls for a just transformation that empowers Indigenous Peoples to spearhead renewable energy initiatives is vital for self-determined sustainable development, providing direct access to funding and resources to Indigenous Peoples renewable energy solutions that not only mitigate climate change but also foster economic empowerment and social cohesion, paving the way for a brighter and more sustainable future for all. 

Thank you.

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