STATEMENT: Item 6 Future work of the Permanent Forum, including issues considered by the Economic and Social Council, the outcome document of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and emerging issues
This statement is delivered on behalf of the Right Energy Partnership with Indigenous Peoples and TONIBUNG.
Despite the potential of renewable energy sources, hundreds of indigenous communities remain without access to energy. At the same time, big renewable energy projects such as windmill farms, solar energy farms, and hydropower projects with serious adverse impacts on Indigenous Peoples are being imposed on Indigenous communities without their free prior and informed consent. Further, these projects are not intended to provide the needs of indigenous communities but rather to supply energy to urban areas, industries, tourism, and business.
In order to address the gap in the access to energy by Indigenous Peoples, adequate finance, capacity building, and partnerships with Indigenous Peoples to ensure their effective participation in the planning, and management of energy projects based on their needs and aspirations is urgent. We need to support community-led renewable energy projects to ensure indigenous communities are not left behind in meeting their energy needs.
It is also imperative to guarantee the recognition and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples to own, control, and manage their lands, territories, and resources including the mining of transitional minerals. More than 50% of the demand for transitional minerals is targeted to come from indigenous territories which will have profound implications for the rights and well-being of indigenous peoples.
In the context of the above, we recommend to the Permanent Forum to include a dedicated session on the green transition and indigenous peoples as part of the theme on sustainable development for the 23rd session of the UNPF.
Thank you for your attention and consideration.