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Declaration of Indigenous Peoples formulated at international conference

One of our Steering Group members Leslie Schultz attended an international conference in New York from 12-14 April with 87 representatives from countries around the world discussing 'Indigenous Peoples and the Just Transition’. 

There, First Nations participants formulated a Declaration of Indigenous Peoples ahead of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).

The Declaration makes clear that putting Indigenous Peoples front and centre and supporting their empowerment to spearhead renewable energy initiatives is a key ingredient for delivering a fair, fast and effective energy transition, as well as being essential for self-determined sustainable development.  

Participants underlined that at least half of the world’s transition minerals and significant renewable energy potential is located on Indigenous Peoples' lands, and that there can be no just transition without an approach that respects the rights of those who have held the territories for millennia.

The Declaration concludes by setting out specific demands for states, companies and energy regulators to deliver a just transition based on respect for Indigenous Peoples’ rights.

These include: 

  • For states: Fast-track divestment from fossil fuels; provide direct, adequate and flexible funding, including access to climate financing mechanisms, and technical and legal capacity-building support to empower Indigenous Peoples to shape their own present and future in renewable energy development. 
  • For companies and investors: Fairly negotiate and implement equitable benefit-sharing mechanisms, including co-ownership and co-equity models, that respect Indigenous Peoples’ rights and contributions and ensure respect to their FPIC. 
  • For energy utilities and regulators: Establish effective mechanisms for full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples in planning, implementation, revenue generation and monitoring of energy development projects; ensure access to affordable renewable energy for Indigenous Peoples’ communities.

The conference was hosted by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Indigenous Peoples Rights International, and the Right Energy Partnership with Indigenous Peoples.

Read the Declaration of Indigenous Peoples



This story was first published in the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre.