The Guardian: ‘Green colonialism’: Indigenous world leaders warn over west’s climate strategy

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York hears how resources needed for sustainable energy threaten Indigenous land and people.

Jenni Monet article “‘Green colonialism’: Indigenous world leaders warn over west’s climate strategy” appeared 23 April 2023 on The Guardian website. Excerpts from the article can be found below (quotes bolded for emphasis):

World Indigenous leaders meeting this week at an annual UN summit have warned that the west’s climate strategy risks the exploitation of Indigenous territories, resources and people.

New and emerging threats about the transition to a greener economy, including mineral mining, were at the forefront of debate as hundreds of Indigenous chiefs, presidents, chairmen and delegates gathered at the 22nd United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

“It is common to hear the expression to ‘leave no one behind’. But perhaps those who are leading are not on the right path,” the forum’s chairman, Dario Mejía Montalvo, told delegates on Monday as the 12-day summit opened in New York in the first full convening since the pandemic outbreak.

Brian Mason, chairman of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Indian reservation in Nevada said that the 70 or so lithium mining applications targeting Paiute lands have come without free, prior and informed consent – what is considered the cornerstone of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Mejía Montalvo, who belongs to the Zenú peoples of San Andrés Sotavento in Colombia, said global climate talks have failed to properly include Indigenous peoples, yet at the same time, such dialogue has relied on a well of Indigenous knowledge systems to imagine future climate goals. “The issue of climate change and biodiversity cannot be resolved without the real and effective participation of Indigenous peoples.”