Thursday, May 21, 2009

Joint Oral Intervention on behalf of the participants in the “Project Access Global Capacity Training”

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Eighth Session

New York, 18 – 29 May 2009

Item 6: Comprehensive Dialogue with six United Nations agencies and Funds Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development Programme, United Nations Development Funds.

Joint Oral Intervention on behalf of the participants in the “Project Access Global Capacity Training” meeting in New York from 13 to 15 May 2009, representing Indigenous organizations from the following regions:

· Tamaynut Organization, Morocco (represented by Sanaa Bouzit)

· Ogiek Cultural Initiatives Programmes, Kenya (represented by Simon Nadungwenkop)

· Parakuyo Women Development Fund, Pastoralists IIndigenous Community Developmeny Organization, Tanzania (represented by Rehema Mkalata)

· Foundation for Research and Support of Indigenous Peoples of Crimea, Ukraine (represented by Gulnara Abbasova)

· United Confederation of Taino People, Boriken/Puerto Rico (represented by Mildred Karaira Gandia)

· Association de Mujeres Waorani de la Amazonia Ecuatoriana, Ecuador (represented by Manuela Omari Ima Omene)

· Rapa Nui Parliament from Rapa Nui/easter Island (represented by Erity Teave)

· Federacion Unica de Trabajadores Pueblos Originarios de Chuquisaca (FUTPOCH), Bolivia (represented by Estaban Urquizu Cuellar)

· Tuvalu Climate Action Network, Tuvalu (represented by Tafua Lusama)

· Bangsa Adat Alifur, Maluku (represented by Pelpina Sahureka, Edwin Matahelumual, Dana Pessy,Ghazali Ohorella)

· Eagle Clan Arawaks, Barbados & Guyana (represented by Damon Gerard Corrie)

· International Indian Treaty Council

Presenter: Edwin Matahelumual- Bangsa Adat Alifuru from Maluku

Madam Chair

Indigenous Peoples from the regions of Central and South America and the Caribbean, Africa, the Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe and Asia, participating in the “Project Access Global Capacity Building for Indigenous Peoples 2009,” meeting in New York from May 13 – 15 2009, have shared our experiences and concerns over the dramatic challenges we are facing in relation to food security, which is the basis of our very survival.

Our Food Security and Right to Food has been greatly challenged and violated in every area. If nothing is done, we the Indigenous Peoples will be the most affected and poverty will prevail, along with increasing dependency.

Under the Impacts of Climate Change, rivers and lakes which are our fishing grounds are drying out, and corals in the ocean are bleaching and dying out thus diminishing our fish stocks. Desertification of the lands is becoming more serious. Bush and forest fires are becoming more frequent due to long droughts, making it very hard to grow and gather traditional food crops.

Globalization has influenced the lifestyle of our peoples and is seen as a modern form of colonialism, suppressing our cultural values, language, local subsistence economies and the importance of and access to our traditional diets.

Traditional Lands which are the source of our food supply have been forcibly taken by governments and Multi-national corporations.

Illegal Logging, deforestation, mining and other extractive industries are destroying and contaminating the natural environment, making it very difficult to hunt and gather for the sustenance of our daily lives. For example for the Ogiek People in Kenya, deforestation makes it impossible for communities to collect wild honey, medicinal plants and fish needed for their survival.

Damming of Indigenous Peoples’ water ways has flooded traditional home lands and blocked the flow of water to other areas, further undermining Indigenous Peoples Right to Food.

In these and other ways our very right to food continues to be violated by outside forces such as governments and multinational corporations. We find ourselves facing extreme crisis as a result. Therefore we urgently propose the following to the 8Th Session of the Permanent Forum and to the United Nations Agencies present in this dialogue:

1. We recognize the presence of FAO and all the United Nations agencies who are engaged in this dialogue and we strongly urge and encourage them to continue this critically important dialogue in future sessions.

2. We request the UNPFII to address Indigenous Peoples Food security and Right to Food and Food sovereign as a special theme and focus of discussion at one of its upcoming sessions, to ensure survival of Indigenous Peoples around the world.

In conclusion, Madame Chair, we request the Permanent Forum to inform United Nations bodies and agencies, including the Security Council, of the immediate critical threat to human rights and the lives of our Indigenous Peoples and all the peoples of the world.

Thank you Madame Chair.

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