Fighting for Papatuanuku in Copenhagen: a Maori perspective

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Grass roots organisations from around the world today strongly condemned negotiators at the Copenhagen climate summit for removing key content from a draft agreement aimed at protecting the worlds rainforests, and downgrading language protecting local communities and Indigenous Peoples in the text.

Using a free market solution to fix climate change problems created by the free market is intellectually unsound, why has the New Zealand government passed an emission trading scheme that has condemned the Pacific?” asks Sina Brown-Davis (Ngapuhi / Samoa) referring to the recent Emission Trading Scheme passed by the National Party with support from the Maori Party.

“Why would some Maori support the Dairy industry that has been irresponsibly polluting our rivers and environment before the lives of our cousins in Tuvalu, Kiribati, Tokelau and the other many small island communities in the Pacific?”

Sina Brown-Davis is participating in The Social & Climate Justice Caravan which has been travelling Europe and is now in Copenhagen for Cop15. The caravan wants to link the protests against the WTO with the protests against the climate summit. Representatives from global movements from the South drove two routes from Geneva to Copenhagen. With public meetings, discussions and actions planned, the caravan drew attention to the consequences of trade liberalisation and climate change on people in the global South.

ClimateChangeProtestsC“Putting the interests of the dairy industry and tribal capitalists out to make a quick buck before the lives and homes of small island communities should be condemned around the Pacific and by Maori who believe in the values of whanaungatanga and kaitiakitanga”. continued Sina

There has been wide support within the global indigenous community that Indigenous Peoples rights needed to be protected in any negotiations that come out of Copenhagen.

This was articulated by the Indigenous Peoples caucus at the lead up meeting in Bangkok when they said

‘The recognition of our rights must be in accordance with international human rights law and standards including the UNDRIP and ILO Convention 169, among other human rights instruments. If there is no full recognition and full protection for Indigenous peoples’ rights, including the rights to resources, lands and territories, and there is no recognition and respect of our rights of free, prior and informed consent of the affected indigenous peoples, we will oppose REDD and REDD+ and carbon offsetting projects, including CDM projects.’

Previously the Maori Party had supported the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The New Zealand Governments position to date has been to oppose the inclusion of the Declaration in the agreements being negotiated at Copenhagen.

How do they intend to deal with this contradiction?

Social and Climate Justice Caravan
http://www.climatecaravan.org/

Contact: Sina Brown-Davis
Ph +41 793 427 025

More information

3 COMMENTS

  1. Ae marika, e tika ana o korero whakatau – Maori/Iwi are forging strong ties with our close whanaunga in central and east polynesia especially in Tahiti, Rarotonga and Hawai'i. Heoi, ko tatou katoa e whakakii, whakaparuparu atu ki te ipu heoi ano ki te whenua, ki te moana ano hoki. I think Maori have led in areas of enviornmental protection and sustainable management, many early Tribunal report were made by Iwi concerned about mismanagement of naturla resources and more involvement in their management based on tikanga. Iwi/Maori are supporting the Dairy industry because we are major players in this sector to the value of $10 billion. Iwi famrs are leading the way in sustainable farmering with a strong focus on water(system) sustainable management – better Maori leading the way than some far right conglomerate

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