Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth: Address Climate Change By Asserting Indigenous People’s Rights

Northern Dispatch
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BAGUIO CITY—Indigenous youth under the banner of the Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN) asserts that addressing problems on climate change also means addressing indigenous peoples (IP) issues on human rights violations, discrimination and self-determination.

This was expressed by representatives of IP youth from the different countries of Asia Pacific in a press conference today, November 5 here as part of the four day climate youth camp 2010 hosted by APIYN.

According to APIYN Secretary General Ivan Torafing, the fight against climate change is not separate from the IPs struggle for self-determination. He added that the non-recognition of IP rights determine the use and development of their ancestral domain resulted to the destruction of their territories.

Torafing also said indigenous territories are rich in natural resources therefore they have been targeted by multi-national corporations for large scale mining, logging and building of dams. He pointed out that these activities result to environmental degradation which causes climate change.

Kaleesha Moris of Oxfam-Australia stressed that the fight against climate change is closely linked with the IPs’ assertion of their human rights. She cited for example IPs in Australia who are currently fighting to reclaim their lands. She said their rights to their territories must first be recognized before they could protect it from aggressive development.

Jocelyn Ting-Hui Hung Chien of the Taiwan Indeigenous Youth Alliance explained that the conference aimed to provide a venue for IP youth in the Asia Pacific region to share their experiences and find a common strategy to address climate change.

Ting-Hui shared that there is still a need to educate the youth about climate change and how it affects IPs and what they can do to help arrest environmental degradation.

In this regard, the different IP youth organizations under APIYN would be conducting trainings in their respective communities to build the youth’s capacity and enable them to participate in the growing movement of IP youths. Posted by (

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