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18 July 2024

COP28 team calls for greater inclusion of indigenous voices in building climate solutions


This week, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, Razan Al Mubarak, and COP28 Director-General and Special Representative, Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, traveled to the United Nations Headquarters in New York to engage with stakeholders on the margins of the 22nd Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).

The Forum on Indigenous Issues is the central UN body dedicated to the concerns and rights of the world’s indigenous peoples. In their respective engagements, both members of the COP28 leadership team reiterated the UAE’s commitment to closer collaboration with indigenous communities in driving solutions to the climate crisis.

In her keynote speech at the Forum, Al Mubarak emphasised the importance of leveraging the knowledge and values of indigenous peoples for achieving sustainable development and protecting biodiversity and encouraged their full engagement in the development of policies related to climate change.

“As a UN Climate Change Champion, I am committed to partnering with you to support your efforts and to promote solutions from indigenous peoples to solve the climate crisis,” stated Al Mubarak.

On the sidelines of the Forum, Ambassador Al Suwaidi briefed representatives of the Group of 77 + China on potential areas of cooperation and the UAE’s commitment to work closely with developing countries of the Global South to deliver an inclusive COP28.

Additionally, Al Mubarak and Ambassador Al Suwaidi co-convened indigenous youth activists and young people at the forefront of efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Al Mubarak highlighted the important role of indigenous youth as leaders in building climate resilience and protecting against the impacts of climate change. In his remarks, Al Suwaidi stressed the importance of creating a dedicated space specifically for indigenous youth to support COP28 outcomes and developing indigenous-led durable climate solutions.

On the final day of her visit, Al Mubarak co-hosted an event with environmental and indigenous rights activist Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim as well as the International Indigenous People’s Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The event focused on the promotion of indigenous values and knowledge systems to shape the global dialogue on planetary health and climate action.