Oct 21

Japan Government met with Indigenous Peoples for consultation round at COP10

IIFB Media Team: A group of Indigenous delegates representing IIFB held a meeting with Mr. Hiroshi OKA, the ambassador of Japan Government for COP10 to ask for full and effective participation of the Indigenous Peoples in the context of the CBD process Representatives of the Indigenous Peoples from Africa, Bangladesh, Hawaii, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Taiwan were present at the meeting.

Representatives thanked Mr. OKA and Japan Government for their support and hospitality to the delegates to COP10.   They also expressed their concern about the impact and use of Japan’s foreign aid program, ODA, which   have involved unsustainable logging and development projects in other countries.

Mr. Koichi Kaizawa, the Ainu representative from Hokkaido, spoke on the lack of progress from the government on promoting Ainu’s indigenous rights, following two decades of struggle on the Nibutani dam case.  He also stressed that his Nibutani community is opposed to further dam projects in the area, due to destructive effects on the environment and their Ainu culture.

Banie Lasimbang from Sabah, Malaysia expressed concern about oil palm plantations and ODA funding support from the Japanese Government. These projects threaten indigenous livelihoods and their rights.  Jason Pan, the indigenous delegate from Taiwan, asked the Japan Government to better promote and protect the indigenous identity, culture, language, and traditions of Ainu and Okinawan peoples.

Other indigenous delegates at the meeting urged Japan to implement progressive policies when engaging in bilateral relations with other States when the programs have  impact on Indigenous Peoples.  They asked Japan to persuade the members of the COP parties to recognize the Indigenous Peoples in their respective countries.

In reply, Mr. Oka thanked the IIFB delegates for their participation at this consultation, and said he will convey these messages and requests to the Japan Government.

The African indigenous delegates also urged the government of Japan to organize indigenous people’s cultural exchanges, and organize capacity building on the works of the CBD

Mr Chin Khan Muan from north-east India emphasized that India will host the next COP, and expressed concern on the rights of Indigenous and local communities in India and suggested roles that Japan could take the lead on how to work with Indigenous and local communities within the context of the CBD.

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