Solicit inclusion of Indigenous People in the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Principle 10).
Santiago de Chile, November 23th, 2016.- One of the main obstacles which the indigenous people have to meet with is the lack of information about those projects, programs and laws that affect them. And usually at the same these projects ignore an adequate focus on intercultural and gender aspects.
It is therefore necessary that the Negotiating Committee of the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Principle 10) remembers the importance of broadening participation and developing intercultural and gendered mechanisms. Also to recognize the previous contributions of IP to improve the quality of information by several tools of participation and environmental monitoring; promoting an effective participation of both men and women. This is important to note because the effects of extractive activities are differentiated in terms of women and in particular of indigenous women.
To promote this important issue in favour of the indigenous people, Ruth Buendía in her role as a women and president of the Central Ashaninka of the Ene River participates in the fifth Meeting of the Negotiation Committee which is being held in Santiago, Chile, from 21 to 25 November.
This morning during the debate of Article 8: Public Participation in environmental decision-making, Buendía, winner of the Goldman Prize for environmental protection, had an important intervention: "We want that you include the participation of indigenous peoples because its already a given right. If we are talking about extraction of natural resources in the territories of indigenous peoples these are the concessions, that is why we want to contemplate the participation of indigenous peoples".
However, until now, the Regional Agreement is contemplating only public participation, without an specific reference to indigenous peoples as subjects with specific and own rights, as in ILO Convention 169. We hope that Principle 10 recognizes the participation of indigenous who for example have been implementing territorial surveillance mechanisms that allow them to receive the first alerts and information on the effects in their territories. Therefore its not possible to ignore and postpone their contributions, because its necessarily for the survival of our planet.
Spanish version here.