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Interviews

According to Francisco Cali Tzay, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it is imperative that the government recognizes and upholds the rights of Indigenous Peoples. This includes their right to self-determination, which allows them to decide whether or not mining extraction should take place on their land. Therefore, the government must engage in a meaningful dialogue with the Indigenous Peoples to ensure their voices are heard and their rights are protected.
Produced by Dev Kumar Sunuwar (Sunuwar)
Interviewee: Francisco Cali Tzay (Maya Kaqchikel)

Adamou Amadou, who is from the Mbororo community in Cameroon and is also the president of the Mbororo Social and Cultural Development Association, believes that in climate negotiations, discussions have mainly focused on oceans, mountains, and forests. However, he points out that one important voice has been left out of the conversation: the pastoralists. They play a crucial role in safeguarding large areas of land and possess valuable traditional knowledge that can help with adapting to climate change.

Rodion Sulyandziga (Odege) from Russia believes that Indigenous Peoples should combine optimism with strategic action to advance their agendas despite facing challenges. To achieve this, he suggests mobilizing all available partners and resources and pushing for meaningful change collaboratively.
Produced by Dev Kumar Sunuwar (Sunuwar)
Interviewee: Rodion Sulyandziga (Odege)
"LIBRES Y VIVAS " by MARE ADVETENCIA, used with permission.
"Burn your village to the ground", by The Halluci Nation, used with permission.

Jennifer Corpuz, a member of the Kankanaey Igorot Indigenous People of Mountain Province in the Philippines, encourages her fellow Indigenous people to continue their fight. She believes that they have earned their place through tireless struggle and their voices and issues should be included in the narrative. Jennifer urges them not to lose ground and to keep pushing for a future where their story is heard and respected.
Produced by Dev Kumar Sunuwar (Sunuwar)
Interviewee: Jennifer Corpuz (Kankanay -Igorot)
"LIBRES Y VIVAS " by MARE ADVETENCIA, used with permission.

Tarcila Rivera Zea is an Indigenous Peoples rights activist from Peru who believes that the promise made by the COP 28 presidency to prioritize Indigenous Peoples lacks concrete substance until it is formally documented. She states that they have heard promises of respecting their rights before but haven't seen any meaningful action follow. According to her, words alone are not enough, and they need tangible commitments embedded in the official text to hold the presidency accountable.
Produced by Dev Kumar Sunuwar (Sunuwar)
Interviewee: Tarcila Rivera Zea(Quechua)

Shree Kumar Maharjan, who is from the Newar  Indigenous People of Nepal, believes that COP28 is a significant event for launching the Indigenous Youth Platform. This platform is a crucial step forward in empowering the next generation of Indigenous youth to actively participate in climate decision-making. By including their voices and perspectives, we can better shape a sustainable future and ensure more inclusive and just climate action.
Produced by Dev Kumar Sunuwar (Sunuwar)
Interviewee: Shree Kumar Maharjan (Newar)

Jessica Vega Ortega, a young Indigenous woman from the Mixtec Indigenous Peoples of Mexico, is attending COP28 with the hope of observing the government's efforts towards implementing changes that directly impact Indigenous communities at the grassroots level. She believes that prioritizing Indigenous youth within these programs is crucial, as it ensures their voices and perspectives are heard and taken into account, ultimately shaping sustainable solutions for their future.
Produced by Dev Kumar Sunuwar (Sunuwar)
Interviewee: Jessica Vega Ortega (Mixtec)

Minnie Degawan is an Indigenous Kankanaey-Igorot from the Cordillera region in the Philippines. She believes that Indigenous women play a crucial role in the fight to preserve our planet. They act as protectors of biodiversity and are responsible for safeguarding endangered species and ecosystems. Furthermore, they are the driving force behind climate solutions, using their innovative approaches to reduce emissions and build resilience. Due to their leadership and dedication, they are instrumental in shaping a sustainable future for generations to come.

During every COP gathering, individuals and organisations who defend the land and environment, as well as Indigenous communities, voice their need for increased safeguards for their territories against industries that harm the environment, including mining, logging, and industrial agriculture. Climate organizations like Global Witness frequently send delegates to advocate for quick and ambitious measures to address the climate emergency.
Cultural Survival attended COP28 in Dubai, from 30 November to 12 December 2023, and spoke to some of the delegates who attended.

Dr. Mirna Cunningham, an Indigenous Miskita from Nicaragua says, despite progress, Indigenous Peoples face ongoing challenges from climate change and extractive industries. They demand recognition of their rights, knowledge, and role in safeguarding water, forests, and resources. COP28 must amplify their voices and address critical concerns.
Produced by Dev Kumar Sunuwar (Sunuwar)
Interviewee: Mirna Cunningham (Miskita)
"LIBRES Y VIVAS " by MARE ADVETENCIA, used with permission.
"Burn your village to the ground", by The Halluci Nation, used with permission.

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