Sevettijarvi declaration

October 13th, 2011

From the communique’ prepared by the Global Forest Coalition

On 25-30 September 2011, representatives of indigenous peoples’ local assessments carried out in China, Ecuador, Finland, India, North America, Panama, Peru and Thailand under the Indigenous Peoples Biocultural Climate Change Assessment (IPCCA) initiative met in the community of Sevettijärvi, located in the boreal forest of North East Finland. The meeting was hosted by the Skolt Sámi Nation and Snowchange Cooperative. IPCCA members shared emergent findings from their local assessments and discussed adaptation and mitigation options for indigenous peoples, integration of biocultural dimensions in assessments, and approaches and strategies for addressing climate justice. As a result, recommendations for future actions were developed. (click on link for further info)


The main points of the request are:

  • Call upon the IPCC to include an independent chapter on indigenous knowledge written and developed by indigenous peoples. The chapter should provide an assessment of how climate change affects indigenous livelihoods and rights, in view of developing adaptive strategies based on indigenous peoples spiritual, cultural and ecological values.
  • Request the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) to formally request the IPCC to include a specific chapter on indigenous peoples. The UNPFII should also establish a Traditional Knowledge and Practice body involving indigenous leaders, educational institutions, experts and scholars, to guide its work and that of other UN processes.
  • Request national governments to provide full support to indigenous peoples’ own assessments and to invest in education and research institutes that empower indigenous voices in climate change science and policy.
  • Alert indigenous peoples of the deepening inequities between Western science and traditional knowledge in climate change science and policy. We call upon indigenous peoples’ organisations to communicate the inequities to the general public and powerful institutions such as the IPCC and to make all efforts to redress the balance of power.