Indigenous Peoples’ Critical Role

Indigenous peoples and communities are helping to save their environment, combat climate change, protect biodiversity, campaign for their rights and raise awareness of how local action can make a difference to a global problem ” according to filmmaker Janet Boston, Director of Perspective Film Production.

The films (links below) cover 21 UNDP Equator Prize 2015 award winners and include a series of moving stories about how indigenous peoples and local communities are finding solutions and taking on vested interests often in the face of great odds.  First shown at the Equator Prize Ceremony in December at the Paris Climate Change Conference to an audience of 1500+ at the Mogador Theatre they helped engage policy makers about the importance of their role. Themes covered in the films include securing land rights to ancestral lands and territories at risk from logging companies and other extractive industries; tackling climate change through local adaptation; campaigning for recognition and voice; and protecting forests.

Janet notes that the importance of forests in meeting climate change targets cannot be neglected “Each year an estimated 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed. Contributing over 20% to greenhouse gas emissions. We therefore ignore the voice of indigenous peoples at our peril as recent studies confirm that they play critical role in protecting forests worldwide and without them the Paris Agreement goal of keeping planetary warming below 2 degrees C will be out of reach ….  ”  

Behind each link is a short film profiling in detail what each community is doing. 

Equator Prize 2015 – Opening Sequence (5.59mins)

Equator Prize 2015 – Protecting Forests (9mins)

Equator Prize 2015 – Safeguarding Rights  (9mins)

Combating Climate Change (10.5mins)

Activism for Environmental Justice (9.24mins)

Janet urges you to join the tweet campaign

Janet has a Tweet countdown campaign with the UN and its Equator Initiative Programme running from 1st April to 21st April 2016, each with a profile of an Equator Prize winner. Follow @undp  or  @bostonjanet to share the messages.

The Equator Initiative Programme

The Equator Prize 2015 Award Ceremony was held as a high-level contribution to the historic United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 21st Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP21) and can be viewed here (2hrs 40mins)

For more see  the WIN World Network of Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Land and Sea Managers  “a network that brings together indigenous and local community land and sea managers to share their knowledge and practices in managing ecosystems, protecting the environment and supporting sustainable livelihoods.