She is a shining example of the intelligence and dignity of Fulbhe Rewbhe (Fulani Women) throughout Africa and the World.
May Allah continue to bless you in your endeavors Hindu Oumarou Ibrahim.
-Elijah Shabazz (Ilyas Shabazz Bah)
Hindu Oumarou Ibrahim, co-chair of the International Indigenous Forum on Climate Change, during the COP21 in Paris (November 30 to December 11, 2015). © DR
Indigenous peoples campaigning for years for their rights to be recognized in the climate agreement that is negotiated in Paris during the COP21. For now, they have not yet been successful. The Chadian Hindu Oumarou Ibrahim, co-chair of the International Indigenous Forum on Climate Change, recalls how much this claim is vital. Interview.
Article 2, which reflects the main demands of civil society, is one of those who did not make consensus the first week of negotiations at the Paris conference. Indications relating to human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, gender, equity and climate justice remained in brackets in the Paris draft agreement on which are working since Monday, December 7, 2015 the Ministers of States Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
You Advocate for the mention of the rights of indigenous peoples in the future climate agreement in Paris. How important is this approach?
We want that a reference be made to human rights, then the rights of indigenous peoples, because climate change does not impact the environment. The human being is also affected due to food insecurity, land grabbing, violations of human rights in the context of conflict and migration. The right to water also comes into play compete. To us these elements relate to human rights. Furthermore, if we do not speak of the rights of indigenous peoples who have protected 80% of the world's biodiversity, it may cause the worst disasters.
If there is no reference to human rights, it means that when the implementation of the agreement, climate solutions are not going to respect the people and their environment. For example, instead of agro-ecology, people will do of industrial agriculture. For this, we need large spaces, to use underground water resources, many labor ... All this will lead to population displacement, land grabbing and food insecurity. On the contrary, if the rights of indigenous peoples are preserved, people will oppose or support environmental projects according to their impact on their lifestyle and their ecosystem.
Why a simple reference to human rights is not it enough to preserve the lives of Aboriginal peoples?
Because of the concept of collective rights inherent to indigenous peoples. They use the earth as a whole. A plot of land does not belong to a single individual but to the whole community which implements a participatory and sustainable management of the environment. We protect the traditional way collectively and environment protects us back by giving us the resources for our survival.
Who are these indigenous peoples?
Indigenous peoples are estimated at 300 to 500,000,000 people. They are found in every region of the world. In Africa, for example, are considered the Tuareg indigenous peoples who live in the desert, Berbers, Masai, all of the forest Pygmies in Central Africa .
As for me, I belong to the community Mbororo (Fulani nomads ) which are divided between Chad, Cameroon and Central African Republic. In all these countries, we transhumance corridors (the Congo River in Central Africa) and parking areas. When I come with my cattle, I stay three days and then I gave way to another member of my community, before settling, should leave the resources to regenerate by themselves on the space we share. The peoples of Forestry work the same way. They do not hunt anyhow and do not pick anything to preserve biodiversity. Alternatively, a plant or animal species may become dominant. This may disrupt the entire environment. Everyone already recognizes that indigenous peoples have the expertise to preserve it. Therefore, it is important that these collective rights, which have helped protect many natural resources so far, are also recognized in the climate agreement.
If these rights were not mentioned finally, is it for you a death sentence?
Yes, because our rights will be violated and our environment destroyed. And it will be a disaster for everyone. Europe receives millions of immigrants but she welcomes that part. And this is not because it is richer but because it is closer. The migrants are from countries that are close to the European continent. Those farthest migrate into surrounding areas where poverty often prevail. Creating communal conflict and insecurity within states which are unable to cope.
Your fate is to this day in the hands of policy that you report ...
I find it unfair that policies always have the last word on the people. They have our lives in their hands. After 20 years of negotiations, when we adopted the UN Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples September 13, 2007 in New York, Canada was the first country to oppose it. While it is home to many indigenous peoples. It was the war between the authorities and these populations until the last few weeks.
The Government of Canada has changed and their whole policy on indigenous peoples has evolved. Members of the Canadian government are from these populations. Canadians today are the first to support the rights of indigenous peoples in the draft agreement of Paris. This confirms that it is the politicians who have the power of life and death over us. This is unfair because they are only a handful compared to us, the people. But if in Paris, they do not take the right decision, they will be responsible for the destruction of the planet. It would be a shame for humanity because it is the survival of our planet to ensure that of humans, animals and plants
-Elijah Shabazz (Ilyas Shabazz Bah)