Task Force: Land Back
You have been asked to join the planning committee for COP27, the international climate conference happening in Egypt in 2022. You want to ensure that the voices of indigenous communities are listened to by the government leaders in attendance.
Why Are We Doing This?
Indigenous activists argue that returning to traditional land stewardship practices is essential to repairing the planet. Likewise, sustainable development is about more than just reducing emissions, but also uplifting cultures and communities, ending exploitation, and improving quality of life. The LANDBACK movement asks for the return of what was stolen from indigenous communities and for governments to respect the rights guaranteed by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
- Research more about the LANDBACK movement, its history and initiatives, as well as what indigenous communities say about the connection between indigenous land practices and the fight against climate change.
- Also, look up the UNDRIP to see what governments have agreed to, and past COP conferences to see who has attended and what has been agreed to.
- Now, craft your plan. Consider the following questions:
- How can you, as a member of the planning committee, center the members, concerns, and ideas of indigenous communities? What types of events and meetings will you schedule?
- How can you encourage government leaders to uphold the agreements they have made in the past?
- How does your plan respond to the demands of the LANDBACK movement? (remember to think beyond just the standard understanding of climate change policies).
- How will your plan respond to past injustices?
- What is the intended impact of your plan?
- Think through the possible objections to your plan and how you would respond.
- Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your plan will work.
Things to Keep in Mind:
- You do not have to come up with an exhaustive policy. It’s better to come up with a few ideas that you feel confident with and spend time thinking through possible objections to them.
- You don’t have to worry about answering all possible objections, but you should have some defense of why you think your idea would work.
- Your suggestions should be things that could realistically be implemented.