Indigenous Peoples’ Day at COP23

Coming to you from Bonn, Germany, 1 day late, it’s your friend Jordan Churchwell! I was going to write this post last night, but I knocked out from exhaustion with my laptop on me before it even turned on. So, well rested and more coherent, I bring to you the news of 10/07/17. This was Indigenous Peoples’ Day at COP23 and, as I’m focusing on how Indigenous knowledge is or is not being heard and incorporated into these large scale international negotiations, I was quite busy. I went to meetings the entire day, which were all in the same conference room, all around Indigenous rights and knowledge. I filmed a good amount of these meetings and side events, in fact 100gb worth! I was able to get interview footage with Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, the co-chair of the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change (amongst many other things, check her out she’s awesome), and a delegate negotiating on behalf of Tuvalu (a Polynesian Island). Going up t0 ask for those interviews was intimidating, and the footage is not perfect, but it felt very empowering and worthwhile!

On my train ride back to the hostel, I sat next to a delegate negotiating on behalf of Kenya. When asked what he hopes to see come from the negotiations, he shrugged and said he doesn’t expect much. He talked about how since the US federal government/trump administration pulled out of the Paris Agreement, it has really complicated things. He also spoke on the disillusionment too many negotiators from developed countries have, because so many of them are not experiencing the effects of climate change as much as Kenya and other developing nations. Because of this, he says he does not have much hope. The work continues.