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Opening ceremony of the Indigenous Peoples’ & Communities’ Pavilion in the COP22 Green Zone

Alwihda Info | Par Info Alwihda - 9 Novembre 2016

Marrakech, November 8th, 2016 - Scores of COP22 participants attended the opening ceremony of the Indigenous Peoples’ & Communities’ Pavilion: “Traditional Knowledge for Climate Action” that took place today in the Green Zone.  The activity featured lively music and dance from indigenous Moroccan Tamazight and Russian & Eastern European performers. 

The Green Zone at COP22 is the dedicated area for civil society and innovation activities, featuring over 500 side-events, pavilions, stands and activities.

Following the cultural performance, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, The International Indigenous Peoples' Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) Co-Chair and Pavilion Coordinator enthusiastically welcomed the crowd and thanked the government of Morocco for all of their support with the pavilion and for helping the voices of indigenous peoples be heard during the UN Climate Change Conference in Morocco and beyond.

Also in attendance was Driss ElYazami, COP22 Head of Civil Society Activities.  He emphasized that indigenous peoples are an important and often overlooked group in the fight against climate change.  According to him their rights need to be respected and that as people they offer real solutions to environmental problems like global warming thanks to their traditional ways and know-how. They are essential stakeholders that governments and other members of civil society should engage with to protect and preserve our planet from the negative impacts of global warming.  Driss Elyazami ended his welcoming remarks by telling the indigenous peoples present that they should feel at home here in Morocco and at the Bab Ighli site during COP22.

Laurence Tubiana, COP21 Amabassador and French Climate Champion, was also on hand for the opening cermony.  Interestingly enough she informed participants that her last name “Tubiana” is actually an indigenous name.

There are roughly 300 million indigenous people living worldwide among 90% of the planet’s biodiversity, according to Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim. Their lands and way of life are at risk due to climate change and non-sustainable development.  According to the speakers it is critically important that all climate stakeholders come together to form partnerships with indigenous peoples to ensure sustainable development and a cohesive approach to addressing and adapting to climate change all while respecting these peoples’ rights, lands and way of life.

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