Press Release

International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change

High Level Statement – December 18, 2009 

Dear Excellencies. As Indigenous Peoples from all regions of the world, we have advocated that all climate policies and actions, from mitigation and adaptation, to emissions reduction targets, to finance mechanisms and capacity building, must recognize and respect the rights and contributions of Indigenous Peoples. However, our demands have not been met at this COP.  Global leaders have not reached consensus on the need for a legally binding agreement that recognizes our human rights as indigenous peoples, including those embodied in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  

As Indigenous Peoples, we also express our disappointment and frustration with the lack of progress made at this critical Climate Change meeting. It is our very survival at stake. We support those states who take the position that emissions must be reduced by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and by 95% by 2050. We join the wider civil society in their call for Climate Justice Now.  Talks have broken down over the central issues of finding real solutions to secure adequate emission reductions as well as sufficient support for finance and technology transfer to developing countries. 

We do take note of advances in the decisions relative to REDD+ and agriculture affirming respect for traditional knowledge and the rights of Indigenous Peoples.  However, these references are omitted from all other COP outcome documents. These human rights must be protected through clear and unequivocal language recognizing our rights to land, territories and resources, our full and effective participation including our right of free, prior and informed consent, and protection for our traditional knowledge. In order to protect our forests, biodiversity, the air, and the water that sustains us all, we need a binding commitment to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  

Finally, we express our sincere appreciation to all of the state parties and civil society organizations who have supported Indigenous Peoples around the world – without their support, we could not make the progress that Indigenous Peoples and the world need.   

We invite all states to join in creating a world where Indigenous Peoples finally realize the enjoyment of our human rights.  We fully intend to work to implement this vision of reality beyond COP 15.     

Nia:wen, Thank you.


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+45 307 44022,


MEDIA ADVISORY:  Saturday 10am,

Press invited to join Hunger Strikers for ‘first meal’ in 44 days. 

On Saturday morning, three long-term hunger strikers will end their 44-day fast at 10am in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Sara Svensson, 25 years old from Sweden, explained her reasons for concluding the fast after 43 days. “COP15 is no conclusion on climate change. They are not done yet, and we are not done yet.” she said. “I undertook this fast in solidarity with those who are suffering the effects of climate change, but also to show my dedication to the climate movement – to show that there is something that I care about more than myself, more than my own personal comfort and gratification.”

“We have decided to end this fast today because we know that we need to keep on working as climate activists for our whole lifetime. We will keep on pushing on our governments, harder and harder, until we see the necessary political shifts achieved and a global deal sealed.” 

Paul Connor, who has been fasting on the other side of the world, in Australia, added “We have received such strong moral support from tens of thousands of people, from all over the world, who fasted in solidarity with us, saying that we have done the right thing. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets all over the world last weekend to take political action on climate. The world’s citizens know what the morally right thing to do is, and we are ready for change.”

“From the results of COP15 today, it is clear that we are waiting for our so-called ‘world leaders’ to catch up with us. We won’t be fooled by their spin and rhetoric. We will keep pushing our leaders to sign a legally binding, fair, ambitious and inspiring agreement which reflects the urgency of our current moment in history.”  

WHEN: 10:00am, Saturday 19 Deccember (Exclusive access for Climate Justice Fast and media until 11:00am). 

WHERE: Living Room cafe, Larsbjørnsstræde 17, Copenhagen City. (Famous in Copenhagen for its freshly pressed organic juices and eco-friendly, fair-trade menu.) 

WHO: 43-day fasters Anna Keenan (24, Australia) and Sara Svensson (25, Sweden), 27-day faster Matthieu Balle (27, France), 30-day faster Daniel Lau (30, Australia/Denmark) and 2-week solidarity fasters Guruswami Ananthapadmanabhan (Programs Director, Greenpeace International) and Dr Uygar Özesmi (Director, Greenpeace Mediterranean) 

WHAT: Interview opportunity with fasters about their experiences, in particular Thursday’s global day of fasting, and a photo and film opportunity of their first meal in 44 days. 

You can see videos and read more about the ‘Candlelight Vigil for Survival’ held on Thursday the 17th of October in Copenhagen, with approximately 800 attendees, here:  

Images available for non-commercial editorial use – credit Robert van Waarden. For commercial use, contact robert@vanwaardenphoto.com  



Climate Justice Fast! is an international hunger strike that began November 6, 2009, inspired by the need for immediate, courageous, and moral global action to avoid climate catastrophe and secure a sustainable future.  

Of the seven original fasters, three have continued until today. Having completed 43 days entirely without food, they have now decided to conclude as the COP15 comes to a close. By contrast, Gandhi’s longest hunger strike lasted 21 days. The other fasters have ended the fast after 30 days and on medical advice, and all are in good spirits. 
The long-term fasters have been joined by tens of thousands of solidarity fasters on every continent who have gone without food for at least one day. The solidarity fasters have been inspired to join their action, in an act of personal reflection, as well as moral appeal to the world leaders who are have attempted to finalise the ‘Copenhagen deal’.

Further information on the hunger strike, their demands, as well as a profile  
of international involvement, can be found by visiting

Images and interviews with fasters are available on request.




For immediate release: Wednesday December 16, 2009


Copenhagen, Brussels, December 16 – Friends of the Earth representatives
have been barred from the United Nations climate talks in the Bella
Centre in Copenhagen today (Wednesday 16 December 2009). Every delegate
from the
international environmental campaign group arrived at the centre this
morning to find their badges were no longer valid.

Friends of the Earth representatives from countries ranging from Nigeria
to Japan and Denmark have been taking part in the negotiations over the
past two weeks calling for a strong and fair agreement, with rich
countries leading the way with emissions cuts of at least 40 per cent by
2020 without offsetting.

Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe said: “It
is a crisis of democracy when campaign groups like Friends of the Earth which
represents millions of people around the globe are prevented from
participating in the talks where we are pushing for a just and effective
agreement to the climate crisis.

“If Friends of the Earth is not allowed inside the UN negotiations we
cannot play our crucial role in bringing the voices of citizens to the
talks, especially the voices of those who are disadvantaged and already
suffering most because of climate change. These draconian measures are
completely unjustified.

“Friends of the Earth is one of the most prominent groups calling for a
strong and fair agreement and we will not be silenced. We continue to
pressure rich countries, and especially the European Union to finally
commit to deep emissions reductions and its fair share of the urgently
needed climate finance for developing countries.”

Friends of the Earth International Chair Nnimmo Bassey had the following
statement: “We are surprised and shocked that Friends of the Earth member
groups from around the world and other non-governmental organizations
have been denied access to the negotiations this morning.

“Our organisations represent millions of people around the world and
provide a critical voice for climate justice inside the UN.”

Friends of the Earth is petitioning UN climate secretary Yvo De Boer to
protest against the ban and calling for members of the public to add
their name at

For more information and for interviews please contact:

Francesca Gater, communications officer for Friends of the Earth Europe,
+45 298 42677 (Danish mobile) or +32 4 85 930 515 (Belgian mobile),

Sonja Meister, climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, +45
617 27520 (Danish mobile),

Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe, +45 617 22145
(Danish mobile),

Francesca Gater
Communications Officer
Friends of the Earth Europe
Tel: +32 2 893 1010
Mob: +32 485 930 515
Fax: +32 2 893 10 35

Contact: Ilona Mäkinen +358 456727654, or Falko Mohrs +4552686775

Email: or

Tuesday December 15th                                           For Immediate release

 EU ministers ask young people to swap shoes with them

 EU ministers meet for a fresh young perspective even as more youth get blocked from negotiations

Inside the Copenhagen negotiations today, EU ministers came to have a frank exchange of views with young people from the European Youth Climate Movement. Participants included Ministers from Ireland, Belgium and the French Secretary of State and special envoys from the Netherlands and Finland. In an opening address Irish Environmental Minister John Gormley likened the current negotiations to a student studying for an exam who hasn’t been studying and suddenly realises they have to cram.

 All present agreed that finance was a key issue and Minister Gormley clearly stated his position was that any finance must be additional to overseas aid. In a refreshing statement of views Secretary of State to Ecology, Chantal Jouanno, noted that “food security and water are not taken into consideration at all in this negotiation”. She also highlighted the overlooked issue of Climate Refugees and noting “it will come very quickly” cautioned youth present to be prepared and be ready to support them.

 Part of the meeting gave the politicians a chance to ask for a youth perspective and Mr Van Mejenfeldt, the Dutch Special Envoy on Climate Change “Put yourself in my shoes” as he asked young people what they would do if they were tasked the role of an EU negotiator, particularly in deciding upon how countries get adaptation funding? In response Jonathan Sundqvist from Sweden called for a transparent fund mechanism governed by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

 “It was a strong signal to youth that there were so many high level speakers came to meet with us to get our opinions and listen to our demands” spoke youth delegate Ilona Mäkinen from Finland. “However, it is still visible that some countries value youth opinion more than others” stated Falko Mohrs, the official German youth delegate. Agreeing with this opinion, Ilona added that “while I appreciate that we could meet with the ministers, it’s terrible that over 75% of registered youth delegates have been shut out today”. Further cuts in the numbers of NGO observer organisations are expected this week, with only 90 representatives of the over 15,000 accredited NGO delegates allowed in on Friday.


The European Youth Climate Movement is a network of European youth organisations such as the European Youth Forum, Federation of young European Greens and Young Friends of the Earth working together to give a coordinated youth input into the negotiations.

9 December 2008



10 December is “Young and Future Generations Day”; Highlights Youth Call for Climate Action

COPENHAGEN — Hundreds of youth from around the world will celebrate “Young and Future
Generations Day” with the UNFCCC at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference on
Thursday, December 10. More than 1,000 young people from over 100 countries are attending
the UN Climate Summit calling for bold climate leadership by their governments. Their
collective vision is to protect their future and the lives of future generations threatened by
climate change.

Organised in partnership between the YOUNGO (youth) constituency and the UNFCCC
secretariat, Youth and Future Generations Day seeks to send a powerful message of
inter-generational equity to COP15 delegates, as well as highlighting the vital role of youth as
both advocates for, and implementers of climate solutions. Highlights of the day will include an
Intergenerational Inquiry with Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, as well as the
launch of “Growing Together in a Changing Climate”, a publication featuring efforts by youth
and the UN to engage young people on climate issues. Side events through the day will
showcase Youth and Student Movements’ leadership on climate, the role of education, and
youth voices on deforestation and degradation (REDD).

“Today’s youth will live their lives with the decisions made in Copenhagen, and our
governments have a moral responsibility to deliver a fair, ambitious and binding deal”, said
Prisca Randriamampihavana, a 20 year old youth delegate from Madagascar. “We want to ask
world leaders, how old will you be in 2050?”

UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Yvo de Boer adds that “Young people…have brought their
energy and creativity to the intergovernmental process, demanding concrete action from their

The year 2009 has seen an explosion of youth climate advocacy, and the emergence of what
many youth in Copenhagen are calling the “International Youth Climate Movement,” joining
hundreds of youth organizations and climate advocates from around the world.
On 10 December, visit youth and youth organizations at the Youth Arcade and find out what
they are already doing to tackle climate change and how you can engage with them on
working towards solutions.

For more information, please contact:

Youth Constituency Contact
Matthew Carroll
External Communications Coordinator
UNFCCC Youth Constituency
+45 5010 3621

UNFCCC Secretariat Contact
Clarisse Kehler Siebert
Joint Programme Initiative on Children & Youth and Climate Change
UNFCCC Secretariat
+46 737 07 86 01

For a complete list of upcoming youth activities at COP-15

For real-time media opportunity alerts during COP-15
Text PROMEDIA to +45 5269 1209

Matthew Carroll
External Communications Coordinator

mobile Denmark: +45 5010 3621 (COP 15 only)
mobile Canada: +1 289 244 9930
 skype: matthew.f.carroll