Statement from LGBTI and indigenous women affected by climate change
We, women, indigenous women, and LGBTI organizations from Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, having met in a forum on climate change at the ASEAN People’s Forum, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on April 23, 2015, issue the following statement:
That we experience/suffer discrimination and impacts from climate change.
We, women from the indigenous communities, who depend on natural resources for livelihood, have experienced loss and extinction of our traditional plant species, and our planting pattern indiscriminately altered by climate change. This causes crops failures that affect our food security. We, our children and the elderly in our communities, frequently get sick because of the changing weather system.
This situation has added more burden to us women, as our children are forced to migrate out of our communities to find work to help their families. This has restricted and lessened our time to be able to participate in community affairs including participating in climate change mitigation and adaptation actions in our communities.
LGBTI experience various forms of discrimination and risks when climate change crises happen. Since most ASEAN governments do not recognize LGBTI in their laws, they cannot access in support service for disasters, and are not allowed to participate in adaptation and mitigation plans.
We deplore the way we are blamed for the disasters, and with this, hatred is built up against us, making us even more vulnerable to violence and marginalisation.
We deplore the way we are left out of decision making processes, to an issue such as climate change which affects us in the same way as any other citizens in our countries. We are concerned that we are denied access to vital information about climate change and are left out of conversation from our communities, and at the local, national, regional and global levels
We are concerned that our potentials to contribute to addressing climate change, through our practices and traditions are not tapped.
We lament that ASEAN governments do not have common negotiating position on climate change at the global level as this will weaken the delivery of sufficient support to our countries for adaptation, mitigation and loss and damage;
We are concerned further that gender equality and human rights are not integrated in the negotiating position of ASEAN countries, and adherence to the basic principle of common but differentiated responsibility is not used enough to demand the accountability and obligation of developed countries to provide developing countries with the means of implementation (finance, technology transfer and capacity building) to address climate change.
Lastly that the development model of ASEAN countries, which is extractive, export led and makes use of dirty energy such as fossil fuel and coal, continue.
It is in this context that we forward the following recommendations to the governments of ASEAN:
- Develop a common negotiating position for the adoption of the new Paris agreement that is based on strict adherence to the CBDR principles, and non use of market mechanisms
- Should include human rights and gender equality perspectives in all actions related to mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage and means of implementation of the new agreement.
- Establish the Environmental Pillar as the 4th ASEAN Pillar and adopt a common position on climate change, commit to the elimination of all fossil fuel and the use of 100% renewable energy by 2050, undertake regional collaboration in terms of adaptation and mitigation, focus on the protection of food and natural resources, and increase use of renewable energy and provision of long-term finance, especially for mitigating loss and damage.
- Support small-scale, locally owned and developed ecological responses ensuring food sovereignty and traditional knowledge, including indigenous knowledge
- Retain, recognize and promote tradition and historical practices of indigenous and rural women that are friendly to the environment
- Provide information on a regular basis warnings on the onset of climate change events, for people to be prepared.
- Include the most affected by climate change, particularly women and LGBT people, in decision-making processes at the local, national and regional levels.
- Establish an accountability mechanism that binds both States and private actors, particularly for their responsibility in climate change.
- Commit to a radical and just transition from extractive and profits based economies to people centered models that are just, equitable, gender-sensitive and locally driven.
- This transition should be based on the development justice model ensuring redistributive, economic, gender and social justice as well as accountability.
Togetherness for Equality and Action (TEA); Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, Climate Watch Thailand;
CamASEAN Youth’s Future; (CamASEAN)