Today, as we commemorate the International Day for the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera join hands with the Indigenous Peoples in our mountain region and elsewhere in the world calling for the realization of the $1.7 billion pledged by States and philanthropists during the  Glasgow COP 26 in November 2021.  This climate finance for 2021 to 2025 is intended for us Indigenous Peoples and local communities to secure our land rights and thereby protect our forests and ecosystems as a way forward in achieving the global goal of climate mitigation.  We, Indigenous Peoples, are anticipating for this pledge to reach our communities.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources reported that our Cordillera mountain ranges host 616 million trees.  These trees contribute in absorbing at least 6,160 million kilograms of carbon dioxide per year.

For these trees and additional trees  to continue absorbing millions of carbon, opposition by our Indigenous communities and  leaders against potentially destructive and profit-oriented energy projects and mineral extraction must not be slandered, criminalized and slaughtered.

And for the Cordillera Indigenous Peoples to sustain our contribution in carbon sequestration, our fair share in the $1.7 billion committed climate fund should reach our ancestral ground through our organized structures and processes consistent with our right to our ancestral land and our right to self-determination.

We reiterate the importance of integrating and strengthening Indigenous knowledge systems and practices in addressing the problems of climate change. Herein, as we celebrate the roles of Indigenous women as bearers and givers of traditional knowledge and practices, we, at the Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera strongly demand that climate finance must reach our Indigenous women.