The road to COP27 has begun. Listen to delegates on the KAIROS/ For Love of Creation Delegation
KAIROS and For Love of Creation (FLC) are organizing a delegation of Global Women, Peace and Security and Solidarity partners and Indigenous partners and youth from Canada to the UN Climate Change Conference 2022 (COP27) which takes place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from November 8-18, 2022. The United Church of Canada will provide official accreditation to the delegation and FLC will support by amplifying and making visible the messages and advocacy of delegation.
The delegation is framed around the theme of Decolonizing Climate Change and will bring the voices and experiences of women peacebuilders, land defenders, and Indigenous partners to COP27 to raise awareness about their critical and urgent role in addressing the climate crisis. A key part of the delegation program will be to deliver the KAIROS Blanket Exercise (KBE) at COP27. As such, two of the Indigenous delegates from Turtle Island are KBE facilitators.
Another critical objective of the delegation is advocacy with the Canadian government on the policies and programs needed to support the leadership and solutions of partners and communities most impacted by the climate crisis.
Delegates on the KAIROS/FLC delegation include four KAIROS women, Peace and Security (WPS) partners, three global solidarity partners, and four Indigenous partners and youth from Turtle Island. Each delegate made a short video to introduce themselves and share how they experience and work to address the climate crisis. These videos were shared on the KAIROS website during Climate Action Month.
The messages from delegates are clear, urgent and tangible. Despite the very different contexts in which the delegates are living and working, there are similarities in impacts and a common urgency to act. We hear from Global delegates in DRC, Palestine, South Sudan, Colombia, Philippines, Ecuador and Ghana that local communities are facing landslides, environmental degradation and climate-induced displacement. We hear from Paul Belisario from the Philippines that the climate crisis is how Indigenous communities live and exercise their culture and spirituality. From all delegates there is the common message that those who are least responsible for climate change, including Indigenous peoples and women, are most affected, and most marginalized from discussion on climate policy.
We hear from Global partners and Indigenous delegates from Turtle Island that these impacts are exacerbated by an extractivist economy, including by Canadian mining companies.
Women, Peace and Security partners highlight the nexus of the climate crisis, conflict and gender inequities. Peace processes and reconciliation efforts in the Global South and in Canada are undermined by climate change. Conflict, militarization and occupation augment the impacts of climate change.
Palestinian delegate, Hana Elias, tells us “because of occupation, Palestinians feel impacts doubly.”
We hear particularly from the youth delegates about the impacts of climate change on mental health.
Tia Kennedy asks, “how can we focus on our health when the health of Mother Earth is at stake?”
Already the messages from delegates to the Canadian government and Canadians are loud and clear. These include:
- More political and financial support to local organizations, including women’s groups and women peacebuilders for local initiatives to address climate change, including adaptation and mitigation strategies – forestry projects, community gardens, local agriculture projects and community networks of women, to name a few.
- Support for capacity building to respond to the impacts of climate change and to establish a strong early warning system.
- Recognition, defense and protection of the rights and the lives of Indigenous peoples and land defenders. By recognizing their (Indigenous peoples) rights, by recognizing their ancestral lands we are making our move to protect (the environment), and to stop climate change.
- Stronger corporate accountability measures and legislation on environmental racism. See KAIROS advocacy action on 3 bills currently in parliament.
- Denunciation of false solutions including C02 emission compensation, geo-engineering and other green washing projects that allows corporate impunity to continue.
Finally, we hear strong messages, particularly from Indigenous delegates, about the need to change our approach to climate policy and our relationship with the environment. We need to decolonize our relationship with the Earth.
As Clifford Mushquash explains, “For the Anishinnaabe, we understand ourselves to be extensions of the land and the land to be a part of us. I think when we see ourselves in the environment and see the environment in ourselves, decisions take by government and industry will produce policy and action that not only prioritise environmental protection and mitigate the effects of climate change, but these decisions and these actions will also improve the health of all people on Turtle Island.”
Please take some time to listen to all the delegates on the KAIROS/ FLC delegation and hear what they have to say.
Delegates from Canada are:
Clifford Mushquah, Anishinaabe from Pawgwasheeng (Pays Plat First Nation) on the northshore of GichiGami (Lake Superior). KAIROS Blanket Exercise Facilitator
Tia Kennedy, Oneida Nation of The Thames and Walpole Island First Nation. Youth Delegate
Yusra Shafi, International student from Kuwait at University of Toronto in Psychology and Environmental Behaviour, intern at Development and Peace. Youth Delegate
Global delegates to COP 27 are:
Kelly Campo (Organización Femenina Popular (OFP)) – Colombia
Ivonne Yanez (Acción Ecológica) – Ecuador
Noble Wadzah (Oil Watch Africa) – Ghana
Chantal Bilulu (Héritiers de la Justice) – Democratic Republic of Congo
Juan Rachael (South Sudan Council of Churches) – South Sudan
Hana Kare (Wiam: Palestine Conflict Transformation Centre) – West Bank, Palestine
Paul Belisario (International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation) – Philippines
The road to COP27 has begun. You will be hearing much more these delegates about decolonizing climate change and equitable, innovative and sustainable alternative in the weeks and month to come, before, during and after COP27.