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Māori Climate Commissioner pays respects

Māori Climate Commissioner pays respects to Indigenous voices at UN Climate conference


Māori Climate Commissioner, Donna Awatere Huata, has praised the final UN Climate Vulnerable Forum Communique from the leaders of nations most vulnerable to climate change.


"It is essential the voices of Indigenous and First Nation Peoples are not only given space in the climate change challenge, but that they're provided with the resources for leadership in this debate. Indigenous cultures have centuries of cultural knowledge when it comes to the values of sustainability and living in harmony with the environment that are desperately needed as we pivot from destructive and short sighted consumer capitalism to a far broader and progressive set of economic and social measures."


"The 5 point vision from those nations most vulnerable to climate change from the final Communique need to be enshrined and advanced for all indigenous peoples."


1. The dangers of climate change are kept to an absolute minimum.

2. Maximum advantage is taken of the benefits of climate action.

3. For protection from growing dangers even with only 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming that will disadvantage the most vulnerable, maximal resilience is achieved for people, indigenous groups, livelihoods, infrastructure, cultures and ecosystems.

4. In embarking on a new era of the pursuit of development, ending poverty, leaving no person behind, and protecting the environment, not only are all Sustainable Development Goals and the targets and priorities of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction achieved by 2030 but also, where possible, their targets are exceeded or their early achievement is accomplished.

5. As least developed and low- and middle-income developing countries, we emerge as wealthy nations achieved through strongest possible economic growth.

"This is not just an economic, political or social issue, it is a moral one. It is unacceptable that the people of the Pacific, who have contributed the least to climate change, are the first ones to pay the largest price by having their Islands engulfed by rising seas on a warming planet. It is immoral that they bear the brunt if that global inaction when they also have the least resilience to it."

"Māori in New Zealand have been kept out of the debate on climate change for too long when we require a leadership role, I call on an Indigenous virtual summit to be held in Aoteroa next year to expand this dialogue and build bridges with other first nation whanau to confront the unique crises we face from global warming."


Donna Awatere Huata

Māori Climate Commissioner


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