Aloha aina. Kalamaoka’aina Kil Soon Niheu o Ka Pae ‘Aina o Hawaii Nei. Pali Ku o na Ko’olau. Kapapa, moku o Hina.
Indigenous peoples’ lands, territories, resources, ocean, and water
The Pacific Caucus supports the statements provided by various Caucuses here at the Informal Interactive Dialogue. In particular, that not enough progress has been made since the adoption of the UNDRIP. Our priorities from the Alta Outcome Document (AOD) and UNDRIP are as follows.
1. “Recommend that states implement a human rights and ecosystem-based approach to climate change while also recognizing Indigenous peoples’ world views and positive contributions to combatting climate change.” AODS Theme 1 Para 7
Rationale: International initiatives and state policies on climate change can negatively impact on the rights of Indigenous Peoples in profound ways. Examples include the low lying islands and atolls such as Kiribas, Tokelau, and the Marshall Islands where climate change is causing sea levels to rise. The “hungry tide” this has caused threatens to overwhelm many of our homes and many are faced with imminent displacement. Deliberate and meaningful inclusion of Indigenous Peoples’ perspectives with Free, Prior, and Informed Consent will help ensure that more definitive solutions will be reached in regards to climate change.
2. “Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”Article 3 UNDRIP
Rationale: Proposed mechanisms need to include protection from exploitation via transnational corporations. International transnational corporations are making agreements that bridge nations and territories. In our region the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement could have devastating, long range affects, as noted by the current suit arising from one district in Hawaii who created legislation that would place restrictions on GMO’s. The companies are now suing that district. The TPPA could provide a framework for future suits against both Nations and IP’s. (The link is included below and the article is attached for those who are interested in learning more)
3. “Recommend States cease current, and refrain from any further, militarization and initiate processes to demilitarize the lands, territories, waters and oceans of Indigenous Peoples. This can be achieved inter alia through the repeal and/or discontinuance of “anti terrorist”, national security, immigration, border control and other special laws, regulations, operations and executive orders that violate the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Special measures should be taken to ensure the protection of Indigenous Elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities, particularly in the context of armed conflicts.” Theme 3 AODs Para 7
Rationale: Military zones and areas result in long-term sequelae which disproportionately affects the first peoples of the land. In our region this includes but is not limited to Hawaii, Guam, West Papua, Maluku, French Polynesia, and the Marshall Islands. There is still a great deal of damage and contamination from past activities. Kaho’olawe has significant unexploded ordnance from live fire training and irradiation may affect Bikini Atoll, Marshalls, Mo’oroa, French Polynesia, Kalama Atoll, and Hawaii in perpetuity. Current activities include the training of the Indonesian army at Pohakuloa, Hawaii for deployment in West Papua and Maluku. It is with particular pain that we as Kanaka Maoli have our lands be utilized in the oppression of our cousins throughout the Pacific.
Environmental degradation from military activities has resulted in the inability to harvest and cultivate the foods that nourish our communities. One clear example is Pearl Harbor which used to be an enormous, traditional aquaculture site but now is too toxic to eat anything in its waters.
Globally, armed conflict has resulted in displacement and fear of cultural genocide. Of particular note are the effects on women and children in the cases of violence, human trafficking and sex trade. The stated justification for militarisation in many of these situations is to combat terrorism but the repression of Indigenous Peoples is the main outcome.
Mahalo a me Malama pono