Why Is Climate Change an Issue of Human Rights (Indigenous Rights) for Indigenous Peoples? Free Essay

Published: 2023-10-15
Why Is Climate Change an Issue of Human Rights (Indigenous Rights) for Indigenous Peoples? Free Essay
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  History Anthropology Climate
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1175 words
10 min read

Indigenous peoples have been fighting climate change for ages, and the role they play has not been considered in public discourses. As a result, the United Nations Permanent Forum dealing with factors influencing them has observed it to be an issue of human rights. The forum emphasizes putting a "human face" on the matter since indigenous peoples are the ones affected the most by climate change.

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Also, climate change is an issue of human rights since there have been several sessions funded by the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Since 2008, the theme of the conferences held has been the effects of climate change on livelihood and bio-cultural diversity on indigenous peoples. The forum enforces the subject as one of the human rights.

Besides, Sheila Watt advocates the rights of the Inuit as human rights. She has battled to prove their right to coldness. She expresses that, even though they are very adaptable people, the intensity and speed at which climate change is occurring is alarming. According to Watt, people should not see them as unable to cope up and adapt to modern challenges, especially health and related social issues caused by climate change. Since climate change is an assault on their way of life, it calls for concern as a human right due to their environment being threatened by climate change.

Why are Indigenous peoples concerned about climate injustice?

Indigenous peoples are concerned with climate injustice since they are the ones who are profoundly affected by the matter. They account for the more significant percentage of the world’s cultural diversity, as their distinct way of life differs from one place to the other. Furthermore, they encompass almost three-quarters of the total 6000 languages spoken globally.

Bearing that in mind, media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have confirmed that, even though they are termed as minority communities, they are the ones who fare worse than the majority communities after disasters associated with climate change occur. They do not have well-established devices to research climate change; thus, they feel the impact of disasters directly, once they occur. An example is the Indian floods which occurred in 2007. It affected Dalits community as it resulted in more than 2000 deaths. The series of floods could be linked to climate change. Therefore, they are concerned with climate injustice.

What is colonialism? What is capitalism? How are they related to climate change (in relation to industrialization)?

Colonialism in climate means global injustice and inequality in the climate. The term can be traced back to the 19th and 20th century where imperial states enslaved, despotized and crushed sovereignty. Even though colonizing had ended, its legacies prevailed. In climate, colonialism can be associated with ecological demolition. Many states have continued to destroy the environment in relief of establishing industries and sites for multiple companies. As a result, deforestation has been on the increase. Deforestation can be associated with the increase in carbon dioxide levels, which results in global warming.

Capitalism is a political and economic system where a sector is controlled by a private owner to gather profit. Industries and companies do not acknowledge that they cannot attain infinite growth since the world is full of limited resources. Companies are destroying the environment through acid rain, air pollution, toxic waste on oceans and rivers and ozone depletion in the name of profit. The reason for all of these is industrialization.

What is climate relocation (or resettlement)?

Climate resettlement can be defined as the planned relocation or resettling entire communities who have been affected by climate change.

What challenges do Indigenous peoples face when they are relocating or resettling?

Climate change leads indigenous peoples to migrate and settle in urban areas. Since they have adapted to gaining their livelihood from the natural environment, it becomes challenging for them to survive in those areas. They are limited to accessing services, especially healthcare service. They suffer from inadequate housing, and they are prominently unemployed.

When they relocate to other areas, especially the ones different from their ancestral homes, they get discriminated and marginalized. As a result, they get vulnerable to abuse and violence than the other groups. Also, indigenous human rights defenders face violence and intimidation openly.

Some states; the ones who intend to take their lands, support these, and its result is increased rates of suicides among the indigenous peoples. They also face increased rates of incarceration and deaths, especially their youths and children. Due to relocation, indigenous people live in poverty.

How are colonialism, capitalism and the expansion of nation-states tied to what makes Indigenous peoples vulnerable to climate change?

Colonialism, capitalism and expansion of nations trigger the vulnerability of indigenous people to climate change. Colonialism leads the indigenous peoples to relocate from their ancestral lands. Once they give up their lands, they are destroyed in various ways. Between 1947 and 2000, more than 20 million Adivasis were resettled since there were plans for large development projects. The projects led to the destruction of the Adivasis’ ancestral lands. Through this, it could be linked to impacts of climate change which led to the series of Indian floods. Amazon rainforest was destroyed in Brazil, which resulted in droughts.

Capitalism leads to increased levels of consumption and development. Both of these increases the pressure on environmental resources. Over the ages, mining companies have destroyed the lands of indigenous people while extracting resources such as oil. Deforestation has increased in these traditional lands, and it has led the indigenous people to suffer from climate change.

Expansion of nation-states has led the governments to clear the traditional lands of indigenous peoples. They expand the states in quest for fertile agricultural lands. However, the result becomes devastating famines, which is immensely felt by the indigenous peoples.

What are six examples of, historically, how people lived "seasonally"?

Indigenous peoples are the ones who lived seasonally over the ages. They did as a tactic of livelihood since most of their water and food existed seasonally too.

During rainy seasons, they lived in highlands and hunted in the mountains since the water was available at any point. During the rainy season, they lived in the mountains too to avoid floods.

In summer, they hunted in the lowlands. They also went fishing in the rivers since the water levels were low and easy for fishing.

During the rainy seasons, the indigenous peoples moved to areas whose soils were fertile and could support their intended crops. By keeping track of the seasons, they could track the time for harvesting their crops. In cold seasons, they kept reindeer. They also kept other types of animals which they grazed in the lowlands when there were no floods.

When the average temperatures started to fall, they moved from highlands. They did it as a means of coping up with the weather. When the temperatures started to increase, they could return to the mountains. In some seasons, the level of the sea could be approximately 100m below the current level. An example is during the ice age. Thus, the indigenous people had to survive on hunting, rather than fishing.

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Why Is Climate Change an Issue of Human Rights (Indigenous Rights) for Indigenous Peoples? Free Essay. (2023, Oct 15). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/why-is-climate-change-an-issue-of-human-rights-indigenous-rights-for-indigenous-peoples

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