By Stephen Leahy
NAGOYA, Japan, Oct 21, 2010 (IPS)
Blame Canada if countries fail to agree to a new binding treaty to curb the rapid loss of plant, animal and species that form the intricate web of life that sustains humanity.
That is the view of indigenous representatives from Canada in response to a late night move by the Canadian delegation to strike a reference to indigenous peoples’ rights at the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) members’ conference here.
“Canada is stalling progress here, weakening our rights and fighting against a legally-binding protocol on access and benefit sharing,” said Armand MacKenzie, executive director of the Innu Council of Nitassinan, the indigenous inhabitants in northeastern Canada.
“Their opposition threatens global biodiversity… people need to speak out,” MacKenzie told IPS.
A protocol on access and benefit sharing (ABS) without a guarantee of the rights of indigenous people and local communities “would be totally void”, said Paulino Franco de Carvalho, head of the Brazilian delegation.
“Brazil will not accept any agreement on biodiversity without a fair ABS protocol…. We are not bluffing on that, I must be very clear,” Franco de Carvalho said in a press conference.