AFN National Chief Says First Ministers Meeting on Climate Change Must Lead to Urgent Action and the Full Involvement of First Nations

OTTAWA, March 4, 2016 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde said today that the commitments made to First Nations at the First Ministers Meeting on Climate Change must be seen as an urgent priority and acted upon with First Nations involved as full partners. The outcome document of the First Ministers Meeting, released yesterday, is called the Vancouver Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

"First Nations told First Ministers that we are essential partners in acting on climate change and must be involved in the work going forward," said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. "The Vancouver Declaration commits to working with First Nations across all priority areas. The Declaration recognizes the importance of our traditional knowledge in mitigating this crisis. It recognizes we have an important role to play in this urgent issue. Now is the time for action."

The Vancouver Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change sets out a number of commitments to create a strategy to deal with climate change. Under the Declaration, working groups will be established to identify options for action in four areas: clean technology, innovation and jobs; carbon pricing mechanisms; specific mitigation opportunities; and adaptation and climate resilience. Each group will include Indigenous peoples. The working groups will report by September 2016 and recommendations will be provided to First Ministers by October 2016.

"Climate change is a problem of such enormity and importance that we must tackle it together," said National Chief Bellegarde. "First Nations are ready to make strong contributions to this work not only in the interests of our people but for the entire nation, for the whole world. We are the first to feel the impacts of climate change and we know this crisis is real and it is upon us. Working together we can succeed but we have to start working now."

The Assembly of First Nation is the national organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.


SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

For further information: Alain Garon AFN Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext. 382; 613-292-0857 or

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