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MRG: Climate crisis mitigation measures must involve Afro-descendant communities

5 October 2021

Human Rights Council – 48th Session
Monday 4 October 2021
Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent – item 9
Speaker: Glenn Payot

Minority Rights Group (MRG) welcomes your report on Environmental justice, the climate crisis and people of African descent, which is both wide-ranging and comprehensive.

The structural racism faced by persons of African descent has led many Afro-descendant communities having to live in locations that are very vulnerable to the disastrous consequences of the climate crisis, for instance flooding, landslides and coastal erosion.

The legacy of slavery, segregation and lack of investment in infrastructure mean that many Afro-descendant communities are disproportionately vulnerable to the increasingly severe impacts of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes.

Deep-rooted inequalities mean that persons of African descent are among those least likely to have contributed to the climate crisis while being most likely to suffer its many harmful effects.

MRG is very concerned that decisions are being proposed at the international level without proper involvement of Afro-descendant communities. Governments and some conservation NGOs are currently pushing for the so-called 30×30 plan – which proposes to conserve 30 per cent of the Earth’s land and sea areas by 2030. They ignore how 30×30 replicates colonial practices – carving up lands without the meaningful participation and free, prior and informed consent of Afro-descendant and other affected communities.

I thank you.

Watch the statement