“We call upon all member states, to condemn the destruction of our sacred places and to support our nation’s efforts to ensure that our sovereign rights are respected. We ask that you call upon all parties to stop the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline and to protect the environment, our nation’s future, our culture and our way of life.”
– Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II
The International Indigenous Peoples`Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) condemns the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline and stands in solidarity with our sisters and brothers of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all Water Protectors in opposition to this project.
Human Rights and the Indigenous Rights Perspective
The Dakota Access pipeline is being built on the un-ceded treaty lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, without their free, prior and informed consent, as is described in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Articles 18, 19, and 32. The pipeline is also being constructed through sacred areas and ancestral burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux and other Indigenous Peoples of the area. This massive construction project does not respect the Standing Rock Sioux’s Treaty rights, sovereignty, or their right to self-determination. It is an outright violation of their rights over their lands and resources as Indigenous Peoples, and does not respect the human rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Dakota Access pipeline will transport 470 000 – 570 000 barrels of oil every day, which will release emissions of 101,4 million tonnes CO2, as much as 30 American coal power plants, every year. This is not consistent with the State Parties’ obligations and commitments under the Paris Agreement or the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The continued production of fossil fuels only assures that global temperature will rise well above 2°C in the immediate future and threaten the lives and livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples around the world. The potential for a major oil spill from the Dakota Access pipeline is immediate. The pipeline is scheduled to cross underneath the Missouri River, which is the main source for drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and for millions of people who live downstream. Sunoco Logistics, the operating company of the pipeline, alone has experienced over 200 oil spills in 6 years, and the US had in total over 3300 leaks since 2010, polluting rivers, ground waters, land and air, and both human lives, health and livelihoods has been lost.
The IIPFCC calls upon the US to halt the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline and to enter into serious consultations with the Standing Rock Sioux, and other tribes affected by this project, respecting the right of the Tribes to free, prior and informed consent.
The state owned Norwegian Oil Fund is heavily invested in the pipeline. The IIPFCC calls upon Norway to divest from the Dakota Access pipeline Project.
We also call on all States to ensure the protection of Indigenous Peoples´ territories across the world as a critical action in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and in achieving the SDGs.
Featured image by A. Golden/Flickr.