CCC pushes new social contract to advance IPs’ rights, welfare


The Climate Change Commission (CCC) highlighted the contribution of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in environmental conservation and the protection of their right and indigenous knowledge, systems, and practices.

The CCC issued the statement in observance of the International Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, August 9. The country’s climate-change body also supported the call for a new social contract that would advance the rights and welfare of IPs.

Every year on the same date, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population, while acknowledging their significant role in sustaining the diversity of the world’s cultural and biological landscape.

IPs account for about 6 percent of the world’s population, with a wide range of cultures, customs, languages, knowledge systems, and have a particular bond with their homelands.

In the Philippines, it is estimated that IPs consists of 10 percent to 20 percent of the country’s population.

Due to industrialization, armed conflict, extreme poverty, climate change, and other causes, many indigenous peoples have been forcibly displaced from their homes. Those who have settled in urban areas often struggle to retain their cultural identities.

The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed and worsened the many existing inequalities, disproportionately affecting communities, including IPs who were already facing poverty, illness, discrimination, or financial insecurity, according to the CCC.

Social contract

“This is the rationale behind this year’s celebration with the theme “Leaving no one behind: Indigenous peoples and the call for a new social contract,” CCC said.

A social contract is an unwritten agreement that societies make to cooperate for social and economic benefits, according to the United Nations.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought to light the effects of growing inequalities and sparked a discussion on the urgent need to rethink a new social contract.

This year’s observance calls for creating and rebuilding a new social contract as an expression of cooperation for the common benefit of people and the environment. A social contract must create an opportunity to build back a more equal and sustainable world—based on genuine and inclusive participation and partnership that fosters equal opportunities for all and respect the rights, dignity, and freedoms of all.

The plan to rebuild better and rethink social contracts for the indigenous peoples disproportionately impacted by Covid-19 pandemic and climate crisis around the world must include listening to their voices, needs, and concerns obtaining their free, prior, and informed consent, including IPs’ collective and individual rights. 

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