In a bid to shape the future of climate action, indigenous communities and local Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Assam joined forces on June 30, 2023, for a community consultation on COP28, the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Held at Rajputana Login, Jorhat, this event provided a vital platform for communities to express their concerns, contributions, and recommendations regarding the upcoming critical climate conference.
The consultation, organized by the North-East Affected Area Development Society (NEADS) and supported by various Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), aimed to ensure that community perspectives are considered and incorporated into the national delegation's stance for COP28. The gathering brought together a diverse range of community stakeholders, including people's organizations, environmental activists, development workers, people's researchers, and media advocates, all eager to contribute their insights and experiences.
The day-long consultation featured plenary sessions, discussions, and an open forum to foster meaningful dialogue and collaborative problem-solving. Participants engaged in thought-provoking discussions on pressing climate issues, such as reducing carbon emissions, transitioning to sustainable energy, promoting eco-friendly transportation, and implementing adaptation strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change. The event concluded with a synthesis of panel discussions and feedback, emphasizing the importance of upholding sustainable climate action in the region.
Tirtha Prasad Saikia, Director of NEADS, shed light on various aspects of climate policy and the potential implications of decisions to be made at COP28. Participants had the opportunity to provide input on key areas including climate finance, technology transfer, capacity-building, and the role of local communities in driving climate action. The voices of indigenous communities matter, and it is crucial to provide a platform where their perspectives can be heard. COP28 will be a decisive moment for global climate action, and by involving our community, we can ensure that our delegation represents the aspirations and priorities of our people.
Another highlight of the consultation was the sharing of local success stories and innovative initiatives by Luit Goswami, Director of RVC, and Dharani Payeng from IGSSS, showcasing practical solutions already implemented in various communities. These success stories served as inspiration and reinforced the belief that community actions can contribute to a collective global impact.
Speaking at the event, Nishant Buragohain, a Ph.D. student from Indiana University, USA, emphasized the importance of understanding global climate issues.
The community consultation on COP28 concluded with a collective commitment to ongoing collaboration for ambitious climate action. The valuable insights and recommendations generated during the event will be compiled into a comprehensive report, which will be shared with policymakers and the national delegation.
This community-led effort underscores the need for an inclusive and collaborative approach to tackle the climate crisis, where communities and policymakers work hand in hand towards a sustainable future.