At the 34th Extraordinary Meeting of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council in November, the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) became the first Indigenous Organization to receive IMO Provisional Consultative Status.
“This is a significant accomplishment for the ICC, especially given our relationship with and reliance upon the coastal seas and Arctic Ocean by Inuit communities throughout Inuit Nunaat. Our marine environment is affected by the decisions, guidelines, and policies set by the IMO. This status is crucial for us. It will be used by the ICC to represent ourselves, to advance our status, rights and role,” states Dalee Sambo Dorough, ICC Chair.
With almost 90 per cent of traded goods shipped by sea, Inuit must have a seat at this international table where issues that impact the Arctic, its coastal seas, and where multiple ocean governance concerns are discussed.
Provisional status means ICC will provide a report to the IMO after two years to illustrate their contributions to the IMO from Inuit across the four membership countries.
To further ICC’s commitment to protecting the Arctic marine environment, Lisa Koperqualuk, vice-president of ICC, spoke at the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP26) Climate Change Meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, also in November, calling for a ban on the use of black carbon, an issue that particularly affects the Canadian Arctic.
The ICC delegation called on Global Leaders to take Three Critical Actions:
- Make unprecedented and massive efforts to cap global temperature rise.
- Value Indigenous Knowledge and leadership in climate action and support Indigenous participation in climate governance.
- Recognize the oceans and cryosphere as critical ecosystems that must be protected through partnership with Inuit.
The ICC delegation at COP26 also led workshops on Marine Governance; Youth and Infrastructure; and Inuit knowledge on climate change; resiliency, adaptation and mitigation. An “Inuit Night” was held on November 5 and International Inuit Day on November 7 included a full day of commemorative events, including the screening of documentary films “Last Ice” and “Happening to Us,” as well as cultural performances.
ICC leaders and members of the ICC delegation also participated in the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIPP) Facilitative Working Group, Canadian Embassy, Clean Energy Alliance, WWF, and the Arctic Council’s Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group.