A legislative commission of the European Parliament has adopted a resolution intended to better protect the rights of the world's Indigenous peoples from private companies.
"Considering that the rainforests – where Indigenous leaders and local communities live – contribute at least a quarter to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, they are key in any strategy fighting climate change," says the resolution, which was adopted by the legislative commission of External Relations of the EU Parliament on Wednesday.
The resolution is meant to draw the attention of the European Commission – which holds most of the decision-making power within European institutions – about the responsibility of European firms in the Amazon rainforest and hold them accountable for environmental disasters.
If approved, the resolution would appoint a special rapporteur on Indigenous issues and set up a mechanism so they can convey demands if their rights are violated by private firms.
In May 2017, the European Union formally committed to protecting Indigenous peoples from threats and violence, and included their issues in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The International Labor Organization had already passed Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, forcing government and private firms to consult with local communities and Indigenous peoples about mega projects.
However, in Europe, only Denmark, Norway, Holland and Spain have so far ratified the text.