Indigenous tribes launch emergency motion to protect 80% of Amazon rainforest by 2025

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By Anastasia Moloney

BOGOTA, Aug. 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Amazonian tribes have called for urgent action to protect the world’s largest rainforest in a formal motion to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which will be considered at its world congress in France next month.

The Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA), a member of IUCN, wants the forum to vote in favor of protecting 80% of the Amazon by 2025, to stem increasing deforestation and help to protect their lands and communities.

COICA General Coordinator Jose Gregorio Diaz Mirabal, who submitted the emergency motion to IUCN on Friday, said the opportunity to participate “represents an important space for us”.

“We need to be at the place where supposed solutions to the planetary crisis are being discussed,” said Diaz, who will attend the Congress from September 3 to 11 in Marseille.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, former United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, urged IUCN members to adopt COICA’s motion “due to the serious environmental crisis facing the planet” and to discuss concrete plans to implement its recommendations.

The COP25 conference in Spain saw young indigenous activists fight for the preservation of the Amazon. | Image: John Englart / Climate Action Network

The IUCN Congress, to be held in person and virtually, is billed as the world’s largest conservation event held every four years, bringing together approximately 10,000 participants, including indigenous peoples, government officials and leaders. business.

At the gathering, more than 1,300 IUCN member groups from government, civil society and indigenous peoples will vote on a range of issues, including how to tackle climate change, strengthen nature protection and promote a green recovery from COVID-19.

The aim is to inform policymakers and negotiators ahead of the UN COP26 climate summit in November in Scotland.

With little political and economic influence, indigenous peoples in the nine countries of the Amazon Basin often struggle to make their voices heard on the global stage where decisions are made that affect their lands and receive little international funding, Diaz said.

“The appeal we will be making is that funding should go to indigenous peoples who conserve and protect the land,” he said.

Indigenous leaders have asked to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron at the IUCN summit, as well as with climate officials from the United States and the European Union.

The Amazon plays a vital role in regulating the earth’s climate by absorbing and storing the carbon dioxide that heats the planet.

Deforestation there is largely fueled by illegal logging and gold mining, as well as soybean and beef farming in Brazil, and clearing of forests to plant coca crops in Colombia and Peru. .

The COICA motion also calls on the governments of Amazonian countries to ban industrial activities – such as mining and oil extraction – in primary forests until conservation initiatives and new agreements are put in place with them. Indigenous Peoples.

“There is still time to change the model of development and consumption that is destroying the Amazon. It is time to start the transition,” said Diaz.

(Reporting by Anastasia Moloney, edited by Megan Rowling. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http: // news. trust .org)


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