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Amazon Leaders Want World Leaders to Listen to them When it Comes to Conserving Biodiversity

[vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”2/3″][image_with_animation image_url=”53913″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In”][divider line_type=”No Line” custom_height=”25″][vc_column_text]Leaders of Amazing indigenous groups are presenting a proposal that calls for a new global agreement to protect and restore at least half of the world’s natural habitats.

An activist group called the “Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin” (or COICA) has prepared a proposal that they will be presenting to the secretariat, government bodies, and NGOs that calls more input and involvement of indigenous communities in policy-making during the ongoing UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Egypt.

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Tuntiak Katan (Vice President, COICA)

[/vc_column_text][divider line_type=”No Line” custom_height=”25″][vc_column_text]In simple terms, it is a global agreement to protect nature from further destruction.

It has three main goals: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

The convention first came into force in 1993 but critics (NGOs, scientists, indigenous groups, etc) believe that there is still a lot more to protect the world’s biodiversity and find a way to use it sustainably.

This year’s conference is particularly important because discussions are ongoing about the global framework ton biodiversity that will be implemented in the next conference (in two years from now). In 2020, the current goals, established in 2010 in Aichi, Japan (called the Aichi Targets), expire and are expected to be formally replaced in Beijing, China in 2020 (a lot like the Paris Agreement did in 2015 for climate change).

And COICA is representing indigenous communities to engage in a dialogue with policy-makers at the Conference

Speakers at a press conference held to promote the proposal stressed on the recognition that local and indigenous people have their own understandings and conservation practices that governments of the world should follow to ensure ecological stability and the security of the planet’s resources.

“Nearly 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity is found on the lands of tribal peoples and that the majority of the most biodiverse places on Earth are tribal peoples’ territories,” said Juan Carlos Jintiach, a representative of COICA currently in Egypt. “Tribal people have been contributing and sustainably using the resources on their lands for thousands of years and it’s not possible to create policies that will be effective without their input.”

COICA’s proposal describes a joint vision of the indigenous communities to protect the Amazon rainforest.

The proposal resulted from a COICA summit held last August with indigenous leaders from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Peru, Surinam, and Venezuala representing over 400 nations.

At the summit they discusses alternatives based ancestral knowledge on how to preserve the “biological corridor” that covers nearly 200 million hectares of tropical Forrests distributed between Colombia, Venezuela and Bolivia.

While the countries have already signed an agreement to protect the “corridor” that is considered one of the regions of major biodiversity in the world, indigenous groups believe that more input from them about their unique understanding of the region is crucial to get any real change.

“65% of the world’s lands are indigenous territories but only 10% are legally recognised. Guaranteeing indigenous territorial rights is an inexpensive and effective of reducing carbon emissions and increasing natural areas,” stated Tuntiak Katan, another representative of COICA in Egypt.
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