Saturday, December 12, 2009

Amazon Natives share concerns over climate change negotiations

Here is a story from the Indian Country Today news web site:

"As scientists and government representatives gather in Copenhagen, Denmark to hammer out a global response to climate change, Amazonian Native leaders are concerned about how the outcome will impact their people and their territories.

Scientists estimate that tropical deforestation is responsible for about 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, and that if rainforest destruction continues at the current rate, 430 billion tons of carbon will be released into the atmosphere. REDD advocates the claim that curtailing tropical deforestation can be a quick and cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions, complementing reductions in transportation, industry, energy production and other areas.

“The world owes indigenous people for having fought deforestation and prevented greater climate change,” said Diego Escobar, a Piratapuyo Indian from Colombia who represented the Coordinator of the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA) in Copenhagen. “When is the world going to pay us for having conserved all that forest and all that biological wealth?”

For some good news on the subject check out the article in Science magazine -The End of Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.  It is co-authored by  Daniel Nepstad, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center.