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International Alliance of Forest Peoples demands representation for forest dwellers in climate negotiations
Manaus, Brazil -
Representatives of forest communities from 11 countries announced the formation of a new coalition to demand greater representation and respect for forest dwellers in future climate change negotiations. The coalition, the International Alliance of Forest Peoples, issued a statement calling on governments to respect forest dwellers’ rights to land, natural resources, and respect for their traditional livelihoods.
The statement was signed by representatives of forest communities in Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, and Venezuela. The alliance will “function as a network and transnational forum for the exchange of experiences between forest populations and mostly for influencing international discussions on climate, deforestation, and mechanisms for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”
The coalition is supported by the Forest Peoples’ Alliance and the Institute for Environmental Research of the Amazon (IPAM), who invited community leaders, scientists and climate experts to attend the workshop “Climate Change and Peoples of the Forest” April 1-4 in Manaus.
“The indigenous people need to understand exactly what is happening to their forests. They have always been forgotten when it is time for decision-making and time has come for them to be taken into account because their ancestral knowledge on nature enables them to provide important inputs for the climate debate,” said Yolanda Hernández, the indigenous representative of the Maya Kakchiquel people, of Guatemala.
Some indigenous groups and forest peoples have been supportive of REDD, but many others fear that the new mechanism could worsen conflicts over land and that financing through REDD might be diverted before it ever reaches communities and forest dwellers. “The challenge is to pay the native peoples, not the governments,” said Elisa Canqui, member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Declarations and proceedings in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Bahasa http://partnerpage.google.com/amazonforestpeople.com
“Rainforest peoples form alliance to demand payments for forest carbon credits.” Mongabay.com http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0407-manaus_declaration.html
“Amazon’s ‘Forest Peoples’ Seek a Role in Striking Global Climate Agreements.” Alexei Barrionuevo. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/06/world/americas/06brazil.html?_r=1&ref=world&oref=slogin
“International Alliance will unite forest peoples of the world.” Forestnewswire.com. http://www.forestnewswire.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=122:international-alliance-will-unite-the-forest-peoples-of-the-world&catid=1:latest
“Forest People want to e heard at the UN debate on climate and deforestation.” Forestnewswire.com. http://www.forestnewswire.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=119:forest-people-want-to-be-heard-at-the-un-debate-on-climate-and-deforestation&catid=1:latest
"Amazon alliance to help forest communities." Telegraph.co.uk. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/04/08/eabrazil108.xml
IPAM Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazonia. http://www.climaedesmatamento.org.br/
Posted By Megan Liddle at 11:14am on April 08, 2008
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