The indigenous leaders of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from nine South American countries declared a “climate emergency” in the Amazon. In an open letter released last week, the entities warn of increasing devastation of ecosystems in the region, accelerated by pollution, as well as deforestation and fires.
The document is signed by the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (Coica), the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (Coiab); Regional Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon (Venezuela), as well as the National Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon, which together represent more than 511 indigenous peoples.
In the letter, the entities require a permanent mobilization in defense of the forest and the implementation of a “Climate Emergency Fund for the Amazon”, with the objective of allocating funds directly to renewable energy initiatives, indigenous economy, intercultural education, development of traditional medicine, restoration, sovereignty and food security.
For Coica, the incessant advance of Covid-19 and other diseases has shown exclusionary policies that cause the deaths of thousands of indigenous people. And that the measure aims to combat the omission of the restoration of ecosystems and the growth of the extractive, agro-industrial and energy sectors, which threaten the survival of traditional peoples.
Coiab says it has called on governments and international bodies to face the emergency in accordance with their powers. “Despite containment measures due to the new Coronavirus, concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are alarming, temperatures rise and water and ecosystems are increasingly threatened,” he said.
Among other demands directed at the governments are urgent action in the face of the climate crisis by world leaders; the recognition of the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples and the demarcation of 100% of indigenous territories as an effective conservation measure
According to Coiab, the facts pointed out show that Paris Agreement, even after five years, did not reach its objective and that it is necessary to change the current model development of planet that, according to Brazilian coordination, is devastating the Amazon.
The Paris Agreement is a treaty created in 2015 for countries to be able to keep global warming below 2 ° C, seeking to limit it to 1.5 ° C. The international commitment discussed among 195 countries has as its main objective to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide.
Data from the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) show that even with the pandemic of new Coronavirus, which has already infected more than 7 million people and killed 192,000, the year 2020 was marked by records of deforestation in Amazon, in addition to historical fires in the Pantanal.
From January to November of this year alone, 116,845 km² of the Amazon and Pantanal territory were destroyed by flames, an area equivalent to almost three states in Rio de Janeiro. Also according to Inpe, the Amazon lost, in one year, 11,080 km² in deforested area – the highest index of the decade.
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