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  • Indigenous communities inhabit 22 percent of the world’s lush forests and tundra.

    Indigenous communities inhabit 22 percent of the world’s lush forests and tundra. | Photo: EFE

Published 18 February 2019

Nearly 100 organizations are working together to strategize a way to minimize the impending climate crisis.

Climate mitigation takes center stage at this year’s Meeting of the Indigenous People which began in Nicaragua Monday, attracting aboriginal groups from Latin America and the Caribbean.

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"The dialogue represents a space for discussion to find mechanisms, clear tools to link Indigenous peoples with the processes of formulation, planning and implementation of climate projects because they are an important part in the protection of resources," said Ivan Felipe Leon, a representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization.

At least 98 organizations and 19 communities are participating in the three-day convention which hopes to strategize a way to minimize the current and impending climate crisis.

"We face the greatest challenge of humanity, to talk about climate change involves us all because we talk about the survival of the planet, in that sense, all efforts add to being able to face a reality,” Felipe Leon said.

Despite inhabiting 22 percent of the world’s lush forests and tundra, Indigenous communities are often overlooked during international conversations on global warming and climate change, said Dr. Mirna Cunningham, president of the Fund for the Development of the Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean (Filac).

“Indigenous peoples are carriers of ancestral knowledge that has allowed them to conserve resources, but often that contribution is not recognized. At present, it is known that there are 826 Indigenous peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean and around 400 people maintain their languages and maintain their relationship with the environment and we are happy that Nicaragua is the headquarters of this regional dialogue, because we have more than 30 years of working in a process of autonomy that recognizes the collective rights of Indigenous peoples and communities of African descent,” said Cunningham.

According to the U.N. FAO representative, the location for this discussion couldn’t be better.

“Nicaragua is a country that has had an important leadership in the region, in the world and has brought important issues to the global discussion about how to handle situations related to climate change from various points,” said Felipe Leon.


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