Indigenous lands, protected areas limit Amazon’s carbon emissions

(Climate Change News, 27 Jan 2020) Greater international support for indigenous land rights and livelihoods is a cost-effective way to limit climate change, PNAS study.

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Indigenous lands and protected areas in the Amazon contribute far less to climate change than the rest of the rainforest since they account for only 10 percent of carbon emissions while covering 52 percent of the region, a study shows.

The territories are still emitting some carbon due to forest degradation, but high forest growth means their net emissions remain low, according to the study, published on Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The article shows how indigenous territories contribute to mitigation of global climate change, as well as other ecosystem services such as water, biodiversity and forests, said Tuntiak Katan, co-author of the paper and vice-coordinator of the Congress of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA).

The authors called for greater international support for indigenous land rights and livelihoods as a cost-effective way to limit climate change.

“We know these threats are growing, and for indigenous peoples and local communities to continue to play the role that they have historically played, we can’t ignore the fact that they’re going to need additional assistance,” Wayne Walker, scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center and lead author of the paper, told Climate Home News.

“They cannot be expected to do the job of protecting these globally important resources on their own.”

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Climate Change News, 27 Jan 2020: Indigenous lands, protected areas limit Amazon’s carbon emissions