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The protection, preservation and creative management of forests ecosystems contribute to economic growth, poverty reduction and greater food security. Such cost-effective action also helps communities adapt to climate change and securing the rights and livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities. Photo ©FAO/R. Heinrich

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Photo by: Eric Chan (Flickr)

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Within the initiative “Protection of 400 million hectares of forests by indigenous peoples”, a global coalition of indigenous peoples from the Amazon, Central America, the Congo Basin and Indonesia pledge to protect 400 million hectares of forests, in these regions. These indigenous communities and local communities (colonos) sustain their livelihoods from the targeted forests, which makes it crucial to involve them in their protection.

Led by the CAUCUS IP/COICA (Amazon Area), 16 organizations have joined this international coalition, including for example the Asia Indigenous Women’s Network, the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Partnership on Climate Change, Forests and Sustainable Development, and The Indigenous Peoples Foundation for Education and Environment.

This initiative is a component of the New York Declaration on Forest, which was spurred by the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in September 2014. It is a political declaration that brings together governments, companies and civil society actors – including indigenous peoples organizations – with the common aim of halving the loss of natural forests by 2020, and striving to end it by 2030. Meeting these goals would reduce carbon pollution by between 4.5 and 8.8 billion tons every year – about as much as the current emissions of the United States.

Photo credit: Eric Chan (Flickr)

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