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LATIN AMERICA
Indigenous groups, post-Copenhagen
2/3/2010
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Native groups trade insights based on their traditional knowledge to combat climate change.

Indigenous groups from 14 countries around the region sought to take advantage of and defend their traditions and teachings to combat climate change in the second Latin American summit on Climate Change Impacts on Indigenous Peoples: Post Copenhagen, held Jan. 25-26 in Lima.

Participants in the summit, convened by the Coordinating Group of Indigenous Women´s Continental Region South American, the Central American Indigenous Council and the Center for Indigenous Cultures of Peru-Chirapaq, discussed the best methods of sustainable development on indigenous lands, measures to monitor forests and rivers, food sovereignty and security, gender and indigenous rights.

They swapped information about extreme weather such as cold snaps, blizzards and abnormal rainfall patterns that have damaged or destroyed indigenous lands and their native crops.

“The food security crisis, illnesses, the loss of our traditional teachings and practices, the weakening of our own [community] organization are consequences of climate change,” said the Lima Declaration: For the Life of Mother and Human Nature. The trend has broken the ecological, socioeconomic and spiritual balance, they said.

Participants agreed that indigenous peoples continue to be some of the worst affected by climate change, with extreme impacts on their lands, health, culture, economy, water and natural resources.

They called for unified mobilizations of indigenous groups against extractive industries such as oil and mining, which directly hurt the communities, and said their traditional knowledge should be used to counter the economic models that promote dangerous, unsustainable development.
—Latinamerica Press.


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