Indigenous Rights and Climate Change

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Last month, representatives for the Kalinago (Carib) people of Dominica attended the Indigenous People’s Global Summit on Climate Change in Anchorage, Alaska. The summit was attended by representatives from the Artic, North America, Asia, the Pacific, Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean and Russia and drew attention to the disproportionate impact of global change on indigenous communities throughout the world. Earlier this month they issued the” Anchorage Declaration,” in which they outline their goals. It reads in part:

We express our solidarity as Indigenous Peoples living in areas that are the most vulnerable to the impacts and root causes of climate change. We reaffirm the unbreakable and sacred connection between land, air, water, oceans, forests, sea ice, plants, animals and our human communities as the material and spiritual basis for our existence.

We are deeply alarmed by the accelerating climate devastation brought about by unsustainable development. We are experiencing profound and disproportionate adverse impacts on our cultures, human and environmental health, human rights, well-being, traditional livelihoods, food systems and food sovereignty, local infrastructure, economic viability, and our very survival as Indigenous Peoples.

Mother Earth is no longer in a period of climate change, but in climate crisis. We therefore insist on an immediate end to the destruction and desecration of the elements of life.

For the complete declaration go to http://www.bicusa.org/en/Article.11137.aspx

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