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South America: At IUCN World Conservation Congress, Amazon indigenous people sound the alarm on deforestation and call for support

IUCN Congress

During the IUCN World Conservation Congress, taking place in Marseille, France, Indigenous peoples of the Amazon urged heads of state and government to support a new target of protecting 80 percent of the Amazon basin by 2025 and called for stronger action to curb deforestation.

"We invite the global community to join us in the challenge to reverse the process of destruction of our land and safeguard the future of the planet," said José Gregorio Díaz Mirabal, Global Coordinator of COICA, an entity that represents the 505 indigenous peoples of the nine countries of the Amazon River Basin.

This is the first time that the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA) participate as full members in the congress organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB) is part of COICA.

For the first time in its seven-decade history, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is including indigenous peoples as full voting members in their own right, rather than under the NGO category.