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South America: “Less than 1% of all the funding that is invested in protecting intact biodiversity and mitigating climate change in our territories reaches our communities”, state indigenous groups during IUCN conference

"Campaign launched to protect 80% of Amazon at key environment summit", 08 September 2021

Indigenous voices on the environment are finally being heard as Marseille hosts a global biodiversity summit, with a call to protect 80% of the Amazon, as well as a “counter conference” highlighting the conservation movement’s historic violation of people’s rights.

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. Dozens of indigenous meetings are happening at the summit – which occurs every four years – with representatives from 23 organisations...

“Less than 1% of all the funding that is invested in protecting intact biodiversity and mitigating climate change in our territories reaches our communities, and that has to change. It’s absurd that so much of the funding goes to consultants who are sent to tell us what we already know about how to conserve what we are already conserving”...

A record number of environmental defenders were killed in 2019 for protecting their land, 40% of whom were from indigenous communities...

As well as showcasing a range of ideas from campaigners, scientists and conservationists, the summit provides policymakers with a chance to discuss issues in the run-up to the Cop15 “Paris agreement for nature”, due to be negotiated in Kunming next year...

The draft Cop15 agreement includes a clause that traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities should guide decision-making “with their free, prior, and informed consent”. But indigenous groups, academics and campaigners from 18 countries gathered in Marseille at the “Our Land, Our Nature” congress, a “counter-summit” on the eve of the IUCN meeting, called for land rights to be at the heart of conservation, not protected areas...