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Indigenous territories fight climate change

Canopy of Panama (Colon, Panama). Credit: Camilo Alejo

In recent research PLOS ONEResearchers from six countries, including Camilo Alejo and Catherine Potvin of the Department of Biology at McGill University, investigated the importance of indigenous regions in climate change mitigation throughout the Panama and Amazon basins. They found that indigenous territories were an effective natural solution to meet the Paris Agreement by protecting forests and storing carbon. Given the role they play, researchers say indigenous peoples should benefit from the payments the country receives to avoid greenhouse gas emissions.


Q & A with Camilo Alejo

What question did you try to answer?

Absorbs the natural environment like forests carbon dioxide Save it from the atmosphere carbon In forest ecosystems, mainly living biomass and soil. About 861 gigatons of carbon are stored in the world’s forests. Carbon storage refers to the amount of carbon stored in this way. Forest protection and management is a cost-effective way to mitigate climate change by increasing carbon storage and reducing land-use emissions from activities such as forestry and agriculture. Indigenous territories, customary lands of traditional societies that lived in the country prior to colonization, and protected areas whose primary purpose is nature maintenance can be considered part of these natural climate solutions. There is sex. Our study estimates the actual impact of indigenous territories and protected areas on forest carbon storage, taking into account the impact of those locations across the Amazon basins of Panama and Colombia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. Was aimed at.

Indigenous territories fight climate change

Tikunas identify the sacred lands of their territory (Amazonas, Colombia). Credit: Camilo Alejo

What did you find?

Indigenous territories have been found to be as effective as protected areas in protecting forest carbon storage. For example, Brazil’s indigenous and protected areas had about 6% more carbon storage in 2003 than private and unprotected land. This impact increased to 10% and 8.5% in 2016, respectively. It cushions losses and provides stability to forest carbon storage. We also found that the boundaries of indigenous areas have more extensive carbon storage than their surroundings, and this difference tends to increase towards less accessible and remote areas. For example, Panama’s indigenous regions had 9% more carbon storage than their surroundings at 1 km from the boundary, doubling this amount at 15 km.

Why is the result important?

Our findings show that both indigenous territories and protected areas are effective ways to protect forests, store carbon and avoid land-use emissions due to deforestation and degradation. I am. In addition, our findings are one of the first to establish that indigenous land use in Neotropical forests can have a stable impact. Carbon stockShows that indigenous forest governance complements centralized forest governance in protected areas. Forest governance is defined as a way for public and private sectors to make and implement binding decisions on the management, use and conservation of forest resources. Therefore, indigenous areas of the Panama and Amazon basins can play a vital role in mitigating climate change while providing material and cultural benefits to the population.

Who or what will be affected by what you find?

Under the Paris Agreement, countries may rely on improved forest conservation, restoration and management to avoid greenhouse gas emissions. Our results show that indigenous peoples support nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. The NDC embodies national efforts to reduce national emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change.It is advisable to secure and formalize land ownership of indigenous territories forest Joint governance can provide multiple benefits when indigenous territories overlap with protected areas. Indigenous peoples, on the other hand, may secure their lives and culture. Meanwhile, governments can meet their climate goals.Finally, considering the role of indigenous territories Climate change mitigationEmphasize that countries that receive payments to avoid greenhouse gas emissions must consider indigenous peoples who will benefit from such emissions. Indigenous peoples must be recipients of payments based on national results.


55% of carbon in Amazon’s indigenous territories and protected lands could be at risk


For more information:
Camilo Alejo et al, are indigenous territories an effective natural climate solution? Neotropical realm analysis using matching methods and geographically discontinuous design, PLOS ONE (2021). DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0245110

Provided by
McGill University

Quote: Indigenous territories fight climate change (17 August 2021) 17 August 2021 https://phys.org/news/2021-08-indigenous-territories-climate.html

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