It was amazing to see the Indigenous participation in Sharm El Sheikh. With more than 300 delegates, the Indigenous contingency was one of the biggest at COP27. Community leaders came to Egypt from every corner of the world to share the stories of their communities and advocate for the rights of Indigenous Peoples during the climate negotiations.
Their engagement is so important as the territories of the world’s 370 million indigenous peoples cover 24% of land worldwide and contain 80% of the world’s biodiversity.
Indigenous peoples have continued to resist the occupation and deforestation of lands they have lived in for centuries. They also understand the importance to protect the forests in the interests of combating climate change. They also know the potential for their decision-making power at a local and global level that may contribute to saving the planet.
It will be critical that indigenous communities have funding and authority to ensure their rights are respected so they can choose for themselves the level of their integration into the global economy.
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