AQ Feature

Protect the Amazon

"Global warming and deforestation threaten to transform the world's largest tropical forest beyond recognition."

In the northwestern AmazonBasin in Colombia, an extraordinary process has been quietly taking place to protect the tropical forest. Over the last 20 years, Amazon indigenous peoples have been handed back their lands in a process aimed both at protecting the environment and supporting human rights. Today 247,000 square kilometers (95,367 square miles) of well-preserved tropical rainforest (an area the size of the United Kingdom) is in the hands of indigenous people, with the political support at the provincial and federal levels necessary to protect the standing forest forever.

This process is ongoing, and should receive the strong backing of the new U.S. president, not only because it is a step forward in dealing with the effects of climate change but also because it is a model for respecting indigenous rights across the hemisphere.

Equally important is that expanding the protection of the forests is essential to our survival…

 

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Any opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Americas Quarterly or its publishers.
Tags: U.S. President-elect, Colombia, Global Warming, Environment, Fundación Gaia Amazonas, Martin von Hildebrand, Amazon, Tropical Forests, Amazon Indigenous, Tropical Rainforest



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