Environment

Brazil indigenous people tell COP26: you need us to solve climate crisis

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Indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara of the Guajajara tribe is seen during an interview with Reuters during her European tour in Paris, France, November 11, 2019. REUTERS/Noemie Olive

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BRASILIA, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Brazil's indigenous people said on Monday they would tell a U.N. climate conference that the world needs their expertise in protecting the Amazon rainforest to solve the global warming crisis.

The groups - who say they are facing increasing threats from loggers, miners and Brazil's own climate-skeptic government - told Reuters they had brought 40 envoys to the COP26 conference in Glasgow, their biggest ever international delegation.

"If there is no protection of indigenous territories and rights, there will also be no solution to the climate crisis, because we are part of that solution," Sonia Guajajara, head of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (ABIP), said.

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"We need to urgently save our territories to protect the lives of indigenous people and the future of our planet," she added by email.

The Amazon is the world's largest tropical rainforest and considered a crucial bulwark against climate change.

Environmental experts say the best protected forests in the Amazon are on indigenous reservations where conservation is core to the culture. Deforestation rates are significantly lower on protected indigenous lands, according to a report published by in March by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

But indigenous territories are being invaded by illegal loggers, cattle ranchers and gold miners who pollute the rivers, their leaders, anthropologists and federal prosecutors say.

Those invaders have become bolder under the far-right government of President Jair Bolsonaro, who is pushing for more mining and commercial agriculture in the Amazon. read more

Bolsonaro says Brazil needs to develop the Amazon to provide jobs for the 20 million people living there.

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Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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