Save the Amazon! Stop Deforestation!
In their never-ending quest to preserve nature and its rich resources, indigenous groups are urging world leaders to take action to protect the magnificent Amazon rainforest from deforestation.
Indigenous groups urged world leaders on Sunday to back a new action aimed at protecting 80% of the Amazon basin by 2025. They detailed that bold action was needed to stop deforestation, which is pushing the Earth's largest rainforest to a tipping point.
Indigenous people; the shields of mother nature
Delegates from the Amazon launched their campaign at a nine-day conference in Marseille, where thousands of officials, scientists, and campaigners are laying the groundwork for UN talks on biodiversity in Kunming, China, next year.
"We invite the global community to join us to reverse the destruction of our home and by doing so safeguard the future of the planet," said José Gregorio Diaz Mirabal, Lead Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin (COICA), which represents indigenous groups in nine Amazon-basin nations, told Reuters.
Deforestation; a befallen tragedy
Only less than 50% of the Amazon basin is currently under some form of official protection or indigenous sponsorship, revealed research published last year.
But pressure from ranching, mining, and oil exploration is growing. The Amazon basin as a whole has lost 18% of its original forest cover, while another 17% has been degraded, according to a study released in July by the Science Panel for the Amazon, based on research conducted by 200 scientists.
If deforestation reaches 20%-25%, it could tip the Amazon into a death spiral in which it dries out and becomes a savanna, according to Brazilian earth system scientist Carlos Nobre.
The gathering in Marseille is the latest "World Conservation Congress," an event held every four years by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
COICA seeks the congress' endorsement of its “Amazonia 80 x 2025” declaration to give the proposal a greater chance of gaining traction in Kunming, where governments are due to discuss targets to protect biodiversity over the next decade.