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Alec Baldwin, Helen Clark Join Indigenous Leaders Calling for Forest Protections and Land Rights to

On the eve of the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, Indigenous leaders from around the world gathered in New York City to call on the UN and the countries signing the accord to ensure that protections for forests and Indigenous communities are part of global efforts to combat climate change.

Research has shown that as much as 20 percent of forest carbon can be found in Indigenous territories, which would make that carbon easy to keep out of the atmosphere, since Indigenous peoples are known to be superior stewards of the land.

Indigenous communities’ ability to protect their traditional lands is often under-utilized, however, if not actively undermined.

Standing outside UN headquarters while holding a plaque memorializing Berta Cáceres, the slain Indigenous activist from Honduras, Mina Setra, a leader of the Dayak Pompakng people from West Kalimantan, Indonesia, spoke about the dire need for an end to the criminalization and violence Indigenous people fighting to protect their forests are often met with.

Her message for government officials due to sign the Paris Agreement was simple: “Start implementation. Not on paper — now.”


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