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Bolivia: Indigenous Peoples Environmental Pioneers

On indigenous territories in Bolivia that have secured property rights, deforestation rates are 2.8 times lower than outside of them. Such lands cover 20% of the country’s territory, so the contribution of indigenous peoples in Bolivia to fighting climate change is substantial.

But this situation has been undermined by Bolivia’s development policies, and could be threatened further with the recent shift to a right-wing government.

In the last two decades, Bolivia has led the world in championing indigenous rights. Upon taking power in 2006, Evo Morales helped write a new national constitution. It paved the way to redistribute land to indigenous peoples and support their claims for self-government.

Morales also put indigenous peoples at the forefront of climate change discussions, when in 2010, he organised the People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. The People’s Agreement that emerged highlighted the important role that indigenous peoples play safeguarding the planet.

Source: The Conversation

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