On Sunday, The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will vote on a plan, proposed by indigenous groups, to stop deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

According to assessments based on satellite data, the Amazon has lost roughly 10,000 square kilometers every year over the last two decades.

“That’s the emergency, not just for us but for humanity,” Jose Gregorio Diaz Mirabal, a leader of the Curripaco people in Venezuela, told AFP at the Congress venue in Marseille.

For the first time in the IUCN’s 70-year history, indigenous groups are now voting members alongside government agencies and national or international NGOs.

Diaz Mirabal submitted the Amazon proposal for the organization Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin (COICA) which represents more than two million indigenous people in nine Amazon nations.

“We are asking governments to help us protect our territory, which is also the territory of humanity,” he said. “Because if the Amazon rainforest disappears, people will die everywhere, it’s that simple.”

“It is crucial to stop extracting the oil, the gold, the uranium,” he added. “This is wealth for Europe, the United States, Russia, and China, but is poverty for us.”

From : pk.mashable.com

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