Environment

Why indigenous lands are pivotal against climate change

Under threat from Bolsonaro, indigenous lands are guardians against climate change

Under threat from Bolsonaro, indigenous lands are guardians against climate change
Photo: Anton Ivanov

Amid last year’s Amazon fires crisis, Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro addressed the United Nations General Assembly and placed a share of the blame for the wave of deforestation on indigenous communities, who, in his words, set fire to their lands “as part of their respective cultures and as a means of survival.”

This was vehemently refuted, however, by a recent peer-reviewed study published in the scientific journal PNAS, of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The paper came to the unsurprising conclusion that indigenous lands and protected areas actually serve as barriers against...

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