Home and climate protector
More than half of the world’s remaining tropical forests are located in the Amazon region. At almost 7.9 million km2, the Amazon Basin constitutes the world’s largest continuous forest and it thus plays a decisive role in global climate protection. In the indigenous territories of this region, the forest remains largely intact as a result of indigenous peoples’ traditional lifestyles. These peoples, having lived in this region for centuries, cultivate their forest in a sustainable way and possess profound knowledge about their local environment. Like municipalities the world over, they are the best suited to implementing climate action measures in their own territories.
Protected by the indigenous peoples
The climatic conditions in the Amazon region’s ecosystem lead to rich biodiversity. The majority of the world’s flora and fauna find their habitat in this region. In addition to its biological wealth, the Amazon region is home to more than 450 indigenous peoples. Some of these peoples have already been living in the South American Lowlands for 10,000 years. They in harmony with this biodiversity and significantly contribute to its preservation. Although belonging to different linguistic families and cultures, they all sustainably “manage” what the rainforest provides and share a profound respect for their forest habitat.
Of the 2.4 million km2 indigenous territories in the Amazon rainforest, about 1 million km2 have yet to be officially recognised. An estimated 20 percent of this area is gravely threatened by pressures from oil production, infrastructure projects or large-scale agro-industrial exploitation. These territories are not only home to entire populations, but also play a decisive role in fighting climate change. A recent study titled “Carbon Forest in Amazonia” shows that over half of all the carbon stored in the 9 nation area of the Amazon Basin is found in indigenous and protected territories. This corresponds to more than what is stored in the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia combined.
Photos: unsplash.com (landscape) | Sarayaku (women)