Indigenous lands store five times more carbon than previously thought

Indigenous peoples manage at least 17 percent of the carbon stored in some 70 percent of the world’s forests. This is the conclusion of a new study commissioned in part by COICA, the umbrella organisation of indigenous organisations in the Amazon basin. The study is the first to account for carbon stored in the soil in addition to that stored in trees. This more complete accounting means that five times more carbon is stored on indigenous lands than previously assumed. One third of these areas is not formally recognised as indigenous territory and is therefore at risk. The results again illustrate the link between indigenous land rights, forest protection and climate change mitigation.

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