News story | Date: 08/12/2015 | Ministry of Climate and Environment
"By defending the last remaining tropical forests, Indigenous Peoples are providing a critical service that is necessary if we are to reach the 2 degrees target," says Tine Sundtoft, Minister of Climate and Environment in Norway.
More than 260 million people live in the world's tropical rainforest. Today, at the Equator Prize 2015 Award Ceremony in downtown Paris, Norway announced to support the tremendous efforts carried out by Indigenous Peoples to mitigate climate change.
"Notwithstanding the pressures on Norway as Europe faces the most significant refugee crisis since World War II, the country is staying the course to deliver its pledge of US100 million dollars to support Indigenous peoples and other forest dependent communities who help protect the tropical rainforests", says UNDP Administrator Helen Clark.
Norway will channel about half of its support to Indigenous Peoples and forest dependent communities for 2016-20 through grants from the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI). Other parts of last year's 100 million dollar pledge will be channeled through existing channels and support mechanisms for Indigenous Peoples.
Norway will also support capacity building for Indigenous Peoples organizations so that they are better positioned to access and manage climate finance by 2020.
The Equator Prize 2015 is awarded to 20 outstanding local and indigenous community initiatives that are advancing innovative solutions for resilient communities in the fight against climate change. One of the prizewinners is South Central Peoples Development Association (SCPDA) from Guyana in South America. The association works with the Wachipan people who number 9000 individuals who protect their traditional rainforest territory.
"The Equator prize acknowledges that our work is a global contribution to mitigate climate change. The Wapichan people are hopeful that the Prize will give worldwide profile to our longstanding struggle to secure our land rights. We need our community forest to be recognized," says Nicholas Fredericks who is leader (Toshao) of Shulinab village and program coordinator in South Central Peoples Development Association.
The Wachipan traditional territory covers 1,5 million ha of rainforest and is protected from open pit gold mining by the use of smart phones and GPS units, field investigations and a community drone. "I am impressed by how large forest areas communities can protect by combining modern technology with ancient knowledge," says Sundtoft.
The South Central Peoples Development Association will be a grantee of the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative through their partnership with Rainforest Foundation US.
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