Alaska Hosts World Indigenous Peoples Climate Summit

Monday, April 27, 2009

Last week, 400 representatives from 80 indigenous nations met in Anchorage, Alaska, to discuss the problems of climate change and possible solutions to global warming. These nations are the most affected by but least culpable for environmental irresponsibility. Hosted by the Inuit Circumpolar Council, the Indigenous People's Global Summit on Climate Change was their chance to be heard as a concrete, unified body. 

Among the issues discussed were helping Arctic reindeer herders use satellite snow maps to find food for their animals; the possibility that the Pacific island nation of Kiribati might need to buy land elsewhere to relocate its population; Greenlanders’ attempts to mine rubies instead of foreign companies doing so; and the critical issue of who owns the rights to oil and gas in regions inhabited by indigenous people.
One of the main goals of the summit was to compose a statement for presentation in Copenhagen this December to the Conference of Parties at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The participants hope to express to international big business and to the entire international community that climate change is already affecting their day-to-day lives, even as the effects are more subtle in wealthier parts of the world.
-Emma Nagy
Climate Concern Unites Natives at UN Conference (by Elizabeth Bluemink, Anchorage Daily News)
Indigenous Groups Hold Climate Summit in Alaska (by Mary Pemberton, Associated Press)


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