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Consult indigenous people on climate change: Agatha
New Delhi, Mar 28 (IANS):
Published on 29 Mar. 2010 12:10 AM IST
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Indigenous people who mostly live in forests and are dependant on the natural resources for survival should be consulted in charting out ways to tackle climate change, minister of state for rural development Agatha Sangma said at a seminar in Manila on indigenous people, climate change and rural poverty.
“It is imperative that rural poor and indigenous people must be able to control their lives and take decisions. We must have interchange and exchange of ideas regarding what could be the best ways of combating climate change,” a statement Sunday said quoting Sangma in the seminar.
“We must also take serious note of the fact that sufficient resources and time are devoted to pulling the millions of poor people out of poverty and empowering them through education. If we provide them proper education we might even be able to develop better ways of countering the inevitable consequences of climate change,” she added.
According to Sangma, there are about 82 million people in India who are among the most vulnerable and are known as the Scheduled Tribes. A majority of them reside in forested areas and about half of them live below poverty line. They are grouped into about 700 tribes.
“Recently, global initiatives and measures in the form of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD) have been advocated to incentivize efforts for reducing deforestation,” Sangma said.
“We have advocated that REDD must grow into REDD plus and also reward efforts for forest conservation and sustainable management of forests. This is the only way we can protect the interests of forest communities and reward them for their contribution to effective management of forests,” she added.

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