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Indigenous peoples at world summit to share climate change observations, coping techniques
Date:4/19/2009

uld both ease climate change and help all humanity adapt to its anticipated consequences.

With scientific experts now predicting that the effects of climate change will be more severe and appear even faster than previously believed, Indigenous Peoples will present the Summit with new observations of changes, including:

Papua New Guinea: Indigenous People are being forced to relocate due to a combination of population growth and the inundation of coastal land due to sea level rise.

Borneo: The Dayak have documented climate variations based on observations of bird species, rising water levels, and the loss of traditional medicinal plants;

Mexico: Highland Mayan milpa farmers have a shortened rain season, unseasonal frost and unusually large daytime temperature changes, forcing them to find alternative sources of irrigation and crop variations;

Andean Region: Temperature changes in the Andean region have had a drastic impact on agriculture, health and biodiversity, evidenced by an increase in respiratory illnesses, a decrease in alpaca farming and a shortened growing season. In some areas where Indigenous People depend on Alpine flora for medicines, grazing and food, the growing season could be cut in half should the loss of glaciers continue and agriculture become dependent solely on rainfall;

Kenya: Protracted droughts are killing livestock on which the Samburu People depend for food and economic survival;

Nepal: Intense rainfall and droughts have become common, having severe crop effects.

"Indigenous Peoples have contributed the least to the global problem of climate change but will almost certainly bear the greatest brunt of its impact," says Patricia Cochran, Chair of both the Inuit Circumpolar Council and the April Summit.

"Indigenous Peoples are on the front lines of this global problem at a time when their cultures and livelihoods in traditional lands are already threatened by
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Contact: Terry Collins
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
United Nations University
Source:Eurekalert

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