So, while approximately 8,000 delegates sit – and stand – in Poland to discuss the discussion of climate change pre-post-Kyoto, other communities are left out in the cold.
“Global efforts to combat climate change will lead nowhere as long as the indigenous peoples’ representatives have no say in discussions to lay out future plans, say activists who are attending the international conference on climate change being held in the Polish city of Poznan this week. “Indigenous peoples have for centuries adapted to changing environments and would be able to contribute substantially to adaptation strategies the U.N. is trying to include in a new climate change treaty,” said Mark Lattimer of the London-based Minority Rights Group International (MRG).
Ahead of the conference on climate change, which started Monday, MRG researchers released a new study concluding that a new climate change deal would be “seriously compromised” if governments continued to shut out the voices of those most affected by global warming.”
Meanwhile – climate change is significantly impacting health, and particularly the health of children. “The incidence of the mosquito-borne disease was increasing in proportion to the rise in temperature.” But it is not just climate change. “The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warned in a report that the loss of forests, the building of roads and dams, the spread of cities, the clearing of natural habitats for agriculture, mining, and the pollution of coastal waters “are promoting conditions under which new and old pathogens — bacteria, viruses and microorganisms causing diseases — can thrive.” A study by Johns Hopkins University in Maryland says that even a one percent increase in deforestation in Peru increases the number of malaria-bearing mosquitoes by eight percent. The study also reported that the mosquitoes “ran wild” after 30 to 40 percent of the forest was destroyed.” All in all: More malaria, diarrhea, and asthma: these diseases are on the rise around the world because of environmental destruction and kill some three million children under five and two million adults a year.
Unfortunately, deforestation is increasing. “Latin America and the Caribbean hold more than 33 percent of the planet’s forest biomass, 50 percent of the jungles and 65 percent of tropical forest biomass….But the region produces 12 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases — and half of the emissions are the result of deforestation, with Brazil and Mexico leading the region in terms of climate-changing pollutants. … Mexico, for example, loses some 500,000 hectares of forest annually, and Nicaragua loses about 75,000 hectares. … By 2050 the region could lose 11 percent of its existing natural areas as a result of farming, infrastructure expansion and climate change. ”