6.11.2007

Indigenous Groups Most Vulnerable to Climate Change

U.N. panel says indigenous people are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of climate change (by LILY HINDY, AP - 25.5.07)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Indigenous people around the world are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of climate change, which will threaten their traditional cultures as glaciers melt, ocean temperatures increase and coral reefs disappear, panel members said at a U.N. discussion of biodiversity.

The loss of biodiversity to climate change will hit indigenous people hardest, John Scott, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity said Tuesday.

"Indigenous and local communities ... will bear the brunt of this catastrophe because of their close association with their lands and waters," said Scott said.

The panel marking the U.N.'s International Biodiversity Day included a reindeer herder from Norway and members of indigenous groups from Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Hindu Kush mountain range that straddles the Pakistan-Afghan border.

See The Voice of the Taino People Online for more on this and related issues.