Indigenous group: Deforestation plans hinge on funds

As world leaders pledge to end deforestation at the U.N climate conference indigenous groups warn that the pledge will only turn into action if funds are delivered directly.

More than 100 national leaders on Monday pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by the end of the decade.

$19 billion in public and private funds backed the announcement but how this is to be spent is being closely examined.

Leader of the Indigenous Women of the Brazilian Amazon Union, Telma Taurepang, was skeptical of turning the plan into action:

"How will they [the government] ensure a resource that does not reach Indigenous lands. It does not reach Indigenous organisations to curb deforestation. Because the resource when it arrives, it does not reach Indigenous peoples. They come to secure more and more soy plantations, and they give the money to those who plant soy, to those who deforest and not to Indigenous peoples."

She points to the increase in mining and agribusiness in the Amazon rainforest that has caused deforestation.

Under the agreement, 12 countries pledged to provide $12 billion of public funding between 2021 and 2025 for developing countries to restore degraded land and tackle wildfires.

Some of the promised funds from investors came with the pledge to stop investing in palm oil, soybean farming, pulp production and other activists linked to deforesting.

WWF deputy Damien Fleming echoed the need for the funds to be handled sensitively:

"So we need to see these words translated into binding policies and commitments. And also, you know, a full and effective engagement with those on the deep forest, on the front lines of deforestation, such as indigenous peoples and local communities."

The announcement on Monday is being called one of the most concrete declarations on deforestation to keep alive a target of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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