LET THE POOR DROWN UN PLAN

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Offline goulash

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LET THE POOR DROWN UN PLAN
« on: March 13, 2008, 09:32:20 AM »
UNITED NATIONS, Mar 12 (IPS) - The world's minorities and indigenous groups are the "silent victims" of the potentially disastrous effects of climate change, says a new study by Minority Rights Group (MRG) International.

..."From the immediate aftermath of a disaster to the point of designing policy on climate change, the unique situation of minority and indigenous groups is rarely considered," said Ishbel Matheson, MRG's head of policy and communications.

The disadvantaged include the Dalits (or "untouchables") of India, the Rakhain fishing community in Bangladesh, the pastoralists of Kenya, the Karamajong community in Uganda, the Afro-Colombians in Colombia, the Roma communities in Europe and the Sami people of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

..."The close relationship of many indigenous peoples and some minorities to their environment makes them especially sensitive to the impact of climate change," it points out.

...The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says global warming and more extreme weather events can, to a large extent, be attributed to the burning of fossil fuels and other polluting activities, which are raising the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

..."However, the difficulty is that until very recently, most of the controversy around global warming has focused on the extent to which humans have caused the global warming, and to charting the real and projected environmental effects," she added.

...But given that the actual effects of global warming are already being felt at a human level, then policy-makers need to look beyond the environment impacts to the impact on communities -- and which communities are disproportionately affected, including minorities and indigenous communities, Matheson added.

...The theme of the upcoming seventh session of the Permanent Forum, scheduled to take place Apr. 21-May 2, will be "climate change, bio-cultural diversity and livelihoods: the stewardship role of indigenous peoples and new challenges".

...At a conference of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in New York last September, several representatives pointed that key challenges facing indigenous groups included the impact of mono-culture plantations; mass migration; poor water quality; food security; human health and infrastructure.

...They too need to look at the impact on minorities -- such as the Rakhain fishing community in Bangladesh -- to address the fact that, for these communities, it is not simply a matter of loss of livelihood or a loss of culture, but their very survival, Matheson said.
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