CGIAR Gender News

Placing justice at the heart of climate action

forest Photo: Emily Pinna/CIFOR

Amid the scars of deforestation in southeastern Brazil, the Kayapo Indigenous Territory is a heart-shaped green oasis whose inhabitants defend it fiercely against encroachment by farmers, ranchers and loggers.

Invaders have made some inroads from the east, but some 10 million hectares of primary humid forest remain intact, storing carbon as they have for thousands of years and serving as a buffer against fires.

The Kayapo territory offers a lesson to climate policy makers, say panellists who discussed a new study, the Land Gap Report, on 11 November 2022 at a side event at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP27 climate summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

The report warns that governments are relying excessively on tree planting to slow global warming, when the greatest emphasis should be on maintaining existing forest, restoring degraded ecosystems and guaranteeing the rights of the peoples who have managed those lands for generations.