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Indigenous Issues Are Green Issues, Say UN Delegates

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Indigenous leaders from around the world speaking at the United Nations' Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues expressed their concern that the so-called "green economy" ignores the rights and concerns of indigenous people, according to a report at Inter Press Service (IPS).

Brazilian indigenous leader Marcos Terena criticized officials running U.N. projects on environment and development across the world. "They present very good studies and information, but not for us," he said. "They talk to Sao Paulo, New York, and the World Bank, not us."

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, a former leader of the U.N. Forum on Indigenous Issues for five years, told IPS that most governments "are still resisting the indigenous movements. ... But they should understand it is in their own self-interest to support native peoples' rights."

The bottom line, said Terena, is that despite resolutions and agreements, the UN is not respecting indigenous people or helping the environment, and that doing the former will aid in the latter. "I hope the U.N. will understand and listen to the indigenous people, and not only produce papers," he said. "The paper is no good. It is bureaucracy. It is no good for the indigenous men, women and children. I hope the U.N. in the future would understand the voice of Mother Earth."

Read the full story:, "Green Economy Needs Respect for Indigenous Rights"