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Legal opinion affirms ownership of carbon rights by indigenous group in the Amazon
As reported by Fiona Harvey and Jonathan Wheatley for the Financial Times, the legal ownership of forests and the carbon stored in them is a major topic of discussion at the Copenhagen climate talks. According to a legal opinion released by the global law firm Baker & McKenzie, the indigenous Surui people of the Amazon basin are the legal owners of the forest-carbon rights related to their lands. In hopes of stemming the continued logging of Sarui territory, this legal opinion is focused on securing these forest-carbon rights in order to empower the Surui in any future carbon market negotiations. These rights would allow the Surui to receive compensation for protecting and preserving their forests.
On the release of the legal finding, Mongabay.com quoted Michael Jenkins of Forest Trends, an RRI Partner and supporter of the legal study. "This really is a landmark opinion...what we have been able to demonstrate here is that there will be opportunity and a path forward for indigenous groups to participate in emerging markets from a global warming deal. In fact, the indigenous groups would now be part of the solution."
This finding coupled with recent research which shows that deforestation is particularly slowed in indigenous reserves, gives impetus toward recognizing indigenous peoples as legal owners and stewards of their lands.
Further coverage of this story:
- Bioscience Technology
- The Legal News Blog
- Brazil Environment News
- Healthcare Industry Today
- RedOrbit News
- Terra Daily
- Tree Hugger
- Brasil Economico
Posted By Lopaka Purdy at 11:39am on December 10, 2009
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