From the Amazon to California
In a recent letter published in the Sacramento Bee, the President of the Coordinating Group of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA), Edwin Vazquez, highlights the importance of engaging indigenous communities in efforts to conserve tropical forests -- something he notes is already occurring within the Governors' Climate and Forests (GCF) Task Force. The commentary was published following a visit by Pope Francis to GCF Task Force member Madre de Dios, Peru, where the pope highlighted the threats facing local communities in the Amazon.
Mr Vasquez has participated alongside representatives from indigenous peoples groups from Latin America and Southeast Asia in the GCF Task Force's Global Working Group on Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, which has convened 6 meetings and events since 2016 to advance dialogue and partnerships between state and provincial governments and local and indigenous communities. Mr Vasquez's full letter can be read here.