Indigenous leaders urge governments to call a global emergency to avert extreme drought and fires in Amazonia to keep the planet under 1.5 degrees Celsius

  • November 29, 2023

2023 UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 28) – Nov 30-Dec 12, 2023 – Dubai, UAE

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (November 28, 2023) — Indigenous leaders and the coalition Amazonia for Life: protect 80% by 2025 urge COP28 member states to declare a global emergency to avert extreme drought and fires in Amazonia.  Including Indigenous Territories in NDCs is essential to address immediate action to maintain global temperature under 1.5 degrees Celsius.  Scientific evidence confirms that combined deforestation and high degradation have already reached 26% of the Amazon and consequently, a point of no return or the regressive death of the entire Amazonia is imminent. 

Indigenous Territories (IT) represent about 22% of the global land surface, are home to 80% of the remaining biodiversity on the planet, and 500 million people accounting for 6.2% of the global population.  In Amazonia, Indigenous Territories and Protected Areas cover nearly 50% of the region, yet ITs remain unfunded.  In Amazonia conservation performance of Indigenous Territories is comparable or higher than Protected Areas, but ITs have no national or international budgets.  At COP28, Indigenous leaders will present various financial mechanisms to protect 80% by 2025 such as debt and bioeconomy, among the most important measures to achieve this target. 

Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) of the region must include Indigenous Territories in order to avert the current tipping point crisis that threatens the livelihood of 511 indigenous peoples and the largest and most biodiverse continuous forest on Earth. Currently, less than 1% of financing goes to Indigenous Territories regardless of their high preservation performance. Direct finance is needed urgently. 

The Initiative 80% by 2025 has developed a Roadmap to Implement Target 3 that highlights the legal recognition of Indigenous rights and territories as a first step towards ecosystem integrity and the imperative need to finance Indigenous territories with various financial mechanisms as established in Targets 18 and 19 of the Global Biodiversity Framework. 

The following events will include Indigenous leaders and 80% by 2025 coalition members at COP28:

Dec 1, 09:00-10:00:  Jorge Pérez, President AIDESEP/Peru will present Initiative 80×2025 in the panel “Sharing lessons and building collaboration across the Amazon basin: redirecting climate finance to Indigenous peoples”, at Nature Positive Pavilion.

Dec 2, 17:00-17:30, Fany Kuiru, COICA´s General Coordinator,  will be a panelist at the press conference WECAN: Indigenous Women in Amazonia  Press conference Room 2: Zone B6. Building 77.  

Dec 3, 10:00-11:00, Fany Kuiru, COICA´s General Coordinator will be the Keynote Speaker at the event organized by UN Climate Change High Level Champions, Marrakech Partnership, Global Resilience Partnership and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Shaping a Climate Resilient Future for People and Nature through the Sharm El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda: Shaping a Climate Resilient Future for People and Nature through the Sharm El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda, Arena 2 (Al Wakri). Blue Zone of the COP 28 venue and will require Blue Zone accreditation.

Dec 4, 09:00-09:45, joint event with the Colombian Government: Debt Forgiveness and other financial mechanisms to protect 80% by 2025, Colombia Pavilion. Participants:

  • Susana Muhamad, Ministry, Environment – Colombia
  • Fany Kuiru, COICA General Coordinator
  • Darío Mejía, President UNPFII
  • Alicia Guzmán León,  Co-Coordinator of the 80×2025 Initiative
  • Natalia Calderon Angeleri, Executive Director, Friends of Nature Foundation, Bolivia and RAISG.
  • Jorge Pérez, AIDESEP President, Peru

Dec 5, 16:00-17:00, joint event with the IDB and the Colombian Government: Fund and Project Facility for the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon, IDB Pavilion.  Participants:

  • Susana Muhamad, Ministry, Environment – Colombia
  • Fany Kuiru, COICA General Coordinator
  • Tatiana Schor, Amazon Unit, IDB.
  • Tiffany Jodgson, GCF.
  • Françoise Salamé Guex, Responsable de Climate Network WE, Swiss State Secretariat for economic affairs, (SECO)

Target 3 of the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) approved in December 2022 is a historical milestone to combat the climate crisis and the tipping point in Amazonia as it included for the first time Indigenous and traditional territories as a separate conservation category whose implementation requires “recognizing and respecting the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.”  

The most efficient and effective way to avert Amazonia’s tipping point is to invest in IT’s demarcation, governance and knowledge systems. The Loss and Damage Fund cannot justify more deforestation and degradation, it needs to inject the resources to compensate for the knowledge systems that have maintained ecosystems around the planet alive for millennia.  

Within a country, IPLCS must have the priority to direct access to resources as they are at the frontline in biodiversity conservation while suffering the direct impact of biodiversity loss. 

About the Initiative Amazonia for Life Initiative: protect 80% by 2025

The “Amazonia for Life Initiative” calls for the protection of 80% of the Amazon by 2025 to avert the tipping point in the largest carbon sink on the planet. The initiative is supported by COICA,, RAISG, AVAAZ, Amazon Watch, Wild Heritage, Re:Wild, One Earth, Earth Insight, ORPIA, AIDESEP, CIDOB, COIAB, the government of Colombia, and more than 1,200 organizations that endorsed the Initiatve since 2021 and, about 50 regional indigenous organizations in the countries that make up the basin.  In 2023, the UN Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) urged Amazonian governments to protect 80% by 2025.  Currently, Colombia has embraced the target as its official position.  


General information

Amazonia Against the Clock: Where and How to Protect 80% by 2025 is a vital research report that identifies key priority areas where degradation and transformation are occurring at the country level, as well as their drivers. It also outlines the immediate needs and solutions to address the Amazon crisis as an urgent measure to curb the effects of climate change. The report concludes that Brazil is the epicenter of major degradation and deforestation, already causing a tipping point in the southeast of the region. The report’s findings show:

Press contacts/Interview Opportunities

  • Alicia Guzmán (80×2025 Initiative Coordinator)- / +593 98 641 5612
  • Bryan Ludeña – COICA: / +593 98 979 5277
  • Lynsey Grosfield – Earth Insight: 

Raúl Estrada – Avaaz: / +52 5580196422