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Maya communities talk response to climate change

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Posted: Sunday, March 28, 2021. 6:19 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Villagers from the Toledo District – the communities of San Jose, San Vicente, and Na Luum Ca – met with representatives of the Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) readiness project at the Las Cuevas Research Center in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve from March 22 to 25, 2021, to discuss climate change, climate change mitigation and the value of the project.

The meeting was hosted by the project’s Indigenous Technical Coordinator and included the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) and the REDD+ Project Implementation Unit.

Participants discussed their living reality with regard to climate change – impacts on food production, shrinking access to freshwater and wildlife – essentially making the daily lives of many more challenging. The participants also agreed that forests are an important and easy solution to addressing climate change and that there is a need to redouble efforts to maintain forests and regenerated degraded forests.

This session was a part of a series of activities that the Project will support to ensure the effective participation of the Maya people in the REDD+ Readiness Project as it develops Belize’s REDD+ Strategy.

Instructors included Friend for Conservation and Development Executive Director, Rafael Manzanero, Maya Leaders Alliance Program Director, Pablo Mis, Indigenous Technical Coordinator for REDD+, Bevinton Cal, Communication Consultant for REDD+, Ingrid Fernandez, Project Officer for REDD+, Jasmine Tzul Faber and Environmental and Social Expert for REDD+, Michael Sommerville.

REDD+ Project is a program under the United Nations Convention for Climate Change. The Project oversees a reward system in which countries with high carbon emissions reward countries with large forests to maintain and enhance their forest growth. The project is mandated to promote forest protection through conservation, sustainable management of forests, and increase carbon stocks. The project is divided into three phases. Phase one, the Readiness Phase, is ending in December 2021.

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