Two weeks before the major United Nations Copenhagen climate change conference, the World Bank Group president has urged the world to take into account views of indigenous peoples.
Speaking at a roundtable intended to map the way forward for an Indigenous Peoples Climate Action Fund (IPCAF), Robert B Zoellick argued that indigenous peoples carry "a disproportionate share of the burden on climate change efforts." He said that those most affected by climate change must be included in the surrounding debates.
"Climate change exacerbates the difficulties that indigenous communities already face – including loss of land and resources, lower human development indicators, discrimination, unemployment, and economic and political marginalization," said Zoellick.
He added that with their "long experience in managing natural resources, and adapting to climate change," indigenous communities, "can also add to our knowledge and understanding of how best to cope with this complex challenge."
He said: "Learning from indigenous peoples will make our discussions richer and our actions more productive."