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The ‘carbon pirates’ preying on Amazon’s Indigenous communities

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A number of Indigenous communities in the Amazon say that “carbon pirates” have become a threat to their way of life as western companies seek to secure deals in their territories for offsetting projects.

Across the world’s largest rainforest, Indigenous leaders say they are being approached by carbon offsetting firms promising significant financial benefits from the sale of carbon credits if they establish new projects on their lands, as the $2bn (£1.6bn) market booms with net zero commitments from companies in Europe and North America.

A huge global expansion of protected areas during this decade was agreed by governments at last month’s Cop15 biodiversity summit with a target to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030. The agreement puts respect for Indigenous rights and territories at its heart amid fears of land grabs.

Proponents of carbon markets, especially those that aim to protect rainforests, say that carbon credits are a good way to fund the new areas and pay Indigenous communities for the stewardship of their lands, as they have been shown to be the best protectors…

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