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Fires have destroyed millions of acres of rainforest in the Amazon and in portions of Indonesia in recent months. This week, an international coalition of indigenous leaders met in New York during the United Nations climate summit to call attention to the destruction of their land, confront climate change and ask for increased protections for the environment. Megan Thompson reports.
Climate action is one of the main topics as the United Nations General Assembly gets underway here in New York City.
Yesterday, leaders of indigenous people from countries around the world gathered to ask for support in their efforts to protect the environment and confront the effects of climate change on their lands.
At a breakfast yesterday — leaders from Brazil, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Indonesia – all part of the "global alliance of territorial communities" – asked for help with a wide range of issues –including destruction of the Amazon Rainforest.
We are expecting from the United Nations climate change conference to have a space to denounce it and to get some help from all the leaders that will be here. This is not only a crime against the environment but against all of humanity.
indigenous peoples in the Amazon — who call themselves "guardians of the forest" — patrol their land and say they are facing increasing violence from illegal loggers.
Also of concern, forest fires in Indonesia — often started for clearing land for palm oil plantations — that have destroyed more than 800,00 acres.
We're talking about climate crisis, climate emergency now. The burning in the Amazon and the burning in Indonesia, now it is clear that all is done with the target of clearing of the land for private companies.
a representative of the indigenous people's group will be on hand for the United Nations Climate Action Summit–with business, government and environmental leaders on Monday.
The U.N. says climate change is "the defining issue of our time."
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Megan Thompson shoots, produces and reports on-camera for PBS NewsHour Weekend. Her report "Costly Generics" earned an Emmy nomination and won Gracie and National Headliner Awards. She was also recently awarded a Rosalynn Carter Fellowship to report on the issue of mental health. Previously, Thompson worked for the PBS shows and series Need to Know, Treasures of New York, WorldFocus and NOW on PBS. Prior to her career in journalism she worked in research and communications on Capitol Hill. She originally hails from the great state of Minnesota and holds a BA from Wellesley College and a MA in Journalism from New York University.
Laura Fong shoots and produces stories for PBS NewsHour Weekend on a wide range of topics, including U.S. politics, education, the arts and urban transit. She also covers breaking news for the Saturday and Sunday broadcasts. Before joining NewsHour Weekend, Laura worked on the first three seasons of the CNN documentary series "Inside Man" with Morgan Spurlock. Through Teach for America, Laura taught first grade for two years in Houston. She has a B.A. in electronic media from the University of Oregon.
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