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Who's got your carbon?

December 17, 2014
Benjamin Goodman

Rolling Stone has made some blunders recently, but I think they got this one correct. 

"The first days of the Lima summit — known as COP 20, for the twentieth session of the Conference of Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change — saw the publication of data that quantifies, for the first time, the exact size of the climate impact made by indigenous populations as front-line guardians of imperiled rainforests. The size of this impact, a kind of negative carbon footprint, is staggering."

Morti is part of the Wargandi Comarca, which consists of 75,000 hectares (185,250 acres) of land. VRI estimates that 95% of this land is covered by tropical rainforest. The rest consists of three small villages and land that is used for small scale, sustainable agriculture.

Now that is not to say that everything is perfect from an environmentalist perspective. For decades, the communities have selectively sold off species of high value tropical hardwood to Latin timber companies and individual loggers. While this has resulted in many spur roads being carved out of the jungle, and the disruption of the ecological "balance" that exists without such exploitation, nevertheless, the forests remain largely intact. Land is not being cleared for ranching, large scale construction, or mining. There are currently no dams being built on the territory. 

All this to say that if you care about your carbon footprint, continue to support Village Rights International as it advocates for Morti! (

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