RPT - Native Americans Call On US To Rejoin Paris Agreement Amid Effects Of Climate Change

RPT - Native Americans Call on US to Rejoin Paris Agreement Amid Effects of Climate Change

ALBUQUERQUE (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 23rd October, 2019) Native Americans are calling on the US government to rejoin the Pars Climate Agreement amid the negative effects of climate change on tribal communities in the United States, tribal representatives told Sputnik.

Andrew Ebona, member of Tlingit Tribe in the state of Alaska, said the US government as well as the international community must pay more attention to the issue of climate change, including fund relevant institutions to address the issue.

"The Environmental Protection Agency needs to be funded and supported by the administration and there's not much help there," Ebona told Sputnik. "We should rejoin the Paris agreement, obviously. It's very important for us to be involved in that."

Ebona pointed out the impact of climate change in Alaska has resulted in the melting of glaciers and the polar ice cap, among other changes.

"That's a big concern, because it affects the fisheries and the water is rising. Most of our villages in Alaska are right in the water," Ebona said.

Rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement will help Native Americans focus the US government's attention on pivotal environmental issues, Ebona explained.

"It's important to have voice at that level for our issues and also support the international issues as well," Ebona said.

Edward Thomas, former president of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska's central council, said his nation favors the Paris Climate Agreement because a joint effort on the international level can help tackle the problem of climate change.

"We think that it's going to take an international effort, not just American or Alaskan," Thomas told Sputnik.

Thomas explained the Tlingit and Haida have increasingly experienced infestations on their land and such developments take place when the forests are too dry.

Jeff Montoya, councilman of the Pueblo of Pojoaque in the state of New Mexico, told Sputnik that the issue of climate change is "a really big thing" for his nation.

"We noticed that we don't get as much rain and snowfalls as we used to," Montoya said. "And with that we are not getting as much runoff from the mountains. Some of our natural springs usually dry up mid-summer rather than half way through the hunting season."

Montoya also said the tribe is taking some measures to remedy the situation, noting that all upstream users are affected given that the state does not monitor the use of allowed amounts of water.

"So, by the time the water goes down to certain tribes, they get little to no water."

Stanley Miller, member of Yakama Nation in the state of Washington told Sputnik that climate change has affected his nation's vital resources.

"It affects our salmon as our main source of food, also our water, and also our foods up in the hills - our Indian roots, Indian huckleberries," Miller said.

The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement was created within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to keep the increase in average global temperature at below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2017, the United States announced its withdrawal from the agreement.

Your Thoughts and Comments