The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caught Costa Rica’s Cabécar Indigenous communities at a precarious time. Amid the species-rich forests of the Talamanca Cabécar Indigenous territory, climate change had already begun to rattle farmers, bringing higher temperatures, flooding and new pests. In response, an organization called Kábata Könana — Cabécar for “Women Defenders of the Forest” — had been working to revitalize traditional methods that rely on a wider variety of crops best suited to local climate conditions. But then, pandemic lockdowns halted local markets, threatening important sources of staples and produce for subsistence and income. With the help of funding from the Ministry of Culture, Kábata Könana developed online markets for the sale and trade of dozens of types of produce with communities of Cabécar and Bribri, another Indigenous people living in Talamanca Cabécar. The project helped ensure food security throughout the pandemic, and Kábata Könana received the U.N.’s Equator Prize in 2021, given out for sustainable efforts to counter poverty. The group’s work demonstrates the power of direct support to Indigenous communities for climate adaptation and mitigation, said Levi Sucre Romero, a Bribri leader from Talamanca Cabécar. A woman in the Democratic Republic of Congo works in her tilapia pools. Image by John Cannon/Mongabay. But rights advocates say too little funding flows directly to organizations led by Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local communities, or IPLCs — and numerous obstacles to receiving that funding directly stand in the way. Yet, science has demonstrated that forests and other biomes are healthier when…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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