Bolivia's Indigenous People Key at Climate Change Gathering

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LA PAZ--- Through their ancestral knowledge and traditions, indigenous peoples will make a unique and invaluable contribution to the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, which begins Monday, Apr. 19 in the central Bolivian city of Cochabamba, reports Inter Press Service.

Julio Quette of the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Eastern Bolivia (CIDOB) told IPS that the 74 different indigenous groups who inhabit South America’s Amazon region "have traditionally coexisted with nature and the forests," and that it is up to the industrialized countries to halt the pollution and destruction of the planet.

The country is officially known as the Plurinational State of Bolivia, in recognition of the fact that over 60 percent of Bolivians belong to one of its numerous indigenous ethnic groups.

Bolivian President Evo Morales, who is an Aymara Indian himself, announced that the conference will be attended by fellow presidents Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, and Fernando Lugo of Paraguay.