The Miskito Indians of Nicaragua are on the "frontline" of the fight against climate change, reports Annie Kelly in this Guardian article.
Environmental researchers warn that climate change will hit indigenous communities like the Miskito the hardest.
They are no longer able to rely on predicting the weather to plant their crops and feed their families. One man says he could harvest 60 bags of rice per hectare ten years ago — now he can harvest seven.
Temperatures across Central America are expected to rise by 1–3 degrees Celsius by 2070 and rainfall will drop by 25 per cent, with droughts, hurricanes and unseasonable flooding among the consequences.
Indigenous communities like the Miskito don't have the knowledge and resources to support themselves. Oxfam International predicts that the Miskito will require an additional US$50 billion on top of the usual aid budget to help them adapt to climate change ― and rich, high carbon-emitting countries should foot 75 per cent of the bill.
But other challenges ― deforestation, exploitation of land for oil and natural gas, and contamination of water supplies from gold mining ― are making the Miskito's role as guardians of their ancestor's land even more difficult.