FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – The Alaska Federation of Natives convention has approved a declaration of a climate change emergency.

News organizations reported delegates to the convention in Fairbanks approved the declaration following a dispute over climate change and resource development Saturday.

The resolution calling for the reinstatement of a climate change task force was the result of a measure drafted at an Elders and Youth Conference and presented by two high school students.

Debate on whether to adopt the resolution included disagreements over how to combat climate change and the potential risk of outside interests preventing development of Alaska Native lands.

Younger convention participants have voiced concerns about thawing permafrost and eroding villages.

Older members have expressed fears of lost access to oil and mineral resources and animals they hunt, including whales and seals.

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