Climate Change

Indigenous people are heading to CoP26: “There is no solution to the climate crisis, without us”

The indigenous movement has mobilised the largest delegation of Brazilian leaders in the history of the climate conference to put forward the demarcation of indigenous lands as a solution

By Pressenza Rio de Janerio
Published: Monday 01 November 2021
Indigenous activists.

The Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (Apib), together with all its grassroots organisations, mobilised the largest delegation of Brazilian indigenous leaders in the history of the Climate Conference (CoP26) to discuss solutions to the climate crisis.

More than 40 representatives of the indigenous peoples will be in Glasgow, Scotland, between October 31 and November 12 with the proposal to occupy the Conference and alert the world about the need to demarcate the indigenous lands and protect the indigenous peoples for the future of the planet.

An excerpt from Apib’s message to world leaders, businessmen and civil society organisations attending CoP26, says:

“We stand against false solutions based on technological innovations designed from the same developmental and productivist logic that causes climate change. We criticise solutions that do not recognise indigenous peoples and local communities as central to the defence of forests, the reduction of deforestation and fires and as essential to ensure that we reach the stated goal of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.” 

The Brazilian indigenous delegation at the conference will denounce the ongoing indigenous genocide and ecocide that is underway in Brazil, aggravated by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the Federal Government’s death project.

On the international day of indigenous peoples, August 9, Apib filed an unprecedented denouncement at the International Criminal Court to denounce the Bolsonaro government for genocide.

The delegation says in its message:

“We have shaped and protected our biomes at the price of millions of our relatives. The genocide of the original people, the persecution of the defenders of territories and the illegal capture of our lands, is the largest and most widespread crime that humanity has produced throughout its history. This is a continuous and present crime, which we denounce in all the instances that we occupy.”

According to the delegation’s organisation, this is the largest delegation of Brazilian indigenous leaders in the history of the CoP. Apib has participated in the conference since 2014 and had mobilised, in 2019, a group of 18 people for the last CoP, which was until then the largest participation of leaders in the meeting.

In this context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected billions of people, indigenous people reinforce the need to respect the biodiversity present in indigenous territories.

For the indigenous delegation, the current policy of the Federal Government is harmful to the environment, the climate and traditional communities.

Apib and its indigenous organisations have constantly denounced the invasions of territories, the contamination of rivers and springs by pesticides and mercury, the rampant deforestation of the Amazon forest, the Cerrado and the Pantanal wetlands.

According to the organisation, despite this scenario, economic funds continue to financially support the unbridled greed that destroys the planet.

Even though they are responsible for protecting the largest part of the global forest heritage and, consequently, the capacity to store more than 293 gigatonnes of carbon, a third of indigenous and community lands in 64 countries are under threat due to the lack of land tenure rights.

Brazil, which originally was all indigenous land, today reserves only 13.8 per cent of the national territory for its original people. And this portion of the territory has been the most preserved during the past 35 years, representing less than one per cent of deforestation in Brazil in the period, according to data from Mapbiomas.

This percentage does not mean the full extent of forests protected by indigenous peoples and, according to Apib, in addition to the halt in the demarcation of indigenous lands, traditional territories already demarcated are under strong legislative threat, in an unconstitutional attempt to deny the traditional presence of indigenous peoples in the country and the occupation of their lands long before the formation of the Brazilian state.

The delegation says:

“We are going to Glasgow to once again alert the world and on this occasion with even more gravity: humanity is leading the destiny of all of us to chaos and death! Our Mother Earth is exhausted. The future of the planet and the species that inhabit it depend on our global capacity for cooperation to defend and strengthen indigenous peoples and local communities, to guarantee the security of traditional territories in the face of predatory economic interests and to create and promote effective climate solutions based on nature and the communities that protect it.”

This piece was first published on PressenzaThe original article can be found here

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