When we examine the many possibilities for responding to climate change, one significant thing we can do is to raise our voices in support of Indigenous Peoples and the territories they protect.
Lands under the guardianship of Indigenous Peoples flourish with life due to their ancestral wisdom and practices. This guardianship makes such land a prime target for businesses relying on the extraction of resources to accumulate wealth. In spite of land ownership rights that are recognised by international law, a great part of the 150 million Indigenous People and local communities living in more than 60 countries across the world are engaged in constant resistance against loggers, miners, oil companies, commercial poaching or fishing and monocultural farming practices, that operate on a basis of maximum production for minimum effort, resulting in extreme injustices on an environmental, social and cultural level. The externalities these create will be borne by generations to come.
Becoming an on-going ally of Indigenous Peoples by supporting them in their struggles to maintain their lands and practices as custodians of biodiversity, is one of the key actions westerners can take as part of a collective movement to restore ecological balance.
There are many Indigenous and local communities across the world doing vital work who are open to strengthening alliances with those ready to listen, learn and collaborate in ways most helpful to their needs. Here are just a few gateways to learn more and find on-going ways to support; there are many more out there.
- Listen: Indigenous Voices for Climate Change - short films created by Indigenous communities in collaboration with participatory filmmakers, Insight Share.
- Urgent Action: The Ashaninka who attended the Flourishing Diversity summit have launched a campaign to implement measures to prevent COVID-19 in their municipality, Marechal Thaumaturgo in Brazil, home to 18,000 Indigenous and non-Indignous Peoples with only one poorly equipped hospital.
- On-Going Action: Two organisations with long standing relationships of collaboration with Indigenous Peoples who document issues, highlight current news and petitions are Oakland Institute, which has a global focus, and Sacred Headwaters, which is focused on the Amazon basins in Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.