By Andrea Vasquez
Two great Mother Earth defenders were present on the last day of COP 21 in the public area. They were accompanied by Valerie Cabanes (human rights lawyer), and Gert Peter Brucht (Planete Amazone). The room was packed and it was almost impossible to enter, but thanks to a miracle I found myself in front of Cacique Raoni Metuktire (Kayapó indigenous leader from Brazil) and Paul Watson (president of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, NGO that works to protect marine life and ecosystems). Listening their words of wisdom I was able taste their strength, which made me feel empowered and gave me hope.
Some highlights stated by the panelists in the session were:
- Because of the vast amounts of international waters that are unseen and unmonitored there is constant abuse and over exploitation of the marine life. Sea Shepherd have implemented a navy of nine ships ocean guardians which constantly navigate around the world intervening about illegal activities.
- Although there is good legislation that could be useful to care our oceans, there is lack of economic a political motivation to implement them, so the super powers get to do what they want.
- Land defenders are dying but the news don’t talk about this. Most of media and politics are owned by companies so, we have to force them to serve the people instead. We can’t depend on these guys.
- In order to start a revolution is needed 7% of the world population that is engaged and committed to change the status quo. However, what is really going to motivate people is when nature start to hit the population harder. We have to do it, otherwise we will die.
- Promote a biocentric instead of and anthropocentric paradigms.
- Introduce in the international law system a 5th crime, ecocide. Ecocide refers to the attack against Nature (oceans, tree species, animals, etc). This crime takes place when the living conditions, not just for human beings but for the rest of the creation, are destroyed during present and future contexts.
Devastation have been created by the course of European companies. Dams are horrendously catastrophic for us, in addition to these dams [other impacts] can be encountered everywhere. This is detrimental for us—Cacique Raoni Metuktire
We need to follow the leadership of indigenous peoples because we already forgot that we are not the center of the creation—Paul Watson
The final message from the panelists was that our governments are not going to do what we need and address the root causes of global warming, so the people have to do it. Although these ideas are not just thoughts discussed by indigenous peoples or organizations that work with social and environmental justice but also within several sessions in the COP 21, not much is reflected on official agreements. As civil society/the people and grassroots movements, there is certainly more work we have to do.
Check The Paris Agreement in the following link http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/cop21/eng/l09r01.pdf
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the International Forestry Students’ Association.