On november 26th and 27th, I was privileged to attend the conference RESILIENCE IN A TIME OF UNCERTAINTY Indigenous People and Climate Change in Paris, France. This conference co-organized by UNESCO and the National Museum of Natural History of France, with the financial support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sorbonne University, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Japanese funds-in-trust to UNESCO, National Research Agency of France and Conservation International, was strategically launched a few days before the beginning of COP 21.
The twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) will take place from 30 November to 11 December 2015, in Paris, France. This is were the future of the planet will be discussed, and an agreement (we hope) to limit the 2 Celsius increase of the global climate warming. This is a key meeting for planetary survival.
The conference brought together an extraordinary rainbow of scholars, speakers, and attendants, and is certainly the most culturally divers event I have been fortunate to participate in. There were participants from Peru, Columbia, California, Fiji, Thailand, London, Nepal, Ethiopia, Alaska, Kenya, Sweden, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Australia, Maui, Finland, New Zealand, Indonesia, Philippines, India.
This blog entry will attempt to summarize some of the most important ideas, facts, ad concepts that I understood from attending two days of this conference. I will begin with the fact that first we are all indigenous to the Earth, and that the global climate is changing too fast. Furthermore, in light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, I would like to underline to complexity and interrelation of climate change to racism, colonialism, gender discrimination, industrialization and corporate dictatorship. Inspired and to imitate the language of Dr Vandana Shiva when she refers to the global water crisis as water apartheid in The Reader, a book on opportunities for long-term transnational research cooperation, I will refer to the complex reality of western ideology climate apartheid.
"While indigenous peoples make up only 6 percent of the world's population, indigenous territories hold around 80 percent of the world's remaining biodiversity."1
Interesting enough is the fact that although indigenous communities are the first to experience climate apartheid due to forest and land lost, rising sea levels, and toxic pollutants in the areas they inhabit and which directly sustains their survival...They possess ancient traditional wisdom regarding the natural world, knowledge that will be crucial to deal with the most complex challenges posed by climate change and for the fight for planetary and human survival.
At the conference Nicolas Hulot, Special Envoy for the Protection of the Planet, said that humans has a supreme value which connects all of us in space and time, and cultural diversity is its indispensable beauty, and that Indigenous people are endowed with a sense of limits, measure, and wisdom. He spoke of the homogenization that has been occurring over the last centuries, which was the result of ignorant racism, colonialism, industrialism, and the birth of corporate dictatorship. The help indigenous people obtain a human right is not only a moral issue but is directly interrelated with the survival of all species. Technology will not safe us from extinction. I have to stop writing now. I am going to attend the presentation of a film at the Museum of Natural History as part of the 34th International Film Festival of Ethnographic Films Jean Rouch. I will continue my discussion of the conference in the next few days. Tomorrow is the climate change demonstration. I will be attending it in Paris, and blogging about it.
I will finish with this.
This morning I took pictures of two bars were the shootings occurred in Paris. Terror is devastating both in Paris and for those who have been bombarded in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Irak, throughout Africa, and those who are victims of political and ecological violence and climate apartheid throughout the world. I do not believe that we will abolish extremism and hatred through the terror of war, or find a solution to hunger through corporate monoculture. I was so inspired by the amazing people at the conference that I am starting to feel a contagious hope. Another way is possible.