Indigenous peoples and local communities offer the best hope for solutions to our planetary emergency. These solutions are grounded in traditional, time-tested practices and knowledge.
Can a state built upon the “taking of another people’s lands, lives and power
” ever really be just? Colonialism can’t be reversed, so at a simple level the answer is no.
The voices of indigenous people worldwide are being silenced and their lives made invisible. Stewards of the earth, they are left at the fringes of public discourse in countries around the globe. Indigenous people are not “extinct”, they exist, and they are building innovative networks and solutions, that could be the key to many of our world’s problems.
Mayan anthropologist Ezer May fears that the tourism development and real estate construction boom that will be unleashed by the Mayan Train, the main infrastructure project of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will disrupt his community.
“The xapiri [shamanic spirits] have defended the forest since it first came into being. Our ancestors have never devastated it because they kept the spirits by their side,” declares Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, who belongs to the 27,000-strong Yanomami people living in the very north of Brazil.
As we commemorate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, let us not forget that supporting Indigenous Peoples is not only a social good; it is also a sound development policy.
Defending the lands, languages and cultural practices of indigenous peoples and tackling the racism and injustices against them will lessen the outbreaks of future pandemics and manage climate change.
These 28 organizations are preserving Indigenous food systems and promoting Indigenous food sovereignty through the rematriation of Indigenous land, seeds, food and histories.
In Nepal the COVID-19 crisis
has been especially hard on indigenous peoples. We had to learn a new vocabulary and use words like quarantine, self-isolation, hand sanitizers and social distancing.
The Ogiek community, indigenous peoples from Kenya’s Chepkitale National Reserve, are in the process of implementing a modern tool to inform and guide the conservation and management of the natural forest. The community has inhabited this area for many generations, long before Kenya was a republic. Through this process, they hope to get the government to formally recognise their customary tenure in line with the Community Land Act.
When governments and states begin their recovery journey from the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, there might be a heightened threat to indigenous peoples, their land and resources.
“The fear is [that] the economic recovery is based on access to land and natural resources,” Lola García-Alix, senior advisor on Global Governance at the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), told IPS.
For generations, elephants have been inextricably tied to the lands of Mondulkiri in Cambodia.
The people who call this place their home -- the indigenous Bunong community -- share a unique bond with the gentle giants of the land.
I can’t breathe, please! Let me up, please! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!
These words are not the words of George Floyd
or Eric Garner
. They weren’t uttered on the streets of Minneapolis or New York. These are the final words
of a 26-year-old Dunghutti man who died in a prison in south-eastern Sydney.
“The world out there is watching and waiting for results,” Elizabeth Maruma Mrema warns while talking to IPS regarding the preservation of biodiversity of our planet.
The intense white brightness of the salt flats interrupts the arid monotony of the Puna in northwest Argentina, resembling postcards from the moon. Beneath its surface are concealed the world's largest reserves of lithium, the key mineral in the transition to clean energy, the mining of which has triggered controversy.
As the COP25 deliberations enter the decisive final week, representatives of environmental and social organisations gathered in a parallel summit are pressing the governments to adopt stronger commitments in the face of a worsening climate emergency.
Local knowledge systems rooted in traditional practices and culture passed down generations provide sustainable solutions to food and nutritional insecurity on the back of climate change, a conference heard this week.
To be president in a country like Bolivia might be like a precarious act performed by a tightrope-dancer between “the Devil and the deep blue sea”. After 23 years as Bolivia’s President, Evo Morales finally lost his foothold and ended up as political refugee in Mexico, adding his name to a long list of previous revolutionary exiles, like Augusto Sandino, Fidel Castro, and most prominently – Leon Trotsky. The last one was murdered, though the others came back, something Evo Morales has promised to do:
Mottled and reddish, the Lake Oku puddle frog has made its tragic debut on the Red List
, a rapidly expanding roll call of threatened species. It was once abundant in the Kilum-Ijim rainforest of Cameroon but has not been seen since 2010 and is now listed as critically endangered and possibly extinct.
In Argentina's Puna region, at 4,000 metres above sea level, the color green is rare in the arid landscape, which is dominated by different shades of brown and yellow. In this inhospitable environment, daily life has improved thanks to a system of piping water downhill from rock glaciers to local communities.
Rural poverty and inequality continue inflicting large swaths of population in Colombia, especially in rural areas. This situation, endemic since at least the beginning of the twentieth century, was at the root of the 50-year long conflict that shattered the country, leaving 220,000 deaths and 5.7 million displaced persons, and devastating a significant part of the rural areas, where government services and infrastructure vanished.
Politics is a dodgy game, maybe even more so if you represent political views based on a moral approach. When the charismatic Justin Trudeau, son of a cosmopolitan liberal who served as Canada´s Prime Minister for 16 years, in 2015 was elected Prime Minister it was within a global political climate different from what it is today. Barack Obama was in the White House, Angela Merkel served her third period as German Chancellor, and the UK Government had not yet announced its country's withdrawal from the EU. Nevertheless, Russia had three months before Trudeau´s election annexed Crimea, while Viktor Orbán´s Hungarian government the month before initiated the construction of a 4 metres high barrier along its nation´s eastern and southern borders to keep immigrants out.