We are a Brazilian Indigenous delegation heading to Glasgow, Scotland, as representatives of the yearnings and bearers of urgent messages from more than 305 Indigenous Peoples of Brazil.
We are men and women, descendants of millennial generations of guardians of the biomes of South America, and we are united with the original peoples from every corner of our Mother Earth.
On all continents, native peoples fight to protect their lands and guarantee the right to live to all species. Our struggle is for our lives and our territories, for the defence of the last ancestral lands and to confront the climate crisis on our planet. Our struggle is for the healing of the Earth. Therefore, we reiterate the urgency of the demarcation and land tenure rights of our territories.
Indigenous Land is a guarantee of the future for all humanity. Our relationship with territory is not one of ownership, exploitation, expropriation or appropriation, but one of respect and management of a common good, which serves all humanity as barricades to the extractive dynamics that cause the climate crisis. Until today – based on reports from the UN and several research institutes with the highest reputation that western science can demand – it is we, Indigenous Peoples, who are the most responsible for the preservation of the biomes of the planet.
As we leave our villages and cross the Atlantic Ocean to the most important climate convention that global governance has instituted, we carry in our bags our traditional knowledge and the authority to affirm that our territories are oases of biodiversity and models of climate solution. Our culture and our knowledge are originally environmentalist, even before the term was invented.
Many of those who listen to us today are unaware of all the effort we put into this mission. We have shaped and protected our biomes at the price of the blood of millions of our relatives. The genocide of the native peoples, the persecution of the defenders of our territories and the illegal capture of our lands, is the greatest and most widespread crime that humanity has produced throughout its history. This is a continuing and present crime, which we denounce in all the instances we occupy.
It is fundamental that the world understands that there is no solution for the healing of Mother Earth that does not have its feet on the ground. Connecting with the earth, feeling its needs, understanding its cycles and its imbalances is fundamental to reverse the damage caused in recent centuries by the thirst for an irresponsible, unequal and ecocidal accumulation and disposal behavior.
What we feel in our villages, territories protected at such cost, are the devastating symptoms of the climate apocalypse. The indigenous genocide and the continuous expropriation of our territories by legislative onslaughts and predatory interests is a clear sign that our lands are the last Reserves of the Future. The massacre of indigenous peoples is an omen of the irreversible devastation that is claiming victims in forests, fields, savannahs, and all biomes throughout the world. If left unchecked, it will bring all living beings to a tragic, painful and unjust end.
To the authorities and experts meeting now in Glasgow, we ask them to take real action for the protection of our territories and to work tirelessly for a fairer and less polluting production system for all societies.
We are going to Glasgow to warn the world once again, and on this occasion with even more gravity: humanity is leading the destiny of us all 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 to cooperate to defend and strengthen indigenous peoples and local communities, to ensure 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.
Therefore, we stand against false solutions based on technological innovations designed from the same developmental and productivist logic that causes climate change. We criticize solutions that do not recognize 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.
We hope that this message will reach global leaders, businessmen and civil society organizations present at COP26, vibrate in their hearts, and reforest their minds!