A Statement From the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA)
A statement from José Gregorio Díaz Mirabal, General Coordinator of the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA) –
Indigenous peoples with their territories in the Amazon Basin interconnect spirituality, culture and with the elements (earth, fire, water and air). They also share political structures, practicing autonomy and self-government according to the worldview of each one, that are contrasted with the map of destruction on the planet. Where we Indigenous Peoples live there are forests, rivers, and abundance. Our relationship with them is not a relationship of 10 or 20 years, it is a relationship of more than 10,000 years.
Throughout these years we have been able, with our culture, with our worldview, with our way of respecting nature, to manage, preserve, and defend wild nature.Indigenous Peoples do not talk about conserving, we talk about respecting nature because we see it as a family, we see it as the mother, we see it as our home.It is time for the work that Indigenous Peoples have done to be recognized. Governments have proposed to protect only 30% of the areas that give life to this planet. Only 30% by 2030! Making our right invisible, and solutions based on our own management models, validated by science as the only way to avoid the agony of the Amazon as we know it. This agony is in every tree felled and Indigenous brother killed while defending his home.
We need to mobilize each of the wills, states, organizations, peoples, families and individuals so that like the drops of water that make up the great Amazon we can go fight strong, and in our flow of life we can dilute the petty aspirations of the extractive industries.By its own right, humanity must manage to protect at least 80% of our Amazon in a very short period such as 2025 to continue to hope for a just future for all. We began to integrate all the efforts, all the tools, all the spirits of our grandparents, and the visions of our sages, so that together with global society we can defend our Mother. States, peoples, and citizens together to protect our greater home! So that the river continues to feed us and the jungle continues to heal us, because the Amazon is life, because our watersheds are sacred!
Statement provided courtesy of Oscar Soria, Avaaz.org
Click below to read a joint declaration of the Indigenous Peoples of the World to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB)
Embark on an insightful exploration at the crossroads of environmental stewardship and cultural preservation through a Q&A with Jordan Kennedy.
In 2014 – 2015, for 6 months I was part of a field research team working on the gibbons (Hoolock tianxing), a small ape inhabiting the subtropical evergreen forest of southwest China, close to the mountainous Sino-Myanmar border. This region harbors a high level of biodiversity with a 335,549 – ha protected area founded in the 1980s. “Gaoligong” as the reserved was named after referred to an ancient family once living in this area.
There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about. – Margaret J. Wheatley