Amazon Summit: Indigenous organisations hold an International Assembly to promote the importance of territories and peoples in facing the climate crisis
The 'Assembly of the Peoples of the Earth for the Amazon' gathered, in the city of Belém, in Pará, between the 4th and 8th of August, regional and national representations of the indigenous peoples of Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, French Guiana, Peru and Suriname. The meeting received around 1500 people to discuss the participation and contribution of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin in facing the climate crisis.
Protection policies for isolated peoples, the threats of exploitation by large mining companies and the oil industry in Indigenous Lands and the need to guarantee the demarcation of territories are some of the topics on the agenda. The resumption of the judgment on the Temporal Framework, which will define the future of the indigenous peoples of Brazil and is decisive for facing the climate crisis, is also part of the mobilization agenda of the indigenous movement.
“It is impossible to plan the future of the Amazon without indigenous peoples, without guaranteeing their territorial rights. We will be together in Belém, with indigenous peoples from other countries, seeking dialogue and presenting proposals, a plan and a positive agenda for the future of the Amazon”, says Ângela Kaxuyana, political advisor at Coiab.
The Assembly was part of the political efforts of the indigenous movement to influence the IV Meeting of Presidents of the Signatory States of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), which took place between the 4th and 6th of August, and the Amazon Summit, between 8 and August 9, both in the capital of Pará.
The Summit brought together heads of state and political leaders from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela to build a joint position that will be presented at the United Nations Climate Conference, COP 28, which takes place at the end of November, in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
The ‘Assembly of the Peoples of the Earth for the Amazon’ program takes place simultaneously with the Amazonian Dialogues, a series of activities and discussions organized by the Federal Government and by civil society entities, such as the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (Coiab), VCA local partner in Brazil. The documents produced during the Amazon Dialogues were presented to the heads of state present at the Amazon Summit.
“The rights of indigenous peoples cannot be negotiated, and we need to be united to denounce to the world the absurdity of the Marco Temporal political thesis. not only the indigenous peoples of our country but contributing to the worsening of the climate crisis in the world”, reinforced Toya Manchineri, general coordinator of Coiab.
The activity of the Assembly was conceived after meetings between indigenous organizations in the countries of the Amazon Basin. In a letter released at the end of June, indigenous leaders highlighted the lack of participation and protagonism in the Summit of Presidents of the Amazon, as “dealing with the agenda of the Amazon without the effective participation of the Indigenous Peoples who inhabit it demonstrates the non-recognition of our lives and of the roles we play in favour of the maintenance and defence of forests”, states the document signed by more than 20 indigenous and indigenist entities.
By the end of the Assembly, indigenous peoples from six Amazonic countries published a letter directed at the presidents, reassuring that the best way to deal with climate change is by listening to indigenous peoples.
The full letter in Portuguese can be downloaded here.
Check out the reading of the letter by Toya Manchineri, Coiab’s executive coordinator to the presidents.
Advocacy for Climate Justice brought together climate authorities to discuss how climate change affects the Amazon territories.
“When we look at the impact, we realise that it is not us (indigenous people) who are causing it, but we are victims of these changes, losing our crops, unable to plant, and losing our calendar,” said Sineia do Vale, an indigenous climate authority from the Indigenous Council of Roraima (CIR (@cir_conselhoindigenaderoraima) and VCA partner.