Patricia Gualinga comes from a indigenous community in Ecuadorian Amazon of 1,400 people. With an ancient connection to & reverence for their environment born out of a deep understanding of the systems and life which exists within the forests. As custodians the women are intent on protecting them – with resistance if necessary, in face of the double standards of those in the West – who speak of the need for forestation on one hand, yet sanction the mining of minerals, oils & road building while continuing to decimate the forests, 40% of forest lost to date.
Patricia reasons that all the world benefits from the continued existence of the Amazon Forest and their efforts to protect ‘with their bodies if necessary’, is something that we should all salute. Their resistance to these corporations wanting to cut down the forests is their mitigation. To further assist the wellbeing of the world they offer up their most sacred idea – that is to share the secrets of the forests to show the world that they must be kept a permanent, protected, no-go zone of development, and so protect life and all humanity. and with it a new way in which to see the world.
Nina Gualinga Spoke too of the need to protect the Amazon forest. Disillusioned by previous gatherings and lack of action she asked herself why had she come to COP23? She decided it was to protect the environment for her child, that he might have a future. She wonders why are the governments and corporations attend with the probable intention to negotiate. But how can you negotiate with Climate or the Future? She questions the false solutions proposed by the West, while her people are being criminalised. and she reminds us that it is indigenous people who are doing the work. It is they who risk their lives from which the whole world benefits. she asks for support & to show solidarity with her people if we are to be able to fight climate change
Note that Ecuador is one of the first countries to introduce Natural laws into their constitution.
Indiamira Logan Reilly Canadian Youth Delegation – introduced herself with a long geo-location ; giving first before her name the land, mountain, culture and heritage she belonged to. She spoke of the myths and beliefs of her tribe in New Zealand and the need for a new world view.