COP-26: Indigenous Land Rights must be honored now in order to help mitigate climate change!


Txai Suruí

« Indigenous peoples are on the frontline of the climate emergency and we must be at the center of the decisions happening here. We have ideas for postponing the end of the world. »

  • Txai Suruí, 24-year-old Indigenous Brazilian activist

Txai Suruí added that the schedules announced at the COP-26 negotiating table by government officials for reducing carbon emissions and decreasing the use of fossil fuels were totally inadequate. 

« We are going to curb the emissions of lying and irresponsible promises, we are going to end the pollution of empty promises and we are going to fight for a livable future and present.

It’s not in 2030 or 2050, » she emphasized, « It’s now. »


Nemonte Nenquimo is an Indigenous activist of the Waorani nation from the Amazonian Region of Ecuador

The Amazon Rainforest is Earth’s largest tropical forest and essential to the regulation of the climate of the globe.

The Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (ABIP) stated that « We stand against false solutions based on technological innovations designed from the same developmental and productivist logic that causes climate change. »

ABIP gathered the largest delegation of Brazilian indigenous leaders in the history of the Climate Conferences with 40 representatives from Indigenous communities convening in Glasgow to bring contributions to the debate on climate mitigation and adaptation. 

ABIP’s message to world leaders, corporations and citizens at the COP-26 continued with: « We criticize solutions that do not recognize indigenous peoples and local communities as central to the defense 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. »

Worldwide, Indigenous lands alone hold more than a third of the planet’s forests and 80% of the world’s biodiversity. 

Deforestation rates are significantly lower on protected indigenous lands where conservation is integral to their culture and way of life. APIB underscores the necessity to demarcate Indigenous Lands and protect Indigenous Peoples for the future of the planet. No climate initiative can succeed if Indigenous rights are not recognized and granting Indigenous peoples formal titles to their lands is a cost-effective approach to tacking climate change.

Indigenous representatives denounce the ongoing ecocide and Indigenous genocide in Brazil. Indigenous territories are being invaded by illegal gold miners, loggers, cattle ranchers and land grabbers who pollute the soil and contaminate the rivers with mercury for gold mining and pesticides for agribusiness. 

The necropolitics of President Jair Bolsonaro has encouraged industrial agriculture, gold mining and other extractive industries in Indigenous lands of the Amazon region.


Sonía Guajajara

« If there is no protection of indigenous territories and rights, there will also be no solution to the climate crisis, because we are part of that solution. » stated Sonía Guajajara, head of ABIP.

On August 9th, the International day of Indigenous peoples, APIB formally denounced the Bolsonaro government for Genocide at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

« We have shaped and protected our biomes at the price of millions of our relatives. The genocide of the original people, the persecution of the defenders of territories and the illegal seizure of our lands, is the largest and most widespread crime that humanity has produced throughout its history. This is a continuous and present crime, which we denounce. »


Kretã Kaingang

« The billions spent by world governments will not contain climate change and save the planet. Our ancient indigenous wisdom and knowledge – that we practice and teach every day – will save the planet and humanity »

– Kretã Kaingang, in a message to the COP-26 

For more information, please read:

« Land for the indigenous people has no commercial value, as in the private sense of civil possession. It is a relationship of identity, which includes spirituality and existence, and it is possible to affirm that there is no indigenous community without land » 

About Barbara Crane Navarro - Rainforest Art Project

I'm a French artist living near Paris. From 1968 to 1973 I studied at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, then at the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, California, for my BFA. My work for many decades has been informed and inspired by time spent with indigenous communities. Various study trips devoted to the exploration of techniques and natural pigments took me originally to the Dogon of Mali, West Africa, and subsequently to Yanomami communities in Venezuela and Brazil. Over many years, during the winters, I studied the techniques of traditional Bogolan painting. Hand woven fabric is dyed with boiled bark from the Wolo tree or crushed leaves from other trees, then painted with mud from the Niger river which oxidizes in contact with the dye. Through the Dogon and the Yanomami, my interest in the multiplicity of techniques and supports for aesthetic expression influenced my artistic practice. The voyages to the Amazon Rainforest have informed several series of paintings created while living among the Yanomami. The support used is roughly woven canvas prepared with acrylic medium then textured with a mixture of sand from the river bank and lava. This supple canvas is then rolled and transported on expeditions into the forest. They are then painted using a mixture of acrylic colors and Achiote and Genipap, the vegetal pigments used by the Yanomami for their ritual body paintings and on practical and shamanic implements. My concern for the ongoing devastation of the Amazon Rainforest has inspired my films and installation projects. Since 2005, I've created a perfomance and film project - Fire Sculpture - to bring urgent attention to Rainforest issues. To protest against the continuing destruction, I've publicly set fire to my totemic sculptures. These burning sculptures symbolize the degradation of nature and the annihilation of indigenous cultures that depend on the forest for their survival.
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3 Responses to COP-26: Indigenous Land Rights must be honored now in order to help mitigate climate change!

  1. Pingback: COP-26: Indigenous Land Rights must be honored now in order to help mitigate climate change! — Barbara Crane Navarro – Tiny Life

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