Friday, April 24, 2009

Indigenous People's Global Summit - Friday 1

I just got here at 9:30am. I'm not quite sure what is happening. An Indonesian woman was speaking when I got in. Now and elder from Bangladesh is speaking. Fortunately there is a time lag for the translation so I can get something down.

I would like to thank the organizers for inviting me to be here. I feel honored to be selected as an elder from Asia and to speak. I do not feel knowledgable to speak for the delagates here.

Climate change is a cruel reality of present. I have been seeing climate change. Before I couldn't imagine it and thought the changes I was seeing were related to the hydro electric dam. But now I understand it is global warming.

When I was 14 years old, there was deep forest, wetland. In the past we didn't have to buy anything. Now we produce for profit and have to work in other jobs. We see changes in norms and culture. Due to the hydro electric dam, there are more people moving to the cities. [This is really rough, it was hard to understand every word.]

Indigenous people are not able to keep their land taken by the settlers. Some believe if they change to Christianity they can keep their land. The flora and fauna have changed. People are oppressed and marginalized.

Our planting is destroyed, indigenous people have had to flee to India. Trees were all cut by non-indigenous people. The government doesn't want to bring back the indigenous people. In any disaster, natural or human, the indigenous people are most vulnerable. The countries are developing and changes are affecting indigenous people most.

In conclusion, I would like to say, human needs are part of nature. Destroying nature is destroying human beings. Changes are destroying human kind through floods, etc. We know how to live with mother earth. Modern culture is destroying mother nature. For our survival we have no other option but unity. The UN must include indigenous people in all its programs. Maybe this summit will become a milestone for us in order for us to survive.

In our indigenous crisis we have norms on how to live with nature. We cannot violate the rules. If we cut trees we have to sacrifice life, slaughter pigs etc. or lose our life...Lets all stand up - Here in this beautiful land of Alaska we must promise to all protect Mother Nature.

We just had a Mongolian woman sing a beautiful opening prayer.

They've asked non-delegates to leave the room so that they can have final discussions of the Declaration. The declaration is the key reason people are here. To have a statement giving voice to the needs and concerns of indigenous peoples when the Copenhagen meeting on climate change takes place. Here's a picture of some Russian delegates discussing the declaration in the lobby just now.

Indigenous Peoples Global Summit on Climate Change (click link for all the posts on the summit)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.