Indigenous researchers discuss climate justice – 03/20/2024 – Environment

Indigenous researchers discuss climate justice – 03/20/2024 – Environment


Indigenous people from Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador met this Wednesday (20) to debate topics related to science and climate justice at the headquarters of CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development), in Brasília.

The 1st International Meeting of Indigenous Researchers between Villages and Universities continues until Friday (22), with the participation of representatives of the federal government, professors, students (undergraduate and postgraduate), scientists and personalities, including chief Raoni Metuktire, activist Txai Suruí and writer Ailton Krenak.

Focusing on the climate crisis, the first moment of the event had discussions on valuing the role of indigenous peoples in protecting biomes – against deforestation, river pollution and soil degradation.

“I do not accept that miners and loggers continue to destroy our forests, our territories and our rivers. If they continue with deforestation and degradation, very bad things could happen for all of us. Excessive heat is an example of this”, Raoni said.

The chief, in his speech at the event, emphasized that human actions are the main cause of global warming and lamented the deaths of indigenous people during conflicts against miners, land grabbers and loggers.

This year, the indigenous leader of the Kayapó ethnic group received two honorary doctorate degrees from the state and federal universities of Mato Grosso. Recognition was given for his fight in defense of the Amazon and indigenous peoples in various international forums, such as editions of the COP, the UN (United Nations) climate conference.

Raoni also highlighted the usurpation of traditional knowledge. He stated that indigenous peoples collaborated, and still collaborate, in medical studies and in the manufacture of medicines from products extracted from the forest, for which due credit was not given.

Arlindo Baré, president of Upei (Plurinational Union of Indigenous Students), the entity organizing the event, highlighted the importance of indigenous representation in universities, so that traditional knowledge reaches the scientific community. This must occur, he argues, without leaving aside the relevance of the presence of indigenous people in villages, reserves and communities.

“We, indigenous peoples, have always guided climate justice, based on the preservation of nature. We have this important role. In relation to the research area, we are able to have data, information and indexes to also say that science agrees with what We’ve been talking about it for thousands of years, since our ancestors”, said Baré.

Representative of the Amazon at the COPs in Glasgow and the United Arab Emirates, Txai Suruí highlighted that indigenous peoples already used science, mathematics, physics and chemistry before the arrival of the Portuguese in Brazil.

She, who is a law student at the Federal University of Rondônia and a columnist for Sheetsaid that the role of indigenous university students is to unite science and ancient knowledge.

“The Amazon is not simply the largest forest with the greatest biodiversity in the world because it simply grew that way, but because we were there, because our presence was there. When we ate the fruits, we planted the seeds later, because I knew our children would be hungry.”

Also participating in the discussion panel were Bolivia’s minister advisor in Brasília, Sebastian Mamani Cuenca, doctoral student Roger Chambi, anthropologist Luiza Córdoba, from Colombia, and sociologist Viviana Alexandra Collaguazo, from Ecuador.

The reporter traveled at the invitation of Upei (Plurinational Union of Indigenous Students)


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