Brazilian leader vows to continue to exploit country’s natural resources in combative comments at UN biodiversity summit
Indigenous people say their right to land is being violated:
Levi Sucre, leader of the AMPB (Alianza Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques – Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests) said the economic impacts of the coronavirus means reactive policies have promoted further extraction of natural resources and destruction of forests, leading to the violation of indigenous rights. He said:
We, as indigenous peoples and local communities around the world, have been concerned about the taking of forests, incorrectly called development…. the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities protecting forests is crucial to protect this planet from climate change. We call on the international community to cooperate and turn your eyes to the indigenous peoples. This is not just a matter of our life, it is a matter of your life too, and that of the Planet.
We, the indigenous peoples, in our silent and sustained struggle for centuries and millennia, continue to live in harmony with nature. We are the example of a living ecological culture. Indigenous peoples fight to protect forests every day. We protect water sources as a resource to survive. We were, are and will be, the guardians of the forest.
“Let me put it plain and simple: without biodiversity there would be no food,” says Qu Dongyu, director general of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The loss of biodiversity undermines efforts to tackle poverty, and to halt biodiversity loss “we need to radically change our economies”, he says.
Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth, in all its forms and all its interactions. “Without biodiversity, there is no future for humanity,” says Prof David Macdonald, at Oxford University. It is comprised of several levels, starting with genes, then individual species, then communities of creatures and finally entire ecosystems, such as forests or coral reefs, where life interplays with the physical environment.