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Artikel

3 Nov 2021

Autor:
Nina Lakhani, The Guardian

Indigenous activists say their voices are missing at Cop26, claim protections for environmental defenders and reduction of mineral extraction to curtail global heating

"'A continuation of colonialism’: indigenous activists say their voices are missing at Cop26", 3 November 2021

As world leaders inside the Cop26 conference centre in Glasgow boasted about pledges to slash greenhouse gas emissions and end deforestation, indigenous delegates gathered across the river Clyde to commemorate activists killed for trying to protect the planet from corporate greed and government inaction.

At least 1,005 environmental and land rights defenders have been murdered since the Paris accords were signed six years ago, according to the international non-profit Global Witness. One in three of those killed were indigenous people.

The dead include Berta Cáceres, winner of the prestigious Goldman prize for environmental defenders, who was shot dead at her home in Honduras in March 2016 for opposing the construction of an internationally financed dam on a river considered sacred by her Lenca people.

As the names of the murdered defenders were projected on a large outdoor screen, indigenous activists from Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador and the Philippines implored political leaders to listen to their struggles...

About two-thirds of civil society organizations who usually attend Cop could not come to Glasgow due to a combination of visa and accreditation problems, lack of access to Covid-19 vaccines and changing travel rules. Mostly absent are those from the global south...

Their voices will be missed during the negotiations, but the problems run much deeper, according to multiple veteran Cop participants.

In the 50 years since Cop began, international climate policies have mostly ignored or violated the cultural and territorial rights of indigenous peoples...

But six years on, indigenous people... say little has changed inside the UN-led negotiations, while outside environmental destruction continues unchecked in their communities and the impact of the climate crisis is getting worse...

Net-zero targets, the central theme of Cop26, revolve around incentivizing carbon capture markets through mass reforestation, biofuels and new technologies – which many indigenous leaders see as false climate solutions that will lead to further land grabs and environmental and cultural destruction. For them, keeping fossil fuels and minerals in the ground is the only way to curtail global heating and its devastating impacts...

As the climate crisis intensifies with record floods, fires and heatwaves across the world, so does the violence against defenders. 2020 was the deadliest year on record for environmental and land defenders, with indigenous people accounting for half of the total 227 killed...

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