Indigenous Women of the Americas Protecting Mother Earth: Struggles and Climate Change Solutions

Blog by Emily Arasim and Osprey Orielle Lake

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Gloria Ushigua (Sápara Nation, Ecuador) and Casey Camp Horinek (Ponca Nation, Oklahoma, USA) joined in a moment of solidarity and love. These two outstanding Indigenous women leaders are uniting across continents to protect and defend the Earth and their communities from oil extraction – Photo by Joan Beard

Indigenous women around the world are impacted first and worst by the effects of environmental destruction and a rapidly changing climate, their disproportionate vulnerability the result of a brutal intersection of colonialism, racism and sexism whose effects continue largely unabated. However despite all odds and against great challenges, it is these very same Indigenous women who are rising up, challenging the status quo and taking action to build the vital solutions so desperately needed in order to chart an equitable and sustainable course for humanity.

On May 12, 2016, an outstanding group of Indigenous women leaders from South and North America (Turtle Island) united to share their concerns, struggles and plans for change at ‘Indigenous Women of the Americas Protecting Mother Earth: Struggles and Climate Solutions’, an afternoon event presented by the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International and our allies at Amazon Watch and the Indigenous Environmental Network.

‘Indigenous Women of the Americas Protecting Mother Earth: Struggles and Climate Solutions’ was held in New York City in parallel to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, with the expressed purpose of bringing public visibility to the diverse stories, solutions and demands of frontline women climate leaders.

While the sentiment and experiences shared by each speaker was unique and firmly rooted in their own homeland and place – there were two overriding themes that flowed from the women’s words: (1) respect for and implementation of Indigenous rights and knowledge is a prerequisite for climate justice and effective sustainability solutions and (2) in protecting the rights, health, lives and lands of Indigenous peoples, we ultimately safeguard the future not only of Indigenous nations (which is reason enough), but of the Earth and all it’s people. We are all unequivocally interdependent within the systems of life.

Throughout the presentations, the women also illuminated important points around the meaning of being an aware, respectful and diligent Indigenous ally, and shared a vision for the thriving future that we might still have if we learn to truly honor and uphold Indigenous rights at a global scale.

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Pictured left to right: Aura Tegria Cristancho (U’wa, Colombia), Leo Cerda (Kichwa, Ecuador), Gloria Ushigua (Sápara, Ecuador), Casey Camp Horinek (Ponca, USA), Crystal Lameman (Beaver Lake Cree, Canada), Osprey Orielle Lake (WECAN Executive Director) introducing the panel of speakers. Not pictured: Alicia Cahuilla (Huaorani, Ecuador) and Kandi Mossett (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, USA) – Photo by Joan Beard

In honoring the traditions of Indigenous allies, the event opened with prayers by Casey Camp Horinek, elder and a leader of the Ponca Nation (Oklahoma, Turtle Island, USA), who called for attention to the gift of the present day, and the capacity we all have to act, stand and relate to Mother Earth in a different way.

Casey reminded audience members that we are all relatives of each other and of the Earth, and that our greatest hope for the future lies in remembering this and growing together in strength and unity. She called upon all present to thank and honor the women and men who came before, standing in the face of adversity on behalf of the Earth, and through their brave actions allowing us to be here together today.

Osprey provided introductory remarks and a base for the day’s presentations by highlighting how Indigenous peoples, and Indigenous women in particular are the most vital voices and solutions bearers in the fight to address climate change and it’s roots in deep structural injustices within our social, economic and political systems. The audience was reminded that over 80% of the worlds remaining biodiversity lies in the hands of Indigenous communities, who have coexisted with and maintained these living systems for generations.

“We must make it very clear that we are interconnected. They [Indigenous women] are the ones on the frontlines defending our air, the mountains, forests, rivers. They are keeping the web of life alive, and if they go down we are all going down. People are putting their bodies on the line, people like Berta Cáceres… and we need to understand that this is directly our family. These women are on the frontline making possible the continuity of life for all of us, so let us listen deeply and engage,” Osprey commented.

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Gloria Ushigua – Photo by Joan Beard

Gloria Ushigua, President of the Association of Sapara Women, spoke first, with translation by Leo Cerda (Kichwa) of Amazon Watch. [All translated quotes should be considered translations, not direct quotations]

Gloria is a land and community defender from deep within the southeastern Ecuadorian Amazon, committed to maintaining the cultural identity and integrity of the Sápara peoples and promoting the rights of Indigenous women. She stands at the forefront of the regional movement to stop oil drilling – speaking out, advocating within the United Nations, and leading marches and demonstrations in response to violent policies that continue to open the Amazon of Ecuador to fossil fuel development and the subsequent pollution and displacement of Indigenous communities.

In January of 2016, the Ecuadorian government and Chinese state owned oil corporation Andes Petroleum signed a new oil lease handing over almost one million acres of pristine rainforest forest overlapping the traditional territories of the Sápara people, as well as their neighbors the Kichwa of Sarayaku and the Shuar. On March 8, 2016, International Women’s Day, Gloria and hundreds of other Indigenous women of seven regional nationalities took to the streets in Ecuador to denounce the new contract. Their resistance to the new oil leases has been ceaseless.

“Our lives and our spirits depend upon the land that we live on, and they [the oil companies] do not understand this relationship that we have between the land, our families, our ancestors and the spirits.”

Gloria provided background on the intense threats and pressures her peoples are feeling to cede to extraction on their homelands, which remain uncontaminated unlike their neighbors to the north.

“We are going through a lot in our territory. The government has been threatening us and trying to create division within our territory… They think that we are going to get weakened by the divisions, by all of the problems they are bringing into our community, but they don’t know that we are strong and we will still stand strong even though they want to try to create this struggle. We are very few people, only about 200 in our territory, but we are strong. This is our land, this is where we have our livelihoods, our medicine, our water, our food.”

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Gloria Ushigua marches against oil extraction in the Amazon of Ecuador

Article 57 of Ecuador’s constitution requires that the consent of Indigenous peoples is obtained before any projects that impact their ancestral land or exploit resources within their territory lands can proceed. Indigenous consent is also a requirement of international law under the auspices of Free, Prior, and Informed Consultation (FPIC).

While the Ecuadorian government has repeatedly claimed to have consulted the Sápara Nation about the new oil leases, in actuality, they have instigated a campaign to intimidate and divide the Sápara. As Gloria made clear, in spite of the government’s false claims of community approval and attempts to create a divided Sápara leadership body, the legitimate federation of the Sápara does not and will not recognize any consent for access to or development in their territory.

“I come here to bring the message from my people….the government thinks we are alone but we are not alone, we have an international community of supporters like you, like the people here…” Gloria continued, “The people in my community want to keep oil in the ground, and that is a consensus.”

In the month following the May 2016 event in New York City, Gloria Ushigua and her family members and community began suffering from escalated violence, intimidation and harassment. In solidarity with Gloria, Frontline Defenders and the Women’s Urgent Action Fund have both released urgent statements for organizational sign-on and wide spread public sharing and advocacy.

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Indigenous women leaders of seven Indigenous allies march against oil extraction in the Amazon in Puyo, Ecuador on International Women’s Day, March 8 2016. Gloria Ushigua (Sápara Nationality, Ecuador) and Casey Camp Horinek (Ponca Nation, Oklahoma, USA) pictured at left – Photo by Emily Arasim

Alicia Hueiya Cahuilla is Huoarani woman leader, born and living in what is now called Yasuni National Park, Ecuador, spoke next. Alicia is the Vice President of the NAWE, the Association of the Huaorani Nationality of Ecuador, and has also served as the President of AMWAUE, the Association of Huaorani Women of Ecuador. She is a foremost woman defender of Yasuni, and has received death threats and faced other intimidation for her work.

Alicia Hueiya believes that action to respect Indigenous rights and keep oil under the ground is the most vital, effective climate solution, and has delivered this message, and the story of her communities poisoning and resistance, with great conviction in front of grassroots leaders, concerned allies, news and media, international governments and policymakers and fellow Indigenous women land defenders across the globe. Alicia spoke at a WECAN International event in Lima, Peru in 2014 that ran parallel to the UNFCCC climate talks at COP20 – watch the powerful coverage on Democracy Now! here.

Unlike Gloria and the Sápara people in the Southern Ecuadorian Amazon, the land immediately surrounding Alicia’s homeland in the Northern Amazon has already been experiencing the horrendous impacts of oil extraction for several decades.

Alicia told the story of women in her community and other as rising as the voice of the Amazon herself. She denounced excursions for oil into supposedly protected national parks such as Yasuni, and made clear that it is the lands in Indigenous hands, free of oil extraction that continue to flourish, create real development, provide for their people and maintain the balance of the global climate.

At Alicia’s request, her direct comments, quotes and photos have not been shared publicly outside of the event, and are not included in this blog.

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Aura Tegria Cristancho (U’wa people of Colombia) and Leo Cerda (Kichwa people of Ecuador, Amazon Watch) – Photo by Joan Beard

Following the translation of Alicia’s powerful presentation, Leo Cerda, Amazon Watch Field Coordinator and Kichwa man from the city of Tena, Ecuador, shared more background and an update on the unfolding situation in Ecuador.

Leo explained that the Ecuadorian government is repeatedly violating the Rights of Nature officially enshrined in their 2008 constitution, and also failing to respect laws of Free, Prior and Informed Consent of Indigenous peoples regarding fossil fuel extraction and mining. Echoing Alicia, he explained that even the countries national reserves are no longer off limits.

Leo further detailed the story of the ‘11th round’ of oil concessions, which opens up over twelve million acres of vibrant forest to extraction in 16 ‘oil blocks’. The two blocks encompassing the lands of Gloria and the Sápara people represent just two of these sixteen potential disaster zones.

“The process of the government is to try to create division within organizations and communities. So the women in the past years have been the strongest ones to come up front – they are the frontlines,” Leo explained, referencing many past actions including the March 2016 International Women’s Day march in Puyo, Ecuador.

“We see an uprising of the women coming together…because their territories are going to be effected, because they take care about the land and they care about the future, the future of next generations. We are talking here about climate change, about human rights – and this is not only an Indigenous struggle anymore, this is a struggle of all of us, the people that breathe…if we don’t protect the Amazon and forests around the world, how will our children live?”

“I am honored as the next generation to be with such amazing women speaking out,” Leo reflected.

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Kandi Mosset (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara) leads a ‘toxic tour’ of a fracking spill site near the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota, USA – Photo by Emily Arasim

Kandi Mossett spoke next, joining the event via Skype.

Kandi Mossett is a Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara women from what is now called the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota, USA. Kandi stands on the frontlines of the fight to stop fracking and other forms of extreme energy extraction through powerful community organizing efforts and work as the Indigenous Environmental Network Extreme Energy and Just Transition Campaign Lead Organizer. She has emerged as a leading voice in the fight to bring visibility to the impacts that climate change and environmental injustice are having on Indigenous communities across North America, engaging in international advocacy work, including participation in several UN Forums and a testimony before the U.S. Congress on the climate issue and its links to issues of health, identity, and well being on tribal lands.

She introduced herself and began her presentation in her native language, “Hello relatives my name is Eagle Woman, my English name is Kandi Mossett.”

Kandi told a brief history of the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara peoples, three groups driven together following colonization and the brutal devastation of the smallpox epidemics inflicted by US settlers. After facing and surviving generations of colonization, Kandi explained that her people now face a new danger threatening to take their lands and livelihoods – the threat of hydraulic fracking.

Since the early 2000’s, a fracking epidemic in the Bakken region of North Dakota has rocketed the state to the position of second largest US oil producer after Texas, bringing a range of social and environmental impacts to the region, with particularly devastating effects on Indigenous women in North Dakota.

Kandi began her presentation by showing photos of turquoise lake water, the result of fracking runoff which has caused severe pollution, green-blue algae blooms and oxygen deprivation in Lake Sakakawea, a dam at the center of the at Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara lands, and at the headwaters of the Missouri River.

She also shared photos from a July 2014 fracking brine spill near the lake, which residents were told was nothing to worry about despite the visible dead zone and failure of the US Environmental Protection Agency to provide full reports and analysis.

Kandi recounted how local women leaders, including Lisa DeVille, spearheaded action and brought Duke University students out to take soil samples and analyze the spill site and dead land. Their report back told of high levels of benzenes and a wide range of cancer causing chemicals far exceeding safe consumption levels – all left sitting on the surface of the land.

“Own tribal council has sold out to corporations – they believe the lies, they believe it is safe without doing their own due diligence,” Kandi explained.

She detailed some of the horrendous environmental practices taking place in North Dakota, including largely unregulated direct flaring (burning) of natural gas. The open flares make the once dark plains of the state glow on satellite images like the lights of a major metropolis, and have made the Bakken the source of more that 2% of global methane emissions.

Kandi spoke solemnly, “No matter where you are in the world, you are still breathing this in.”

She recounted the rush of dangers experienced by local communities, including toxic air, poisoned water, oil truck explosions, and countless social ills brought by oil workers – ranging from vandalism and racist threats, to human trafficking, drug abuses and violent abuse of local women.

Many of the social dangers are centered in ‘man camps’, large trailer complexes housing hundreds, even thousands of oil workers. In a context of lawlessness and disregard for local Indigenous communities and the land, where Kandi reports that rapes have shot up roughly 168%, with the vast majority of abuses falling upon Indigenous women.

“Violence against women follows violence against the Earth. Them digging, flaring, polluting – this is violence against our Mother…We are facing so many social problems and we haven’t even begun to really see the environmental problems, that’s why I get so emotional. Twenty years down the line we will see it, the bone cancers from the radioactive materials… I am scared for our children and our future and this horrible legacy we are leaving behind. And so we are saying we wont do this anymore, lets get out and fight this.”

Even in the face of great pain, Kandi held out countless examples of reason for hope.

She told the story of the Standing Rock Sioux in the Southern part of the state, who had witnessed the devastation of Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara peoples to the north, and stood up to push back, block pipelines and ban fracking within their sovereign lands.

Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara youth in Fort Berthold are also standing up, joining local women like Kandi and Lisa DeVille who have been fighting to expose the extreme circumstances on their lands for years. As Kandi spoke via Skype, a group of young Fort Berthold youth had just mobilized and rode horses over a Lake Sakakawea bridge to interrupt a tribal council meeting and deliver their message against continued exploitation of the Earth and her peoples.

“People are starting to see it, youth are starting to stand up and say ‘What are we doing to our planet?… We are up against big money, big corporations, but over the past years we’ve seen more and more that all it takes is people power, our youth fighting back to make change.”

Kandi reflected that standing out and being an activist is often a frightening thing to do, but that “we are all we have…We as human beings taking action are the only ones that can change the problems that we humans have created…so use your voice, fight back.”

She provided more hopeful examples including a recently held water blessing on Fort Berthold reservation, which Kandi’s elders said was the first large collective water ceremony in over 20 years. She cited other important cases of Indigenous leadership and resistance, including the recent horse ride across South Dakota in opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline; the story of youth who ran over 500 miles to the Army Corps of Engineers in Nebraska to say no to fossil fuel infrastructure; and the broad and quickly growing global #KeepItInTheGround movement.

Kandi spoke to the great need for creative activism and community organizing, and for the peoples’ movement to get together, hold onto tradition and show our power. She called for simultaneously organizing locally and connecting across borders, recalling powerful work connecting pipeline fighters from the US Gulf Coast to North Dakota and the Canadian Tar Sands, as well as the ground breaking work of the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defenders of Mother Earth Treaty Compact signed between Indigenous women of the US, Canada and Ecuador in 2015 and now being signed by many Indigenous women worldwide.

“We have to make it so that it is no longer profitable and OK for them [oil companies] to continue their business as usual,” Kandi explained, emphasizing that rather that pursuing a ‘not in my back yard’ type of fight, we must stand together to stop extraction in North America, and the homes of all our global brothers and sisters.

“We are addicted, to oil, and it is no better that any other addiction people have. If we want to get off this addiction we need to come together, with Indigenous women leading all across the frontlines….We know we have to protect the water. It is no coincidence that our babies are born in water…. We know that water literally is life, and it has to be protected at all costs.”

Kandi ended by urging audience members to study and explore colonization of the mind.

“What we are really talking about is decolonizing, and changing our mindset, changing the way that people interact with each other…” Kandi explained, “We want to protect future generations, and protect seven generations ahead.”

Most politicians and corporate barons, she pointed out, don’t think of the past or future generations “because they have a sickness, and that sickness is called greed.”

To build a foundation of climate justice, she pointed to the need for decolonization and a move away from extractive capitalism, which both center on the idea that we can “take and take and never give back”, something explicitly discouraged in all Indigenous worldviews.

“As Indigenous people we have ‘Traditional Ecologic Knowledge’, but here is the secret – ‘common sense’. Whatever happens to one person happens to all of us.”

Crystal Lameman, Beaver Lake Cree of Treaty No. 6, Alberta, Canada took the floor next.

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Crystal Lameman – Photo by Joan Beard

Crystal Lameman is the Treaty Coordinator and Communications Manager for the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, working previously as a Climate and Energy Campaigner for Sierra Club Canada, Prairie Chapter and as the Canadian Tar Sands Campaigner for the Indigenous Environmental Network. Since 2008, Crystal has been at the forefront of legal action by the Beaver Lake Cree, calling for action to address infringement of their people’s inherent and Treaty Rights to hunt, fish, trap, and gather in perpetuity, due to over-industrialization and extraction in their territory.

Crystal opened in her traditional language, and provided background on her home in the lands of the Cree and Dene.

Today, Crystal reported that Alberta, Canada is the source of more than 37% of the countries greenhouse gas emissions. Roughly 22% of these emissions come from the Alberta tar sands, making them the single biggest source of climate change causing pollution in Canada, and one of the largest sources of emission in the world.

Crystal explained that tar sands extraction has a dire two-fold impact, contributing to long-term climate change, while also wreaking havoc through immediate environmental consequences. Both long term climate changes and direct pollution are having growing impact on the land and the Indigenous Nations, like Crystal’s, who maintain a close relationship with the land, and rely upon it directly for medicines, food and water. Because of this close relationship, Indigenous communities are often the first to see and experience the degradation of the land, and contamination and displacement of ecologic and social communities.

Crystal mapped out the three large tar sands oil deposits in Alberta (cumulatively the third largest global crude oil deposits after Saudi Arabia) and the three Indigenous treaty territories violated by their extraction.

“Through invasive energy extraction we have found ourselves, literally, in a fight over Mothers bones, her very core – playing environmental roulette with our lives… and there is one thing about that game, someone always looses, and right now it is our next generations that are loosing… Right now my biggest responsibility is that I am a mother, I am blessed to give life, and I have a responsibility to those children,”

In addition to speaking to the dire effect of tar sands air and water pollution, she also spoke to the dire situation around deforestation of Canada’s pristine Boreal forest.

According to Crystal, millions, if not billions of tons of ‘overburden’, the industry term for pristine forest and soil, and one of the worlds most important carbon sinks – is ripped away, moved and destroyed to make way for expanded extraction. In total, the amount of land destroyed and moved for extraction in Alberta is estimated to be more than for the Great Wall of China, the Suez Canal, Great Pyramid of Cheops and 10 largest dams in world – combined.

A large portion of tar sands expansion is happening in and around Indigenous First Nations territories, on lands being taken and violated without respect to internationally recognized rights of Indigenous peoples to Free, Prior and Informed Consent. Crystal additionally cited Article 32 of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous peoples, which declares Indigenous rights to determine and direct priorities for use of land and resources that fall within or affect their territories.

34,773 of the 38,972 square kilometers of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation’s traditional territory as been leased to oil and gas and is suffering the cumulative impacts of removal of forests, soil loss, oil pollution, toxic spills, run off, and disruption of migration patterns, to name but a few.

Contamination of traditional foods, including fish, beaver and moose, is growing threat, with arsenic levels in caribous recently found to be reaching 450 times higher than safe consumption levels.

“They [the government and oil companies] like to talk about ‘reclamation’, essentially trying to give back what was never theirs to take,” Crystal asserted. Despite this, only 0.2% of tar sands extraction lands have seen any type of restoration attempts.

Despite the great loss faced by her community and others across Alberta, Crystal continued on to provide incredible reasons for hope.

“Some of our last remaining forests, the planets biodiversity, rivers, lakes and streams are in Indigenous peoples territories…So in order to fight climate change, stop deforestation and meet sustainable development goals, there is an urgent need to recognize the collective land rights of Indigenous peoples,” Crystal explained, making the case for Indigenous rights as perhaps the most important, effective rights-based legal mechanisms for environmental and social defense.

“Through the rights of Indigenous peoples, we have the last remaining stronghold in protecting our environment.”

Through the ongoing Beaver Lake Cree legal case, Crystal and her colleagues and allies are seeking to demonstrate that Indigenous rights are the strongest possible legally binding strategy to halt the expansion of the tar sands.

“Many communities nations in our territories are moving towards determining what Indigenous economic sovereignty looks like by participating in the Just Transition and launching large renewable energy projections, exercising food security and sovereignty…we are growing and we are producing on our lands, while at the same time continuing to break down legislation that undermines our rights and labels us as bad people for wanting better for our children”

In closing her presentation, Crystal drew attention to the massive fires raging in Alberta, and the social justice components of work to end extraction.

“We need to stop pretending like genocide no longer exists. It continues, it is alive and well in extreme resource extraction. But we are here, as Indigenous people we are here and we are not going anywhere. And we continue to fight because the very essence of who we are is in the land and the water… so our land has not and will never be for sale,” Crystal concluded.

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Aura Tegria Cristancho – Photo by Joan Beard

Aura Tegria Cristancho, young woman leader and representative of the U’wa people of Colombia, spoke next, with Spanish translation by Leo Cerda.

At 18, Aura became the first ever Indigenous U’wa woman to attend university, receiving her law degree and going on to work as the legal advisor for the Asou’Wa Association of the U’wa people. Since then, Aura has worked extensively with EarthRights International, based out of Lima, Peru. In 2014, she traveled across the US to speak with hundreds of people at a host of public presentations, private advocacy meetings and media interviews – working to bring light to Caño Limón pipeline, Magallanes drilling project and other pushes to expand oil and gas drilling in U’wa territory, which has traditionally expanded across five Colombia provinces.

Aura began with reflections based upon the stories and prayers told to her by her grandparents. In the beginning, she recounted, the creator established and created the Earth in equilibrium, and in the heart of the U’wa people, left an original message – instructions to care and protect Mother Earth. Protecting the Earth thus became the mission and center of the U’wa mind, body and spirit.

When oil companies entered their territories, the U’wa knew automatically they had to speak out in defense of the land and had no misunderstanding about the perils of extraction.

The U’wa call oil “ruiria” and explain that this is the source of all plant and animal life, as well as the human spirit.

“For the U’wa, the oil is like the blood of Mother Earth, it is vital to life – if you take out the blood, the whole planet will die, including human beings. In this sense, we must gather our strength and unite in defense of the Earth, in defense of life. All of us together, black, white, Indigenous, old young, all of us,” Aura explained to the audience.

When Occidental Petroleum came to drill the oil from their lands in the 90s, the U’wa protested, stating that they preferred collective suicide than to watch the destruction of their community and lands. It would be a worthier death than at the hands of the exploiters, the U’wa reasoned.

The U’wa people had already witnessed the ruinous results of oil extractions in nearby territories. Their subsequent campaigns, in addition to support from international groups moved by the U’wa’s powerful dedication and message to the world, generated successful results. In 2002, Occidental Petroleum withdrew from U’wa territory. In part, the company claimed this was due economic problems and finding a dry well in an early phase of the project, however it is clear that the ardent protests weighed heavily on their decision. Unfortunately, this key victory was not long lasting and the U’wa have been and are facing many ongoing extraction threats in their territories from the fossil fuel industry.

Despite loses and struggles, Aura stated that the movement is only getting stronger. She and her people are fighting immediate environmental destruction, but also acting and teaching so that ‘little brother’ (the Western world) can come to understand again what life really is, namely the rivers, air, forests and all that sustains us.

On May 12, as Aura spoke to the crowd gathered in New York City, leaders in her community were taking direct action to protect their sacred Zizuma mountain, a critical source of water for the region.

In closing, Aura urged all present to engage with and support their ongoing struggle, and to think deeply on how we can change the dominant cultures way of living with the Earth.

“We need to change ideas around money. You cannot eat money. Without lands and water and territory, money serves no purpose. In this sense, this can be a huge contribution to change from all of us here today, to work to help change this philosophy– to return to the ancestral, the roots, to return to understanding of what is truly important in life – land, water, air and the sky.”

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Leo Cerda and Gloria Ushigua stand in solidarity with the U’wa people in their efforts to protect sacred Zizuma mountain– Photo by Joan Beard

Casey Camp-Horinek of the Ponca Nation, Oklahoma, Turtle Islands, USA took the floor as the last speaker of the day.

Casey Camp is a Ponca Nation tribal Councilwoman, Indigenous Environmental Network representative and WECAN Advisory Council member, amidst many other roles. She is a long-time Native rights activist, environmentalist, actress and traditional Drumkeeper for the Ponca Pa-tha-ta, Woman’s Scalp Dance Society, working to maintain the cultural identity of the Ponca Nation for herself, her family and her community. Casey has been at the forefront of grassroots community efforts to educate and empower both Native and non-Native community members on environmental and civil rights issues. In 2008 Camp-Horinek, as a delegate of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), was chosen to speak to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and present IEN’s global platform regarding the environment and Native rights. Since then, she has led and participated in countless international and local actions, events and high level policy forums around climate justice, Indigenous rights and care for the Earth. Recently, she embarked on a journey as a leader of the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defenders of Mother Earth Treaty Compact.

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Casey Camp Horinek – Photo by Joan Beard

Casey began by commending and sharing her love with the young women who spoke before her; “I could rest, but I am not going to!” she laughed.

Casey told of the genocide inflicted upon her people, including days of forced removal, boarding schools, relocation and five signed and broken treaty’s. Like Kandi and Crystal, Casey likened the modern boom in fracking to a continuation of these genocidal and colonial processes.

Ponca lands in Oklahoma are now surrounded by underground toxic waste storage facilities, drilling rigs and a “nexus” of pipelines carrying oil across the US and down from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Taking out a piece of paper, Casey explained that seven earthquakes had already happened in Oklahoma that very day. She reported 128 in the last thirty days and 2,388 in last year – all man-made and all directly linked to fracking injection wells, of which there are over 10,000 in the state.

Recently, Oklahoma’s new governor passed a law preventing communities within the state from passing local fracking moratoriums. In response, Casey, along with other leaders in her community, are working to organize the Ponca Nation to use their sovereign Indigenous rights to pass a resolution that stops injection wells, and puts a ban on fracking and dewatering.

The resolution points out that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are the trustees of the Ponca Nation and its members, “with a fiduciary duty to protect tribal trust property and trust resources”, including federally reserved Indian water rights to a satisfactory supply of quality water.

Thus far, the BIA does not have a policy on fracking, injection wells and dewatering operations to guide the leasing of Ponca lands or to guide BIA approval of assignments of existing oil and gas leases for extraction. Even though there is not a policy in place, the BIA has been approving leases already, not taking into account Indian water rights or the public safety of the Ponca Nation and its members, amongst other destructive outcomes.

The BIA has also not obtained Free, Prior and Informed Consent from the Ponca Nation according to Article 19 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Upon these points and others, the Ponca Nation has called for a moratorium on fracking in their territories to override the Oklahoma governors law, and have requested that the BIA to design a plan to protect the Ponca Nation water rights, in direct consultation with the Ponca Nation.

In pursuing due implementation of Indigenous Rights– the Ponca and other Indigenous communities offer a strong, tangible solution that will protect them and their non-Indigenous neighbors. Casey is confident that their method of protection will hold up in a court of law when they have the means to carry their work forward to the courts.

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Casey Camp Horinek (Ponca Nation) speaks with allies at the start of ‘Indigenous Women of the Americas Protecting Mother Earth: Struggles and Climate Solutions’ – Photo by Joan Beard

Casey closed with reflections on the “cellular memory” and DNA of her people and all Indigenous people as fundamentally tied to the land.

“We are willing to do anything we have to do to protect our Mother, and to protect all that she provides us with.”

She held up a cup of water, “the guest of honor”, and asked why negotiators and ‘leaders’ in United Nations were not willing to sit with a cup of oil in front of them to quench their thirst as they negotiate the fate of the climate.

Casey’s last words that brought home a vital theme highlighted by all event speakers;

“We [Indigenous peoples] got your back – so what you need to do is jump on board and demand the implementation of the declaration of the Rights of Indigenous peoples, because we are going to save your ‘you know what’s’…Our issues are your issues, we really can’t separate them, and that is why we are here today… we understand the same air flows around Mother Earth, the same rain comes in the thunders and down the streams – the same breath, everything is within us and we share it all.”

Osprey of WECAN International moderated a Question and Answer session, and then closed the event with words on supporting Indigenous allies, and solidarity with the global #KeepItInTheGround and #BreakFree movement. 

“Break Free from infringements on Indigenous rights

Break Free 

Break Free from patriarchy

Break Free

Break Free from the commodification of Nature

Break Free

Break Free from sacrifice zones

Break Free 

Break Free from colonization

Break Free

 Break Free from fossil fuels

Break Free”

Special thanks to Harriet Sugarman of ClimateMama and all the amazing NYC volunteers for their tremendous support of this event.

Additional Event Photos by Joan Beard:

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Speakers and allies stand in solidarity with the U’wa people in their efforts to protect sacred Zizuma mountain– Photo by Joan Beard

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Crystal Lameman presents on tar sands extraction and Indigenous rights and community mobilization in Alberta, Canada – Photo via Harriet Shugarman

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Aura Tegria Cristancho speaks on the situation of the U’wa people of Colombia. Pictured with Leo Cerda (Kichwa of Tena, Ecuador; Amazon Watch) – Photo by Joan Beard

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Event attendees stand to demand immediate action to #KeepItInTheGround – Photo by Joan Beard

Women In Defense Of Territories, From Their Bodies – Mujeres En Defense De Territorios Desde Sus Cuerpos

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Women land and community defenders of the Ecuadorian Amazon stand for justice and an end to oil extraction during an International Women’s Day March – March 8, 2016 – Photo by Emily Arasim

English – WOMEN IN DEFENSE OF TERRITORIES, FROM THEIR BODIES

Throughout memory and history, women have always fought shoulder to shoulder, weaving movements, building roads and reducing inequalities

By Kiyomi Nagumo, WECAN Coordinator for the Latin America/Caribbean Region

National commitments made under the Paris Agreement, aiming to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and avoid climate crisis, focus on providing mechanisms for adaptation and mitigation, and work to quantify losses and damages. Structures of global governance have the same focus, hoping that participating countries will meet their goals and objective.

Global activists however, are demanding systemic change, a transition of our energy models and above all, an end to exploitation of natural resources and intensive production systems, all with focus on gender equity and equality, inter-generational justice, respect for Indigenous territories, Indigenous rights, human rights, and a guarantee of access to participation and climate justice for all.

Despite all this – countries like Honduras, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil and Peru have opened their development policies in favor transnational corporations under the structure of overexploitation of natural resources and the opening of its tropical forests for exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons, construction of mega energy projects, etc. These energy policies pollute, emit high levels of greenhouse gases, and critically violate fundamental rights of Indigenous peoples and rights of women and their communities, causing environmental disasters, generating environmental violence and deeply affecting Mother Earth.

It is these same women who are violated that come to fight for respect for themselves and their territories – seeking equality and the reduction of inequalities, and working to create real governance regarding the management and conservation of natural resources located in their territories. They are the ones who have come repeatedly to the defense of water, forests, and the biodiversity of their lands, ecosystems, communities and peoples.

From the core of their bodies, out from under the social and familial roles ascribed to them by a patriarchal system, women have raised their voices, have mobilized, organized, revealed and fought, but they still too often remain violated, silenced, intimidated, arrested, raped and murdered.

So to talk about a systemic change necessitates self-questioning and questioning of others; if these development policies disguise themselves as global governance and exert themselves above local territories and rights – how will they affect and violate women and their environment?

Español – MUJERES, EN DEFENSA DE LOS TERRITORIOS DESDE SUS CUERPOS

Desde la memoria y la historia, las mujeres siempre han luchado hombro a hombro, tejiendo movimiento, construyendo caminos, disminuyendo desigualdades

Por Kiyomi Nagumo –  Cordinadora Regional Latino America y el Caribe

Los compromisos nacionales adquiridos bajo el acuerdo de París, con el objetivo de disminuir las emisiones de los gases de efecto invernadero y evitar una crisis climática, enfocadas aportando con mecanismos de adaptación y mitigación, así como cuantificar las perdidas y daños. La gobernanza global, se centra en estos mismos con la esperanza de cumplir las metas y objetivos adquiridos por los países participantes.

Activistas del mundo reclaman un cambio sistémico, una transición de los modelos energéticos y sobre todo, evitar la sobre explotación de los recursos naturales y sistemas productivos intensivos; enfocados en la equidad e igualdad de genero y generacional, respeto a los territorios indígenas, derechos humanos e indígenas y sobre todo garantizar el acceso a la participación y justicia climática.

Países como Honduras, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brasil y Perú han abierto sus políticas de desarrollo en favor a empresas transnacionales bajo la estructura de sobre aprovechamiento de sus recursos naturales y la apertura de sus selvas tropicales para la exploración y extracción de hidrocarburos, construcción de mega proyectos energéticos, etc. Estas políticas energéticas contaminantes y altamente emisoras de gases de efecto invernadero, violan derechos fundamentales sobre todo de indígenas, derechos de las mujeres y sus comunidades, ocasionando desastres ambientales, generando violencia ambiental y afectando a la madre tierra.

Son las mismas mujeres, las que salen a la lucha por el respeto de ellas y sus territorios buscando la igualdad, la disminución de inequidades, y conseguir una verdadera gobernanza sobre el manejo y conservación de los recursos naturales ubicados en sus territorios. Son quienes han salido a la defensa del agua, los bosques, y la biodiversidad de sus tierras, ecosistemas, comunidades y sus pueblos.

Desde sus cuerpos, con las cargas sociales y familiares de un sistema patriarcal, que les son atribuidas como roles, las mujeres han levantado sus voces, se han movilizado, organizado, revelado y luchado, pero aun así siguen siendo vulneradas, acalladas, amedrentadas, arrestadas, violentadas y asesinadas.

Entonces, para hablar de un cambio sistémico es necesario auto-cuestionarse y cuestionar; sí las políticas de desarrollo se disfrazan de gobernanza global y estas se sobreponen a la territorialidad, a los derechos, y cómo éstas afectan y vulneran a las mujeres y a su entorno.

The Feminine View on COP21

By Kiyomi Nagumo Tamashiro

Coordinator for the Latin American and Caribbean Region – Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network

Disponible en español al final de la página

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Women from around the world have been gathered in Le Bourget in Paris for the past two weeks, adopting as a rallying cry “Systemic Change Not Climate” and “Climate Justice for Women” – with demands that the final text of the Paris climate agreement include the just rights and solutions that will allow us to live well with respect, care and sensitivity for Mother Earth and our future generations, and avoid dire climate crisis.

We are already seeing more frequent and forceful effects of climate change and disasters leading to an imbalance in food production, water resources, deaths, droughts, floods and countless other effects. We are not taking into account the economic benefits that could be derived from new mechanisms of resilience, adaptation and risk management, nor even the rescue of ancestral mechanisms which are not considered, their weight left on families and communities.

To this we ask ‘why women are more affected?’. Well, we already know that climate change effects each and every one of us, but it is the women who experience a different severity and intensity due to regional, sectoral, territorial, cultural, economic, and social differences and other components that come together to form vast inequalities. We cannot forget that women suffer violence and are immersed in a patriarchal system.

It is important to understand the social, religious, moral, legal, and other established roles that make women central caretakers of food, children, family, community, society and the earth – therefore in fact making them the head of the household and the economy at the time time. We must bring new models of adaptation and resilience to women so that we can be less vulnerable, and be able to take care of all daily needs. It is the same women who hold the responsibility for the domestic, productive load whom are facing the greatest climate burden.

Here at COP21, I’ve heard countless solutions, jobs, initiatives and activities of women in their communities and localities, demonstrating solutions to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide while protecting their territory, economy, home, the community and the environment, always in connection with Mother Earth.

These are the women who we must support in order to generate just climate  proposals, create and strengthen the networks that make our voices be heard, and thus realize real climate solutions. We will continue to fight and united for systemic change.

Now we ask world leaders: What do they want for the planet? After COP, what do they want for us as society? Are they aware of the impacts that their decisions have on women and all of us?

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Español:

La Mirada Feminina Sobre la COP21

Por: Kiyomi Nagumo Tamashiro

Coordinadora Regional Latino América y el Caribe de Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network

Mujeres de todo el mundo, están reunidas en La Bouget en París, adoptando como grito de guerra “Cambio Sistémico no Climático” y “Justicia Climática para las mujeres” entre otros, con la demanda de incluir en el texto final soluciones, peticiones, derechos, justicia que nos permita el vivir bien y evitar a que nos conduzcan a una crisis climática, así como tener respeto, cuidado y sensibilidad con la madre tierra y de nuestras futuras generaciones .

Ya podemos evidenciar con mayor frecuencia y fuerza los cambios climáticos, y los desastres que conducen a un desequilibrio en la producción de alimentos, recursos hídricos, muertes, sequias, inundaciones, granizos, y un sin fin más. Sin tomar en cuenta la extra economía que genera los nuevos mecanismos de resiliencia, adaptación y gestión de riesgos , o incluso el rescate de los mecanismos ancestrales que no esta consideradas y que son costos que los Estados no asumen en su totalidad y es atribuido en mayor proporción a las familias, sociedad, etc.

A esto nos preguntamos ¿Por qué, las mujeres son más afectadas?. Pues, ya que los impactos del cambio climático nos afecta a todas y todos, son las mismas mujeres que en mayor o menor proporción y tomando en cuenta las diferencias regionales, sectoriales, territoriales, culturales, económicos, sociales y otros componentes que ayudan como parámetro a la suma de las inequidades. Sin olvidar que sufrimos violencia y estamos inmersas en un sistema patriarcal.

Es importante aclara que al existir roles establecidos sociales, religiosos, morales, jurídicos, etc., somos nosotras las mujeres, las responsables del cuidado de la alimentación, los niños, la familia, la comunidad, la sociedad y la tierra, por ende, las responsables del hogar y la economía de la mismas. A esto debemos sumar los nuevos modelos de adaptación y resiliencia que debemos optar para ser menos vulnerables, y tomar en cuenta otras prioridades mediáticas o cotidianas. Eso quiere decir, que son las mismas mujeres las que aparte de tener la carga domestica, productiva, son ellas mismas las que deben asumir en mayor proporción la carga climática.

Pues tras haber escuchado las soluciones, trabajos, iniciativas y actividades de varias mujeres en sus comunidades y localidades, demostrando soluciones a las reducción de emisiones de dióxido de carbono, que incluyen en la misma un cuidado en el territorio, la economía, el hogar, la comunidad y el entorno siempre en conexión con la madre tierra.

Por lo tanto son las mismas mujeres las que aportamos en mayor medida a realizar soluciones climáticas, así como la generación de propuestas, la creación y fortalecimiento de redes que hagan que nuestras voces sea escuchadas y tomadas en cuenta.  Seguimos luchando para que se realice un cambio sistémico.

Ahora bien les preguntamos a los gobernantes del mundo: ¿Qué es lo que quieren del planeta?, ¿Qué después de la COP21 para nosotras?, ¿son consientes de cuantos nos afectan a las mujeres y la población las decisiones que están optando dentro las negociaciones?

WECAN Latin America Leaders to Facilitate The Andean Walk for the Climate

On November 21, WECAN Latin America & Caribbean regional Coordinator, Kiyomi Nagumo, and longtime ally Carmen Capriles of Reacción Climática will facilitate the Andean Walk for the Climate outside of La Paz, Bolivia. Learn more about the action below, and join the Spanish event page here.

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THE ANDEAN WALK FOR THE CLIMATE

PAMAPALARAMA – EX GLACIER WILA MALQUISIÑIANI

Walking for the victims of climate change and calling for climate justice!

Introduction

The Andean Walk for the Climate will take place on Pampalarama; we will invite people to participate and make a call to the governments of the world to make real commitments to the planet and not lead to a climate crisis!

This November 21 we invite you to join walk the climate Pamapalarama, on the slopes of what once was the glacier wila malkisiñani, complex Chacaltaya massif of the Andes mountain range, to visualize the impacts of global warming on our home and our Apus (local name for the mountains, the granfathers). This activity aims to raise awareness among the Bolivian population on the impacts of climate change and is part of a global campaign that tries to appeal to the conscience of the international governments that could boost in Paris take action to reduce greenhouse gases that are accelerating global warming and causing the retreat of glaciers in the world, this march will also perform in other ecosystems of the planet.

Background

This is the fifth time we organized a tour to visit the glaciers that surround La Paz city, aiming to reconnect with nature, observe the impacts of climate change in our immediate surroundings and reflect on our impact.

Pampalarama is a community that use to live thanks to the glacier Chacaltaya the first tropical glacier in disappear in south America during 2009, the community since then had to change their livelihoods, they use to live from their production and a few years ago they started with tourism to have some way of income, we consider this community a perfect example of resilience, but further more we consider this people as climatic victims.

Objectives

From 30 November to 10 December, cop21 will be held in Paris, France where the world governments have already expressed their commitments that are leading us to the climate crisis, regardless that there are already victims of climate change. We denounce and call the attention of the general public about this problem while generating awareness in all of us to combat climate change.

This November we have the opportunity to raise our voices and demand that governments around the world along with global campaigns asking for:

  • The transition to 100% of alternative, environmentally friendly energy environment
  • Care, conservation and protection of our forests and protected areas (Eradication of illegal logging and timber lawful)
  • NO exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in our protected areas
  • Keep the hydrocarbons on the ground
  • Systemic Change
  • Poverty reduction and reduction of inequalities
  • Recognition of climate victims
  • Climate justice and gender justice

Participants

The activity will be open to all who wish to participate, we expect a maximum of 200 persons from the city of La Paz and around 30 persons from the community including 7 specialized local guides, among the participants we hope to have people of all ages, especially aging people that will share their experience, we will also hope to have participation from kids from last years of school, we want to have a specific focus on women and we will have indigenous people from the community (highlands) as well as the support of the Uchupiamonas and Moseten Nations (indigenous people from the Amazonian lowlands), we want to have most of the sectors of civil society includes but especially those that are most vulnerable.

This activity will be organized by Reaccion Climatica, WECAN LAC and Women and Mountain with the support of HelpAge International-Bolivia, Casa de los Ningunos, TierrActiva, Community, University for Older Adults, Madidi Jungle, Indigenous Nations of San José de Uchupiamonas and Mosetnen, Espacio Emerge de Ellas, 350-Bolivia and will be part of the Global March for the Climate, the Climate Strike and the Women’s Call for Climate Justice.

For more information, contact wecanlac@gmail.com

WATCH: WECAN Latin America & Caribbean Leaders Call for Climate Justice

We are thrilled to share this video put together by Kiyomi Nagumo, our outstanding WECAN Latin America & Caribbean Regional Coordinator, as part of the Global Women’s Climate Justice Day of Action.

The video contains photos and footage of the low-lands regions of Bolivia, where Kiyomi and allies are campaigning to draw attention to and reverse recent action by the government to open up national parks and formerly protected lands to oil and mineral extraction.

Evelin Prieto, Indigenous leader of the Moseten peoples, provides commentary in the video, which is translated below:

“Our demands… this is what we want – our rights as Indigenous peoples, and to make it known to the whole country that we Indigenous peoples DO have a right to live well, in harmony with the environment, in harmony with the people. It is not that we don’t want progress, we want progress, but we want it under our norms, in context of what we know – Nature, co-existence between us the people and Nature. We are simple, humble – but we can also take the lead and take action to move forward. But not always with mega projects, suddenly shattering and destroying our environment, Nature. So yes, we are going to fight for her. We are on the path of struggle in defense of our territories.”

You can learn more about ongoing struggles to defend Indigenous Rights and Mother Earth in Bolivia in this powerful Guardian article, which features Carmen Capriles, longtime WECAN ally and Director of Reaccion Climatica.

Blog by Emily Arasim, WECAN Communications Coordinator

International Allies Denounce Violence Against Women on Strike in Ecuador

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Indigenous groups from across Ecuador rose up last week in a General Strike to challenge proposed Constitutional amendments curtailing indigenous rights and allowing President Correa to stay in power indefinitely; the water law; expansion of the mining and fossil fuel concessions; and the government’s opposition to bilingual education, among many other concerns.

The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) began a “March for Life and Dignity” from Zamora Chinchipe province in the southeastern Amazonian region, arriving in the capital city of Quito on August 13, where the Indigenous march joined a general strike called by the Workers United Front in opposition to the government’s labor policies. More than 10,000 people rallied on the streets of Quito – facing violent police crackdowns and confrontations. Across the country, Indigenous peoples and allies continue to hold blockades and demonstrations.

In solidarity, we denounce the violence and brutality that strike participants are facing, and express urgent concern about attacks on women standing for the Earth and their communities.

In response to the women’s request for international human rights institutions to call on the Ecuadorian Government to cease aggressions against people participating in the strike, and in particular against women human rights and nature’s rights defenders, we are circulating the statement of the “Women of the Strike to the Ecuadorian People and the World” (in English and Spanish), which comes directly from women on the frontlines of the ongoing ‘levantamiento’.

Please join us in showing your solidarity with women on the frontlines in defense of Mother Earth by sending your name and organization (if you have one) to submissions.wecaninternational@gmail.com with the subject line ‘Women’ to add your support to this letter. Thank You!

In solidarity,

Leila Salazar-López, Amazon Watch

Osprey-Orielle Lake, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, International (WECAN)


[ENGLISH] Women of the Strike to the Ecuadorian People and the World:
Quito, August 15, 2015

Taking into account the worrying events of violence caused by the Ecuadorian government against women human rights and nature’s rights defenders reported in the Provinces of Imbabura, Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Pastaza, Zamora and Morona Santiago, we condemn that:

Margoth Escobar, a 60 year-old woman, was violently beaten, dragged and detained by police and military agents. Subsequently, she was sentenced to pre-trial prison for 30 days where she had to fear for her safety. This was solely for having exercised her right to protest against fossil fuel extraction, and being an unconditional ally of the Amazon’s indigenous peoples. The events of which Margoth is a victim of are a perfect example of the criminalization of and systematic violence against human rights defenders in Ecuador.

Manuela Picq, a professor at the University of San Francisco of Quito (USFQ) and a respected and renowned Franco-Brazilian journalist and academic, was violently detained and ill-treated in custody by the police with her husband Carlos Pérez, President of the Kichwa Confederation of Ecuador (ECUARUNARI). She is currently detained awaiting her deportation hearing after her visa was arbitrarily revoked. This government’s sexist cruelty finds its clearest manifestation in the aggressions against Manuela Picq for her participation in social movements and for being an indigenous leader’s wife.

In Cotacachi, there are several reports of indigenous women being savagely beaten by the police. Officers have deliberately hit women participating in the marches in their intimate body parts. .

These facts demonstrate how women fighting for women’s rights and indigenous peoples’ rights have being systematically attacked, persecuted, discredited and criminalized.
Taking into account the degree of violence against women during these events:

  • We strongly condemn the sexist and criminal brutality with which the Ecuadorian government has attacked and criminalized women who have participated in the demonstrations.
  • We call on all women of the country to show their solidarity with the women of the national strike.
  • We demand that women’s rights and their families are respected, that an investigation is carried out into these human rights violations, and that the people responsible are brought to justice.
  • We demand that international human rights institutions call on the Ecuadorian government to cease these aggressions against people participating in the strike and in particular against defenders of nature and women human rights defenders.

Nina Pacari
Katy Betancourt
Carmen Lozano
Ivonne Ramos
Omari Yeti
CatalinaChumpi
Patricia Gualinga
Blanca Chancosa
Zoila Castillo
Belén Páez
Nidia Arrobo
Ena Santi
Josefina Lema
Inés Cotacachi
Lilian Herrera
Esperanza Martínez
Paulina Muñoz
Ivonne Yánez
Gabriela Ruales
Antonella Calle

[SPANISH] Mujeres del Levantamiento Nacional al Pueblo Ecuatoriano y al Mundo

Quito, 15 de agosto de 2015

Considerando los preocupantes hechos reportados desde Imbabura, Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Pastaza, Zamora y Morona Santiago, de violencia contra las mujeres defensoras de los derechos humanos y de la naturaleza desatada desde el Estado denunciamos que:

Margoth Escobar, mujer de más de 60 años de edad, fue violentamente agredida, arrastrada y detenida por agentes de la policía y militares. Posteriormente, le fue dictada la prisión preventiva por 30 días y se teme por su integridad física, únicamente por haber ejercido su derecho a la protesta contra la explotación petrolera y el extractivismo, y ser aliada incondicional de los pueblos indígenas amazónicos. Los hechos que sobre Margoth han sobrevenido son el perfecto ejemplo de la sistemática violencia contra defensores y defensoras y de la criminalización imperante en el país.

Manuela Picq, profesora universitaria de la USFQ, respetada y reconocida periodista y académica franco-brasilera, fue violentamente detenida y maltratada en custodia por la policía junto a su pareja Carlos Pérez, Presidente de la ECUARUNARI. Actualmente se encuentra detenida esperando audiencia después de que su visa fue arbitraria y infundadamente revocada. La crueldad machista de este gobierno encuentra su manifestación más clara en las agresiones a Manuela Picq por su participación en los movimientos sociales y por ser esposa de un dirigente indígena.

En Cotocachi, se tiene reportes de varias mujeres indígenas que fueron golpeadas salvajemente por la policía. Usando el equipo de dotación, los agentes de policía deliberadamente golpearon a las mujeres presentes en la marchaen sus partes íntimas.

Estos hechos demuestran cómo las mujeres que luchan por los derechos de todas las mujeres y por los derechos de los pueblos indígenas han sido sistemáticamente agredidas, perseguidas, desprestigiadas y criminalizadas.

Por el alarmante grado de violencia contra las mujeres de estos hechos:

  • Condenamos de sobremanera la brutalidad machista y criminal con la que el Estado ha agredido y criminalizado a las mujeres que han participado en el paro y levantamiento.
  • Convocamos a todas las mujeres de este país a que se solidaricen con las mujeres de la marcha.
  • Exigimos que se respeten los derechos de las mujeres y de sus familias y se investigue y sancione a los y las responsables de estas clara afrentas a los derechos de las mujeres en esta jornada nacional.
  • Demandamos a las instancias internacionales de derechos humanos que exijan al Gobierno ecuatoriano el cese inmediato de las agresiones contra los y las participantes en el paro y contra las mujeres defensoras.

Nina Pacari
Katy Betancourt
Carmen Lozano
Ivonne Ramos
Omari Yeti
CatalinaChumpi
Patricia Gualinga
Blanca Chancosa
Zoila Castillo
Belén Páez
Nidia Arrobo
Ena Santi
Josefina Lema
Inés Cotacachi
Lilian Herrera
Esperanza Martínez
Paulina Muñoz
Ivonne Yánez
Gabriela Ruales
Antonella Calle

First Solar Engineer Grandmother Moseten

FIRST SOLAR ENGINEER GRANDMOTHER FOR MOSETEN NATION IN BOLIVIA

 By: Kiyomi Nagumo and Carmen Capriles

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 Solar panel installations provides electricity to indigenous families in the Mosetén Nation.

On March 18, Maria Vani from the Mosetén nation, 53-year-old, grandmother, returned to Bolivia as the first indigenous Solar Engineer.  She was welcomed by local authorities, family and neighbors in the community of Villa Concepcion located in the north of the region of La Paz, Bolivia.

After five months at Barefoot College in India, our solar grandmother was trained in the installation and maintenance of solar panels. Maria said the assembling of components of panel parts is what she enjoyed the most.

The purpose of this program is to support sustainable development and access to renewable energy sources, such as solar, to families in rural and indigenous communities, as an alternative source of energy friendlier with the environment and at the same time less expensive.

Mrs. Maria expressed, “I never thought in my life, at my age 53, being a woman, and indigenous, that I could not do something worthwhile. But now I’m proud of myself and I know I can do everything, and I can help my community, and my people. ”

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The Solar Grandmother is proud to contribute with the development of Mosetén Nation, and specifically within her community. She is excited as she waits for the arrival of solar panels. They will provide alternative energy to those who need it most in her community.

This initiative was coordinated through the efforts of volunteers from the city of La Paz committed to climate change and sustainable development of the country and Reaction Climate, Peace Network Integration and Development (PAZINDE) in collaboration with the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN-LAC).

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PRIMERA ABUELA SOLAR POR LA NACION MOSETEN EN BOLIVIA

Por: Kiyomi Nagumo y Carmen Capriles

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 La instalación de paneles solares, brindará electricidad a familias de la Nación Indígena Mosetén  

El pasado 18 de Marzo MARIA VANI indígena de la Nación Mosetén, de 53 años de edad, abuela, retorna como la primera Ingeniera Solar Indígena de Bolivia, fue recibida por autoridades locales, familiares y vecinos en la comunidad de Villa Concepción, ubicada en el Norte del Departamento de La Paz, Bolivia.

Tras cinco meses en el Instituto de los Pies Descalzos (Barefoot College) en la India, la abuela solar fue capacitada para la instalación y mantenimiento de paneles solares, lo que más le gusto a María fue el armado de componentes, como así lo asegura.

La finalidad de este programa es apoyar en el desarrollo sostenible de familias en comunidades indígenas, con el acceso a fuentes de energías renovables como es la solar como una alternativa energética más amigable con el medio ambiente.

María expresa “Yo pensaba que nunca en mi vida, menos a mis 53 años, siendo mujer e indígena podía hacer algo y que no valía nada. Pero ahora estoy orgullosa y sé que soy capaz de hacer todo y puedo ayudar a mi pueblo y mi gente”.

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La abuela Solar orgullosa de aportar en el desarrollo de la Nación Moseten y en especial a su comunidad, está ansiosa por la llegada de los paneles solares, para poder brindar energía alternativa a los más necesitados de su comunidad.

La iniciativa fue coordinada gracias a la gestión de voluntarios de la ciudad de La Paz  de Reacción Climática y la Red Paz Integración y Desarrollo (PAZINDE) con la colaboración de la Red de Acción de Mujeres por el Clima y el Ambiente (WECAN-LAC), todos comprometidos con el cambio climático y el desarrollo del país.

Women Are Half Of The Population, Policies Must Reflect This!

WECAN Latin American Coordinator Statement for the 5th meeting, Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations 

(Declaration Session) – U.N. General Assembly

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2015 is a historical year, first because the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) agenda comes to an end with its ups and downs, achievements and lessons learned. On the other hand, new agendas are being drafted to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and to finalize a global climate agreement in Paris. New finance for a development agenda is on the table and while the process is surely flawed, we want to do all that we can within the process to help the least developed countries, and in that sense, it is important to highlight the need to include a women’s rights perspective. In order to do so it is necessary to understand that women’s rights, women’s empowerment and participation are key to achieve positive development that can become a game-changer in the complex social, economic and environmental panorama that we are facing.

Therefore is important to make the voices of all women especially those in forgotten places, like small and indigenous communities or small towns in rural areas included in this new agenda. The needs of women and their solutions must be taken into account in order to really draft an agenda that leaves no one behind. Many of the women we represent live in poverty conditions , have low access to education, produce their own food, are left on their own to face the drastic impacts of climate change, face pollution from mining and oil industries and are witnesses to the loss of their lands and forests. They experience all of this without having any benefit for themselves or their children and while sadly earning a legacy of poverty as they lose their ways of life.

Kiyomi Nagumo as Coordinator of WECAN Latin America Region participated in a session for the drafting of the declaration for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) calling on Governments and States to take into account that women are half of all populations and therefore half of the world and they should not be ignored or forgotten but should be instead at the core of the new POST2015 – Sustainable Development Agenda.  In order to really shift the catastrophic path our society is aiming toward , which includes the ongoing oppression of women and building a cruel economic structure based on their bodies and perpetuating their poverty, we must have women’s empowerment and full representation at the forefront.

The following statement calls for a strong reflection upon the needs of a system change and to realize that it is time to stop profiting from women’s poverty and to create a new environment where women can truly realize themselves as persons and not take them for granted as objects,  property or mere commodities. Women are life-givers not only in the sense of motherhood but also the ones that protect and nourish the seeds and the animals. Many women are already leading their communities against all odds and with further education and access to resources and the true benefits of their work they can became even stronger leaders that can help create better societies based on solidarity and understanding of nature and natural laws.


February 20, 2015 Session of the SDGs

Speaker: Kiyomi Nagumo (WECAN-WECF)

Thank you Mr. Chair (Mr. Facilitator), authorities, and colleges

Good morning, my name is Kiyomi Nagumo, speaking on behalf of the Women`s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) and Women of Europe for a Common Future (WECF)

Although many countries have tried to generate policies to eradicate structural violence against women, we must acknowledge that the structures of abuse cannot be eliminated if we do not recognize that we live in a patriarchal system where we, women, are assumed as an object and that the regulatory, social, legal and economic structures are based on our bodies. Therefore part of the global economy is the result of the unpaid work we do.

However, we have seen a failure to include women in spaces (seats) of power, wrongly thinking that empowerment will come with only a name or percentage within decision making spaces. Talking about the empowerment of women has a great responsibility because it becomes necessary to work with legal recognition and social recognition.

If we really want a change and impact the political landscape effectively , we must acknowledge that women are half of the world, therefore half the planet.

Establishing specifically equitable access to land tenure and natural resource policies is essential, since the policy or established standards are not sufficient and the necessary control mechanisms to carrying them out do not exist. Because without equitable access, women cannot access spaces of local, regional, national and  international decision-making.

We are aware that the least developed countries, indigenous peoples, intercultural communities and rural communities and women suffer from droughts, floods, hail, pests, so it is necessary to establish mechanisms to adapt to the changing weather conditions.

We are convinced that there is no person, organization, community, province, region or nation who can solve the problem of climate change and sustainable development alone, so it is vital that international commitments do not remain neglected and that governments respond to the same level of urgency.

Sustainable development goes hand in hand with the empowerment of women and of women’s movement. Women can contribute to, and influence local and international governance in order to generate policies, raise climate measures and sustainable solutions,  ensure respect and sovereignty of our people. In this way women and indigenous communities can design and determine their own future, drafting a new course ensuring coexistence and living well in relationship with the environment.

States should take into account that it is time to achieve global cooperation, coordination and an understanding of a diversity of peoples and cultures by taking into account that there are intercultural regulatory, economic and social plural systems.

Therefore, the Declaration of the post-2015 agenda needs countries to commit to the rights of half the planet, women,  and ensure women’s rights are guaranteed and implemented,  and are consistent with climate justice agreements.

Thank you very much!

Kiyomi Nagumo, WECAN Coordinator for Latin American Region , with  Carmen Capriles, Reacción Climática Bolivia


Spanish Statement:

Muy buenos Días, Mi nombre es Kiyomi Nagumo, hablo en nombre de la Red por la tierra y el Clima (WECAN) y WECF

A pesar de que muchos países han tratado de generar políticas para erradicar la violencia estructural contra la mujer. Tenemos que tener en cuenta que las estructuras de maltrato no pueden ser eliminadas si no estamos consientes de que vivimos en un sistema patriarcal, que las mujeres somos asumidas como un objeto y que las construcciones normativas, sociales, jurídicas y económicas se basan en nuestros cuerpos. Por lo tanto parte de la economía mundial es fruto del trabajo impago que realizamos.

Sin embargo, existe una falla al incluir a las mujeres en estrados de poder. las mujeres somos la mitad de cada pueblo, por ende la mitad del planeta. Si queremos realmente ser tomadas en cuenta, no únicamente necesitamos políticas para el empoderamiento denominativo o porcentual, se debe impulsar el par político de manera efectiva.

Establecer políticas equitativa sobre el acceso a la tenencia de tierras y los recursos naturales, no son suficientes es necesario q existan mecanismos de control, y ejecución de las mismas. Ya que sin ellos, nosotras no podemos acceder a espacios de tomas de decisión locales, regionales, nacionales y hasta internacionales.

Estamos conscientes de el impacto de cambio climatico es mas severo en comunidades campesinas, y sobre todo a las indígenas, por lo tanto es necesario establecer mecanismos para poder adaptarnos a situaciones de clima cambiantes. “Si el planeta está mal, nosotras nos llevamos la peor parte”

Estamos convencidas que ninguna persona, organización, comunidad, provincia, región o nación es capaz de resolver el problema del cambio climático y lograr un desarrollo sostenible por sí solo, por eso es trascendental que los compromisos internacionales no sigan siendo postergados y que los gobiernos respondan a la escala de urgencia.

El desarrollo sostenible va de la mano con el empoderamiento del movimiento de mujeres, nosotras podemos aportar e incidir en la gobernanza local e internacional con el fin de generar políticas, plantear medidas climáticas y soluciones sostenibles. Para garantizar el respeto y la soberanía de nuestras poblaciones, para que estas puedan diseñar y determinar su propio futuro, trazar un nuevo rumbo garantizando el vivir bien en coexistencia y relación con el medio ambiente.

Por eso, la Declaración de la agenda post-2015 necesita q los países se comprometan que los derechos de la mitad de la planeta estén garantizadas e implementadas, a demás, que estén en concordancia con el acuerdo del clima.

Muchas gracias

Kiyomi Nagumo, WECAN Coordinator for Latin American Region and Carmen Capriles, Reacción Climática Bolivia

Statement of the Meeting of Women on Climate Change and Extractive Industry Issues/ Declaracion del Encuentro de Mujeres Frente Al Extractivismo y al Cambio Climatico

On October 14, 2014, a group of women leaders gathered for ‘the Meeting of Women on Climate Change and Extractive Industry Issues’ in Quito, Ecuador. During powerful presentations and discussions, these Indigenous women and their allies spoke out against the fossil fuel and mineral extraction which is poisoning the Earth and the mental, spiritual, and physical health of their communities. Denouncing false development paradigms and territorial dispossession, the women ultimately gave voice to their concerns and solutions in the ‘Statement of the Meeting of Women on Climate Change and Extractive Industry Issues’ (Declaración del Encuentro de Mujeres Frente al Extractivismo y al Cambio Climático).

The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International) stands in solidarity with these women, and is working to help distribute and increase the visibility of their statement during the mobilization surrounding the UNFCCC COP20 climate negotiations happening in Lima, Peru this week. On December 8, WECAN International will collaborate with members of the delegation of Ecuadorian women who have brought the statement to Peru, reading and discussing the document as part of the ‘Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change-Lima’ event.

The full declaration is presented below in Spanish and English.

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Photo by Felipe Jacome


Statement of the Meeting of Women on Climate Change & Extractive Industry Issues

Quito, Ecuador. October 14, 2014

“It is when there are great threats to life, when life itself is at stake, this is when women who seemed marginal rise with all their might, it is with all their commitment, all their resistance, all their energy, this is what is now happening with the daughters of corn, with the daughters of the earth.” -Vandana Shiva

One way to exploit nature is through the extraction of oil and minerals, which uses huge amounts of water while it contaminates and produces toxic waste; these chemicals also sicken the soil and people. When oil and mining companies reach the territories, they cause big problems- they break the community ties and replace them with conflicts within the families, the division of communities, and leave confrontations between them. The damage caused by these extractive activities are for the long term, and last much longer than the economic profit they say to generate.

Women in the areas considered oil zones, suffer the impacts of extractive activities in our bodies; we have reported the increase of gastrointestinal, respiratory and dermic, diseases, the growing cancer in our bodies and in our families. Women are wise when we say that “we do not want alcoholism, we do not want prostitution and we do not want men beating us. We do not want a life in which even though we can be offered schools, latrines or zinc houses, we do not feel worthy”, as pointed out by Patricia Gualinga, leader of the Kichwa people of Sarayaku, in reference to the consequences that Oil Round XI would bring to their lives. With oil and mining activities agricultural products also decrease due to pollution, animals die, there is loss of growing crop areas, affecting the livelihoods of families and the community.

With oil and mining expansion, the dispossession of lands and territories of peasant and indigenous communities has intensified. Throughout this process of dispossession there has not only been violated and ignored social, economic and collective rights of peoples, but also, there has also been a physical and cultural wiped out of entire villages in order to take away their lands and exploit oil and minerals. An example of this, is the disappearance of the Tetete and Sansaguari people. And, women are one of the groups who suffer the most with the stripping of their rights and territories.

Our presence as women in socio-environmental struggles has gained prominence, allowing to denounce the exploitation of oil, minerals, and the exploitation of women. All these forms of exploitation have a common origin: the subjection to a development model that subordinates life to the accumulation of capital expressed in extractivism, that devalues, in practice, the conservation work and the care for life and natural heritage that, for centuries, women have done in these rural communities. Besides defending life, water and land, we ensure the health of families, food sovereignty, the rights and defense of Mother Earth by facing the capitalist system that is expressed in the predatory extractivism, that is inequitable, unjust, and that ignores women and prioritizes the reproduction of capital above the reproduction of life.

While it is true that the degradation and pollution processes affect the community as a whole, there exists greater vulnerability in women, children and the elderly due to direct exposure to pollutants and for not knowing the risk factors associated with them. The impacts of extractive activities alter the reproductive life cycle, whose regeneration rests on the shoulders of women. This is why we have the challenge to build the true “good living” recovering the memory of our peoples, where women play an important role to rebuild the future.

Today, women affected by oil and mining gather together. We are the women who fight tirelessly against the threat of mining expansion with the Mirador Project in Zamora Chinchipe; the San Carlos Panantza project in Morona Santiago; We, as women of different communities, are threatened with evictions from our territory in Intag by the Llurimagua project; We are women who face the violence of militarization of our territories as much as of our children, cousins, parents; we are women who are criminalized for resisting the mining project in Quimsacocha because we defend our water and life; We are Amazon women who walked from the jungle to the Ecuadorian capital to demand the government to stop oil exploitation in Shiwiar, Kichwa and Sapara territories and the exploitation of Yasuni; The women who gather today, represent the peoples who confront the evident disregard of the rights of indigenous peoples, peasants and the Pachamama.

THIS IS WHY WOMEN IN QUITO, GATHER AT THE MEETING OF WOMEN AND EXTRACTIVISM TO DEMAND REAL SOLUTIONS:

We do not want development alternatives that have meant the extinction of cultures and people; This is a development of death, of destruction, focused on exploitation, mainly of oil and minerals. This development has no future, we know it because we have already lived it for over 500 years. We have the alternative to development.

Therefore, we propose:

  • To recover food sovereignty
  • To recover water sovereignty
  • To recover energy sovereignty, which means the recovering of Mother Earth as a nutrient of our bodies, of our people
  • To produce to generate healthy food for the Good Living

So we are fighting for minerals to remain in the subsoil and for the oil from the Amazon to remain unexploded. These are the real solutions to climate change and a way to preserve our biodiversity, which is our true wealth.

And, this is also a way to demand reciprocity from urban areas, from which we have traditionally been victim of racism, from which we have been denied our rights, our cultures; now we propose and recognize that, mutually, it is necessary a common look of the different territories including urban ones to generate greater ties of integrated work.

WE HAVE THE REAL SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE.

WE DO NOT WANT DEVELOPMENT, WE HAVE OUR WEALTH AND LIFESTYLE THAT ARE RESPECTFUL OF LIFE AND NATURE.

Testimonies collected in “Life in the center and the oil underground: The Yasuní in feminist key” from Collective Critical Perspectives of the Territory from Feminism. 2014.


Declaración del Encuentro de Mujeres Frente al Extractivismo y al Cambio Climático

Quito, Ecuador. 14 de octubre de 2014

 “Es cuando hay grandes amenazas a la vida, cuando la vida misma está en juego, que las mujeres que parecían marginadas se levantan con todas sus fuerzas, con todo su compromiso, toda su resistencia, con toda su energía, es lo que ahora esta ocurriendo con las hijas del maíz, con las hijas de la tierra.” -Vandana Shiva

Una forma de explotar a la naturaleza es la extracción de petróleo y minerales que utiliza enormes cantidades de agua y la contamina pues produce desechos tóxicos; estos químicos enferman también a los suelos y a la gente. Las empresas petroleras y mineras cuando llegan a los territorios causan grandes problemas, rompen el tejido comunitario y lo reemplazan con conflictos en las familias, la división de comunidades, la confrontación entre unos y otros. Los daños producidos por estas actividades extractivas son a largo plazo, y duran mucho más que las utilidades económicas que dicen generar.

Las mujeres de las zonas petroleras sufrimos los impactos de las actividades extractivas en nuestros cuerpos; hemos denunciado el aumento de enfermedades gastrointestinales, respiratorias, dérmicas, el cáncer que crece en nuestros cuerpos y en nuestras familias. Las mujeres somos sabias cuando decimos que “no queremos alcoholismo, no queremos que haya prostitución, no queremos que los hombres nos golpeen. No queremos esta vida que, por más que nos ofrezcan escuelas, letrinas o casas de zinc, no nos haga sentir dignas”, como bien señala Patricia Gualinga lideresa del pueblo kichwa de Sarayaku haciendo referencia a las consecuencias que la XI Ronda Petrolera traería a sus vidas. Con las actividades petroleras y mineras también disminuyen los productos agrícolas debido a la contaminación, hay muerte de los animales, pérdida de zonas de cultivo, afectándose las fuentes de sustento de las familias y de la comunidad.

Con la ampliación petrolera y minera se ha intensificado el despojo de tierras y de los territorios de las comunidades campesinas e indígenas. Con este proceso de despojo no sólo se han vulnerado y desconocido los derechos sociales, económicos y colectivos de los pueblos sino que se ha exterminado pueblos enteros física y culturalmente para arrebatarles su tierras y explotar petróleo y minerales Un ejemplo es la desaparición de los pueblos Tetete y Sansaguari. Las mujeres sufren más con el despojo de los derechos y de sus territorios.

Nuestra presencia como mujeres en las luchas socio-ambientales ha cobrado protagonismo, esto ha permitido denunciar que la explotación de minerales, del petróleo, así como la explotación de las mujeres. Todas estas formas de explotación tienen un origen común: el sometimiento a un modelo de desarrollo que subordina la vida a la acumulación del capital expresado en el extractivismo que desvaloriza, en la práctica, el trabajo de conservación y cuidado de la vida y del patrimonio natural que durante siglos hemos realizado las mujeres en estas comunidades rurales. Nosotras además de defender la vida, el agua, el territorio, velamos por la salud de la familias, por la soberanía alimentaria, por los derechos y la defensa de la madre Tierra haciéndole frente al sistema capitalista que se expresa en el extractivismo depredador y que es inequitativo, injusto, ignora a las mujeres, prioriza la reproducción del capital por encima de la reproducción de la vida.

Si bien es cierto que los procesos de degradación y contaminación afectan a la comunidad en su conjunto, existe mayor vulnerabilidad en mujeres, niños y niñas y personas de la tercera edad, debido a la exposición directa a los contaminantes y al desconocimiento de los principales factores de riesgo asociados a ellos. Los impactos de las actividades extractivas alteran el ciclo de reproducción de la vida, cuya regeneración recae sobre las espaldas de las mujeres. Por eso Tenemos el desafío de construir el verdadero “buen vivir” recuperando la memoria de nuestros pueblos, ahí las mujeres jugamos un rol importante para reconstruir el futuro.

Hoy nos juntamos mujeres afectadas por petróleo y minería. Mujeres que luchan incansablemente contra la amenaza de la expansión minera con el Proyecto Mirador en Zamora Chinchipe, el proyecto Panantza San Carlos en Morona Santiago; estamos mujeres de comunidades amenazadas de ser expulsadas de su territorio en Intag por el proyecto Llurimagua; mujeres que nos enfrentamos a la violencia de la militarización tanto sobre nuestros territorios como sobre nuestro hijos, primos hermanos, padres; mujeres que somos criminalizadas por resistir a la minería en Quimsacocha, porque defendemos el agua y la vida; mujeres amazónicas que caminaron desde la selva a la capital ecuatoriana para demandar al gobierno la no explotación petrolera en los territorios Shiwiar, Kichwa, Sápara y por la No explotación del Yasuní; nos juntamos hoy mujeres de pueblos que dan la cara ante la evidente vulneración de los derechos de los pueblos indígenas, campesinos y de la Pachamama.

POR ESO LAS MUJERES REUNIDAS EN QUITO EN EL ENCUENTRO DE MUJERES Y EXTRACTIVISMO DEMANDAMOS VERDADERAS SOLUCIONES:

No queremos alternativas de desarrollo que han significado extinción de las culturas y los pueblos; este es un desarrollo de muerte, de destrucción, centrado en la explotación, principalmente de petróleo y minerales. Este desarrollo no tiene futuro, lo sabemos porque ya lo hemos vivido desde hace más de 500 años. Nosotras tenemos la alternativa al desarrollo.

Por eso PLANTEAMOS:

  • recuperar la soberanía alimentaria
  • recuperar a soberanía hídrírca
  • recuperar la soberanía energética , es decir
  • recuperar a la madre tierra como nutriente de nuestros cuerpos, de nuestra gente
  • producir para generar alimentos sanos para el Buen Vivir

Por eso estamos luchando para que los minerales se queden en el subsuelo, y que el petróleo de la amazonía se quede si explotar. Estas son las verdaderas soluciones al cambio climático y una forma de conservar nuestra biodiversidad que es nuestra verdadera riqueza.

Así también demandamos la reciprocidad de los pueblos urbanos, de los que tradicionalmente hemos recibido racismo, negación hacia nuestros derechos, nuestras culturas; ahora planteamos reconocernos mutuamente para generar mayores lazos de trabajo conjunto, un mirada común de los distintos territorios incluido el urbano.

NOSOTRAS TENEMOS LAS VERDADERAS SOLUCIONES AL CAMBIO CLIMÁTICO

NOSOTRAS NO QUEREMOS DESARROLLO, YA TENEMOS NUESTRA RIQUEZA Y FORMAS DE VIDA QUE SON RESPETUOSAS DE LA VIDA Y LA NATURALEZA

Testimonios recogidos en “La vida en el centro y el crudo bajo tierra: El Yasuní en clave feminista” del Colectivo Miradas Críticas del Territorio desde el Feminismo. 2014.

In Photos: Amazon Women on the Frontlines of Climate Change Impacts and Solutions

Women around the world are experiencing the impacts of a changing climate on a daily basis. While they remain disproportionately impacted by interwoven environmental degradation and social injustice, these women are increasingly taking the lead in the movement for climate change solutions that address the root causes of this crisis and move towards a just and healthy world.

SkyReach_©CBennett

Photo by Caroline Bennett

In the Ecuadorian Amazon, groups of women are rising with fierce determination, taking direct action to protect their communities and families, diverse cultural and ecologic heritage, and Pachamama, Mother Earth. After decades of fossil fuel and mineral extraction in their homeland, these women have made a bold call to end the destruction; keep the oil in the soil.

Amazon Women on the Frontlines of Climate Change is a photo series seeking to provide a lens into the lives and stories of some of these women leaders. Workshops held with Kichwa, Shiwiar, Sápara, and Waorani women in the Ecuadorian Amazon helped produce these “speaking” images, which combine portraiture with written testimonies, hand-painted by the woman in the border around her photograph. In these self-reflections, the women speak on their culture, history, traditions, struggles, and reasons for fighting oil extraction in their ancestral lands.

Amazon Women on the Frontlines of Climate Change was created by Ecuadorian photographer, Felipe Jácome, and Amazon Watch Editorial Director and Chief Storyteller, Caroline Bennett, as part of a project jointly sponsored by the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International), Amazon Watch, and Acción Ecológica.

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Photo by Caroline Bennett

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Portrait series by Felipe Jacome. View more of his incredible work at http://www.felipejacome.com

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Photo by Caroline Bennett

Select prints will continue to be shown as part of a traveling photography exhibit, bringing the stories and solutions of these indigenous women to audiences within the Amazonian region and across the world. On December 8, 2014, photos will be featured at WECAN International’s ‘Women Leading Solutions of the Frontlines of Climate Change-Lima’ event in Peru, with more information available here.

photo exhibit in Coca

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Blog by Osprey Orielle Lake (WECAN International Executive Director) and Emily Arasim (Special Projects & Communications Coordinator)