In times of pandemic, ecocide and genocide, it is urgent to recognize indigenous peoples, who defend 80% of the planet’s remaining biodiversity, as living alternatives to the climate crisis.

That is why, in November 2021, a diverse delegation from different indigenous nations in Abya Yala (Latin America), mainly women, will attend COP-26. They aim to seed other narratives on climate change and on our future as humans. 

Despite the structural inequalities that prevent indigenous land defenders from attending these “high-level” spaces, we decided to make this journey with our own means, and in alliance with different climate justice organizations. We will cross all over the Atlantic Ocean towards Sumil K’ Ajxemk’ Op (Europe) in order to deliver a message. From the epicenter of capitalism and colonialism, we want the whole world to hear: the struggle for Mother Earth is the Mother of all struggles.

The climate crisis is already here and its effects are accelerating. Droughts, forest fires, acidification of the sea, melting of the poles, mass extinction of species, famines, pandemics, forced displacement of millions of people, etc. The climate crisis is today the greatest challenge we face as human beings. That is why the responsibility of our present is to make from the future a territory to defend.

The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) could be the most important climate change global convention in years, where governments from around the world will take big decisions. Unfortunately, as the current state of the crisis demonstrates, Nation States and transnational corporations have been unable to stop the catastrophe, as they privilege economic growth over life.

Recent research shows that 92% of the responsibility for the climate crisis lies in the rich countries and elites from Global North, which base their production and consumption patterns on the destruction of the Mother Earth and the genocide of those of us who defend it. Climate justice means stopping the extermination immediately.

Defenders of the Earth will create a bridge between indigenous communities who are on the front lines of the climate struggle defending our future, and different social movements, organizations and international meetings that are willing to shift paradigms to address the climate crisis.

We have a message to you from a more hopeful future, one in which we managed to stop the current climate and civilizational catastrophe. The solutions to these crises were not space travels or the colonization of other planets, they were not the great negotiations among the most powerful people either.  The solution was in the organization from below: those of us who are close to Mother Earth. 

It was not easy, but it was possible. In 2021 we assumed the urgency to stop prompting extermination with consumerism, and we began to heal ourselves with the Earth. In 2021 it became clear that the future is not negotiable, the future is to be defended. In 2021 we realized that the alternatives to the climate crisis were always here, living in the people who care for life on Earth. In 2021 we recognized the science of ancestral knowledge that has allowed us to live in reciprocity with our lands for thousands of years.

In 2021 we assumed  the responsibility to understand that nature is our condition of existence. And the struggle for Mother Earth is the mother of all struggles.

Donate: in the ko-fi campaign to support the ‘Defenders of the Earth’ delegation with travel, lodging, quarantine and food expenses to attend COP26.

Amplify: our message and demands. ‘Defenders of the Earth’ aims to recognize indigenous peoples who defend the land as living alternatives to the climate crisis.

Denounce: environmental racism. Help us to demand COP26 badges for the ‘Defenders of the Earth’ delegation, and denounce the environmental apartheid imposed to the Global South.

With the support of:

We wholeheartedly thank Tatiana Tagle, Candela Cibria, Vladimir Chorny, Martha Angelica Soriano Sanchez, Raquel Anta Barragan, Stephanie de la O Pérez, Jazmin Reyes, Daniela Becerra Romo, Aurora Teresa Hevia Rocha, Jael de la Luz García. Y a todas las personas y organizaciones que se han solidarizado con esta iniciativa.

Note on environmental racism:

The territories safeguarded by indigenous peoples are the living systems that contribute the most to mitigating the climate crisis. Despite that, we, the Defenders of the Earth, are also some of the most affected groups by environmental racism. An example of that is COP26 dynamic. COP26 is supposed to be an inclusive space, but historically it has been  exclusive to corporations, governments and organizations registered on a short and closed list. In addition, the host country (United Kingdom) has imposed severe travel restrictions for most countries in the Global South, making it impossible for those of us without money and badges to attend, which creates some sort of environmental apartheid. 

Even so, in the face of the civilization and climate emergency we have decided to go to COP26 in alliance with youth collectives, organized society, alternative spaces that are building other possible futures, and with you if you decide to join us.