World leaders are meeting this week at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow to agree stronger pledges to stop the world warming to dangerous levels.
Leadership failure on climate change will affect everyone on Earth. For the most affected people and areas around the world, it already has – but these people are often excluded from the conversation. Here are the voices world leaders should be listening to at COP26.
“A system change is urgently needed to deal with the global climate crisis! By guaranteeing the rights of Indigenous Peoples, a healthy future for all of humanity is also guaranteed! Without climate justice and greater ambition by countries, we will not move forward with solutions.”
Sônia Guajajara is the leader of APIB – the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, an Indigenous activist, environmentalist and politician.
“My people, like most Indigenous Peoples in Brazil, have lived through the most insidious period of aggression against our rights and our lives. The attacks come from all sides, but mainly from the Brazilian state, led by a cruel ecocidal and genocidal president. We feel it under our skin – the effects of the destruction of our lands and the loss of rights which we gained through decades of struggle.
“The world definitely needs to understand that we, Indigenous Peoples, are the true guardians of the forests. There is no solution to the environmental crisis that does not involve amplifying our voices in all spaces. We need our lands to be protected from all greed, as they are a reserve of the future.
“Without Indigenous land there is no life, therefore there is no future.”