What do you do then, when you live in a country that has some of the best environmental and indigenous people’s laws, but the State itself bluntly violate them? And what do you do, when you spend substantial financial resources to file cases against corporations and exploiters of the common good, but the judicial system is so slow and ineffective that nothing will happen anyway.
We see countries in the West to discuss in terms of Celsius degrees, when referring to the effort of lessening the impact of climate change, but during such high profile international meetings now one raises his/her hand and remind to other participants that, while such theoretical calculations are taking place, the last remaining expanses of natural forest in the global south continue to be felled down not only to feed local corrupted tycoons, but also to respond to the necessities of the West itself (palm oil, minerals, cash crops, fodder crops, etc.). Developing countries have a stake in what is happening to our environments, but they fail to make a direct linkage between their economic model and the impact that this is having in the global south. This hypocritical approach fails to address the root-causes of environmental destruction. To suggest that a change from fossil fuels to clean energy alone can revert the trend is unrealistic. Instead, the reality is that the current trend will not be reverted as long the Western model of development becomes (and has already become) our own model. This is the standard we want to emulate. So by imitating this model, with the poor technology we have here in developing countries, we simply end up bringing to the environment the same havoc that industrial revolution brought to the West. Adaptation and resilience are nice words, but it is difficult, especially for us indigenous peoples, to adapt and cope when the changes and transformations taking place right now, are so rapid and powerful. Sometimes we feel that such transformations are just like a full loaded truck passing over our own bodies, flattening us and making impossible for us even to stand up. But, at the end, we will have to stand up – no matter how – because it is our future, the future of our own children that is at stake. And if we do not stand up for them, nobody will.