Brazilian women active in the environmental struggle took the floor at the “Women in climate action” event, the first in the “Brazil Climate Hub” pavilion at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh.
By Emanuele Rippa
This morning the first event of the “Brazil Climate Hub” pavilion was held at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh. The event, focused on the theme of women in climate action, saw a long list of speakers from different peoples and backgrounds, all strongly committed to the fight against the exploitation and destruction of natural areas.
The panel began with a powerful speech by one of the leaders of the indigenous Krenak people of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The leader spoke at length about the importance of stopping talking only about the Amazon and instead starting to think about biomes. There are six biomes in the Brazilian territory and it is extremely important to consider them all in the challenge against extractionism, deforestation and violence against indigenous communities.
The leader said: “When people only talk about the Amazon are killing me, because I come from the Atlantic forest”, following this, she asked to introduce a financial fund not only for the Amazon rainforest, but for all biomes.
She then went on to talk about the memory of indigenous peoples and specifically of her people, one of the oldest still present in the state of Minas Gerais, one of the poorest areas of the country. She also recalled 2015, the year in which her people were victims of an environmental disaster, caused by a large mining company, which “killed” the rivers of her community by polluting them.
The speech was then concluded with the singing, alternating between the leader and the audience, of a song in the language of the Krenak people.
A plenary session followed, where 4 activists talked about their visions and their struggles to increase the inclusion of the least listened to voices in the debate on the climate crisis. A topic shared by all was that of the importance of allowing the most affected people to occupy spaces for their debates at major events such as the COP or in the squares of large cities, to give space to a narrative different from that of the countries of the north of the world. In this regard, a general call to action was launched, with the request to amplify the voices of the most affected people, in order to give space to the narratives of indigenous peoples.
One of the most emotionally powerful moments was in the speech of Val Munduruku, representative of the IPLC (Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities), who said that the women of her people no longer want to get pregnant, because they know that their baby would be born in a contaminated environment. To give new hope to hers and to other peoples, Val Munduruku said, it is essential to fight against mines, deforestation and the contamination of the environment.
Obviously there was no lack of references to the importance of the results of the last elections, Selma Dealdina, belonging to the Quilambola people and representative of the “Movimento Negro”, in fact spoke of it stating: “we have removed Mr. Bolsonaro from office and this is essential for us to breathe, it is a matter of freedom. Now it is important to bring Brazil back in line with the global agenda”. But this agenda needs to be “darkened” to give importance to all peoples, Selma says, because for too long her people have fought these challenges in the invisibility of agendas. At the end of her talk Selma affirmed that it is not possible to see the future without their territories protected, even from some of the companies sponsoring this COP.
In conclusion, the speakers came together with the presenter to a common conclusion, a statement that contains their hopes for the future:
“The future is feminine;
The future is shared;
The future is ethnically rich and diverse;
The future is territorial;
The future is for the climate ”.