Pachamama Supports Indigenous Voice at Recent World Social Forum in Brazil

February 01, 2009 | By The Pachamama Alliance

Earlier this month, 1300 hundred indigenous people from 50 countries and 390 distinct indigenous groups, representing nearly 3 million people, came together in Belem do Para, Brasil for the World Social Forum. They had a series of intense meetings and debates that analyzed the current situation of indigenous groups in the Amazon and other regions. They affirmed the rights that they have as sovereign nations under the UN Declaration of the Indigenous Rights (UNDRIP), which should be respected by other civilizations or cultures. They acknowledged their contribution to the diversity and wealth of nations, and they condemned any socially unjust doctrine or practice based on racial differences, culture or religion. They, therefore, demanded the demarcation and title of their ancestral territories and denounced the violent deaths that have occurred over the years for defending their territories and rights. Other subjects such as deforestation, contamination of land and water, and the loss of ecosystems, identity and culture were also debated in the Forum.

Fundacion Pachamama Director, Belén Paez, participated in the Forum and worked closely with Amazon Watch and Amazon Alliance to create other important spaces and dialogues that covered climate change, IRSSA (plan to connect entire Amazon through exploitive mega projects), and REDD (carbon credits for forest conservation). An important accomplishment during this trip was that COICA (Pueblos Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica – the umbrella confederation of all indigenous people of the Amazon) asked Fundación Pachamama to accompany and support them in the processes of strengthening their organization.

Part of the work during the past year and particularly during the Forum was to fortify the alliances of the Amazon region between Non-Governmental Organizations and indigenous movements. Fundación Pachamama was there to support the indigenous voice and also financed the trip of an indigenous delegation. Another impressive accomplishment was the creation of a human banner made up of more than a thousand people that sent the message ¨SOS Amazon¨ to the world. This was possible thanks to the efforts of Alianza Amazónica, Amazon Watch and Fundación Pachamama. To see the video for this event, click here...