by Justine Teba, published on The Red Nation, October 23, 2021
Global Encounter of Peoples in Favor of Mother Earth and Against the Climate Crisis
Topic 1. Facing the climate crises structurally from the perspective of the peoples.
Topic 2. Urgent calling of Mother Earth to combat the climate crisis.
Topic 3. Integral actions to combat the climate crisis and in defense of Life.
Topic 4. Community of Life defenders against the climate crisis.
Topic 5. The Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.
Global Encounter of Peoples in Favor of Mother Earth and Against the Climate Crisis
We are children of our Mother Earth, and as such we must take care of her and protect her, respecting her rights and fulfilling our duties and obligations to protect Mother Earth as a living and sacred being.
The climate crisis is one of the gravest global threats that we face in the defense of life, which places our own existence and of our Mother Earth’s at risk.
The current anthropocentric model, which places human beings above nature and other living beings, has produced the current climate crisis and it is modifying the vital cycles of Mother Earth, causing the collapse of many ecosystems, the extinction of species, the change of ways of life of hundreds of millions of people all over the world, expanding hunger and poverty in the world and an increasing climate migration.
We express the urgency of building a new civilizing horizon based on Living Well cosmo-biocentric vision where human beings live in harmony with all living beings of our Mother Earth and the need to put forward a new civilizing horizon that defends the community of life and the coexisting in harmony with nature.
We cannot support an implementation modality based on the Paris Accords that condemns our Mother Earth to a sixth massive extinction and the disappearance of a great part of humanity, in favor of the greed of capitalist developed countries and their corporations. Thus, we demand that the climate negotiations within the framework of the coming COP of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have to be transparent, balanced, with countries protagonist and with effective participation of civil society, creating the conditions for this to happen.
Thereby, the Global Encounter of Peoples for our Mother Earth and against the Climate Crisis, proposes the following measures and actions to curb the climate disruption and restoring the balance with our Mother Earth.
1. Facing the Climate Crisis Structurally From the Perspective of the Peoples.
In the modern-western world, human beings have invested themselves on destroying Mother Earth under the principles of the capitalist model, by standing above other living beings that are inhabitants of the planet, creating an anthropocentric civilization model, based in consumerism and the unconscionable desire for wealth accumulation above all else.
The capitalist model does not recognize nor respects Mother Earth as a rights bearer subject, for this system, she is a simple object and commodity under its dominion and control, from which it can fulfill its desires for wealth unlimited accumulation.
Humanity, the world, our planet earth, our Mother Earth are going through multiple global crises, expressed in energy, financial, water and food systems, institutional, values, spiritual, climate, health crises. Everything is at risk, our rivers are at risk, our mountains are at risk, animals are at risk, life itself in the world is at risk.
It is imperative to build a new cosmo-biocentric model, alternative to anthropocentrism that considers the following:
- Denouncing modern colonialism, green economy colonialism and market colonialism, that are being imposed by developed countries, allowing corporations transnational enterprises derived from climate crisis.
- Recognizing that in order to face climate crisis, we must dismantle the predatory capitalist model that is the structural cause of the climate change that affects all life systems and living beings of Mother Earth.
- Advancing in the defense of Mother Earth through the non-commodification of nature and the recognition of its rights.
- Recognizing that the rights of human beings cannot affect the rights that other beings have and the necessity of advancing beyond human rights towards the recognition and effective exercise of the rights of Mother Earth.
- Emphasizing that nature is not an object, rather a subject, that it is a person that feels, that can be enliven, affective and that goes to great lengths to always give more life to her children. Animals and plants are our sisters and brothers, because we together constitute a great family of life within Mother Earth.
- Expressing that the only long-lasting and definite solution against the global climate crisis is establishing a planetary civilizing horizon of Living Well in harmony with Mother Earth, that substitutes the anthropocentric model based on unlimited exploitation of nature and human beings.
2. Urgent Calling of Mother Earth To Combat the Climate Crisis.
We denounce the global imperial policies based on weaponry systems, war, dispossession and humiliation of indigenous peoples, the irrational exploitation of nature and the new colonization of countries and peoples of the south that comes from the climate crisis. In the same way, we express that the anthropocentric model and the capitalist world system hold the main responsibility on the current climate crisis and the growing increase of the global temperature.
Nowadays there is a huge gap between what it is required for the planet in relation to the emissions reduction and the climate action taken by countries, specifically developed countries that must assume the historic responsibility leading the actions to face the dire world crisis.
There are many important topics we must reflect on from the perspective of the peoples and countries committed to Mother Earth to combat the climate crisis and take care of Mother Earth:
- Limiting the increasing of temperatures to 1.5° is an urgent task in defense of life on Mother Earth, sharing what is left of the existing global carbon budget equally between countries and taking in consideration the accumulative historic emissions.
- Expressing the fact that it is not fair nor equitable that the developed countries in order to limit the increasing of temperature, impose the developing countries a responsibility of the same magnitude, pretending to transfer the climate crisis responsibilities to the developing countries and its peoples. Therefore, we promote the creation of the International Tribunal on Climate Justice to promote a just, equitable solution to the climate crisis.
- Demanding that the developed countries must come through with a payment for the historic climate debt to developing countries, due to being responsible for the the current climate crisis and its effects.
- Denouncing that far from denoting climate ambition, the goal of “zero net” emissions by 2050 is being used by developed countries and polluting transnational corporations to evade their historic responsibility and disguising their climate inaction.
- Highlighting that the current decade is decisive to stop climate disruption and to speak of thirty years promises is an irresponsible and suicidal position with life in the planet.
- Emphasizing that the developed countries must commit themselves to multiplying by 5 to 10 times their current goals in emissions reduction during the coming COP26 in Glasgow, United Kingdom, so that real zero emissions are reached by 2025, or 2030 at the latest.
- Denouncing the use of the so called solutions based in nature and other geo- engineered and capture technologies solutions as to reach the neutral carbon balance because these options put life on Mother Earth at risk and promote the commodification of nature.
- Express that currently the developing countries are facing a totally unfair situation because they must quickly amplify their efforts towards higher investments in adaptation as well as in repairing damages and losses produced by climate change, furthermore in the context of economic recovery with the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, and by these means contribute to the eradicating of hunger and poverty in the world.
- Denouncing too, that the imposition of coercive unilateral measures towards certain countries has a strong impact in their capacity to respond to the climate crisis.
- Demanding the strengthening of developed countries financial commitments to developing countries, taking in consideration that the developing countries must reduce their emissions based in the provision established by developed countries on financial mechanisms, transfer of technology and development of capabilities.
- Expressing that we are tired of climate financing promises that are never fulfilled. The current commitments of 100 billion dollars annually are absolutely insufficient to satisfy the real needs of developing countries. There must be guaranteed access and equality in financial opportunities for developing countries through direct and annual funding modalities coming mainly from public resources.
- Demanding that the development of non-market based mechanisms and instruments within their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) must be pushed forward on a global level, to support, accompany and further improve commitments by countries.
We express that caring for Mother Earth in Bolivia must be reflected in:
- Transitioning on towards a new energetic matrix in a progressive, just manner and considering the necessities of integral and sustainable development for Living Well.
- Promoting actions of integral and sustainable management of forests and full- scale expansion of forest coverage on a national level with binding commitments for autonomous territorial entities. Furthermore, it is a necessity to develop financing strategies to generate combined mitigation and adaptation initiatives at the required scale and speed, strengthening the competent national institutions.
- Building up touristic initiatives focused on the protection of Mother Earth.
- Developing private and public support initiatives for climate adaptation within a framework of corporate social responsibility and progressive conversion towards enterprises based on renewable energies.
- Eliminating the pollution caused by plastic bags through a ban, tax increase or transitioning into degradable bags, accordingly.
- Giving Mother Earth breathing spaces during specific days, determined for loving, taking care of her, cleansing and creating awareness.
- Advancing on sustainable schools with reforestation practices, water harvesting, waste recycling and other nature caring practices, creating love for Mother Earth in daily life activities. We conclude that the urgent calling of Mother Earth to combat the climate crisis is real and that the peoples of the world and committed governments must attend this calling with real solutions that value the life of all humanity and systems of life on Mother Earth, with real zero emissions and with real funding directed at the people, to the restoration and preservation of life within ecosystems.
3. Integral Actions to Combat the Climate Crisis and in Defense of Life.
Human activity has driven the temperature of earth’s global surface to increase in 1,09°C in relation to preindustrial levels, which has brought about severe consequences to Mother Earth, such as the global receding of glaciers, the intensifying of strong precipitation events, as well as other climate phenomena, which have become more frequent all over the planet.
Developing countries are the most vulnerable in the presence of climate change due to the fact that they hold the highest levels of poverty and therefore, see the higher impact in damages and losses as a result of the climate crisis. Moreover, they have been the most affected by COVID-19, in the midst of facing the pandemic, the possibilities to engage in adaptation processes and management of damages and losses caused by climate change are minimized.
In light of the reality that climate risks will increase during the second half of the 21st century, governments have the duty and responsibility of attaining the adequate and urgent measures for a better adaptation to climate change, based on the following:
Carrying out the strengthening of climate change adaptation processes through a culture for life, via developing an economy, health systems, nutrition and lifestyles that promote the sustainable conservation, use, management and harnessing of ecosystems, enhancing the means of local livelihoods, climate change resilient infrastructure; hence it is required:
- Assure the intergenerational continuity of traditional knowledge as a priority, in order to unravel from the local scale, self-governance and control mechanisms, to break away form the classic dependency of other imported models.
- The national adaptation plans must consider the local and indigenous communities, their needs, their own capabilities and local knowledges, their collective rights as well as respecting their own will as indigenous and campesino peoples ahead of the application of concrete adaptation proposals.
- Demand that the knowledges and practices stemming from the original indigenous civilizing matrix must be recognized on a par with western epistemology and its knowledges and practices originated in that civilizing matrix, within a context of inter-scientific dialogue.
- Emphasize that the United Nations System must implement new assessment indicators that reflect in situ adaptation capabilities of local knowledges and practices, as counterparts of those indicators registered on a global level.
- Achieve consistent and effective actions to remedy and compensate the damages and losses. Only through fulfilling their obligations, can developed countries demand developing countries to advance in effective mitigation actions. And they could do it by providing financial mechanisms, technology transfer and development of adequate capabilities for all developing countries, that would allow advancing in addressing adaptation requirements and damages and losses reparations, as a way of paying up their historic responsibility.
- As a priority to face the climate vulnerability, promote productive and sustainable food systems, taking in consideration that a food insecurity risk exists inasmuch as food systems are affected by the volatility and extremes of the global warming, droughts, floods and precipitations, in particular for those poor populations in both urban and rural environments. Thus, developing countries must promote food systems based in traditional agriculture and agro-ecology.
- Food systems based on traditional agriculture and agro-ecology provide proper agricultural practices that are easily available under local conditions, and can be used towards adaptability to climate change. At the same time, they are crucial in the reduction of hunger, the creation of jobs, the generation of economic growth in rural communities. Nevertheless, they hold little to none accessibility to local and global markets.
- For this reason, developed countries must guarantee the opening of markets to the products coming from these food systems, because the economic return of the agro-ecological production is the economic medium to the intergenerational continuity of producers.
4. Community of Life Defenders Against the Climate Crisis.
For years, indigenous communities, local communities, youth, women defenders of Mother Earth have been at the defense frontlines against the causes and impacts of climate disruption. From Bolivia, representing their government they have defied again and again the irresponsible industries of developed countries that uncontrollably obliterate forests, skies, wetlands, oceans and biodiversity zones, putting flora and fauna at risk, and due to that, the climate crisis is a consequence of the western and modern lifestyle of capitalist society in developed countries; nonetheless, this model of civilization has no turnarounds to the crisis it has originated, which can culminate in an imminent planetary catastrophe, with the destruction of life for humanity and Mother Earth. This climate crisis could have only been born in a greedy, consumerist, excessive society, without adequate education, no consciousness from elementary level to higher education, lacking a timely curriculum design on Climate Change, and that is why today we are in sheer climate crisis, where the capitalist world has not thoroughly come into full awareness about the preservation of life.
Nonetheless, the answer to the global climate crisis can be found in the cosmovision of indigenous cultures, millenary and ancestral peoples that are founded on the Living Well and in respect with Mother Earth. It is unthinkable that indigenous nations and peoples as guardians of life and of Mother Earth, could have originated the climate crisis we are currently living. In our civilizing vision, the solution to climate crisis goes through a real education and consciousness from home, valuing what is our own and in the same way the countries that have caused the climate crisis should reshape their thought of infinite natural resources, so that the perspective of the life communities can be implemented, where Mother Earth is a living and sacred being, where all living beings live in complementarity, balance and harmony with Mother Earth.
Approach, strategies and actions from a cosmo-biocentric perspective of nations, indigenous peoples and local communities, as an alternative to face the climate crisis.
Despite indigenous peoples and local communities problems, derived from the dominating capitalist civilization models that still discriminate and pollute our Mother Earth through the uncontrolled extraction of natural resources that have belonged for generations to the nations and native peoples, we have a way of life and a cosmovision that contributes to solving the climate crisis. Within our cosmo- biocentric vision, women and men live in connection with our communities, in harmony and complementarity with other living beings on Mother Earth and in connection with the telluric-cosmic energies.
In our cosmovision there is an total interrelation between human beings and nature, death is part of life, human beings and nature are subjects, with rights and responsibilities, not one being is superior to any other and all living beings are one family, the family of Mother Earth. In this civilizing vision of indigenous peoples the solution to the climate crisis extends and implements a community of life approach, where Mother Earth is a living and sacred being with rights, where all living beings live in complementarity in our likeness and difference. Besides, indigenous peoples and local communities hold knowledge, practices and technologies that are part of our indigenous sciences which support us while facing the climate crisis locally, and this is the reason why education in all countries should be about awareness raising, embedded in the curricular grid, with a clear focus on the care of Mother Earth, and that international and local public policies always remain in pursuit of balance and harmony with Mother Earth.
Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples
It is essential to advance in the acknowledgment and fundamental importance of the ancestral knowledges of indigenous peoples and the different local communities, in order to improve policies and actions on climate change, embodied in Climate Change plans, programs and mitigation and adaptation projects, with secured resources from international and local cooperation, promoting effective financing mechanisms whereby states allow direct access to climate funds.
The Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (PCLPI in Spanish) in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (CMNUCC in Spanish) promotes the exchange of experiences and better practices, through improved participation of local communities and indigenous peoples in the process of the Convention, requiring the dissemination and strengthening of peoples collective knowledges carried on by indigenous nations and peoples, showing the countries that caused the climate crisis, so that they become aware of the climate disruption that is looming. It must be taken in consideration that indigenous peoples and the different communities hold important knowledges to share with the world on the ways of communal living with Mother Earth and cosmo-centric approaches to coexistence in harmony with nature, which are at the center of the structural solutions to climate change. In turn, the PCLPI should constitute the channel to listen to the voices of indigenous peoples and local communities in the context of the negotiations of the Convention. There are many reports that have shown that indigenous peoples and local communities are being let down as guardians of nature because they are not being acknowledged, nor are they obtaining funds to continue preserving ecosystems, even though their key role as guardians of Mother Earth. The PCLPI cannot stand apart in the important discussions, negotiations and decisions that are being carried out in the Convention.
Children and youth against the climate crisis
Children and youth are the most vulnerable populations and the ones which have contributed the least to the causes of climate change, therefore we support the demand of INTERGENERATIONAL CLIMATE JUSTICE that youth are promoting.
Youth constitute themselves as defenders of the community of life on Mother Earth. Their rebellious vision is crucial to face the climate crisis, posing lasting and definite solutions to the climate crisis and facing the structural causes rooted in the capitalist model of unsustainable production and consumption which is destroying Mother Earth. In this context, youth demand the implementation of the intergenerational justice perspective through education on the caring of Mother Earth, valuing our ancestral knowledges and wisdoms as effective solutions and recognized as such by developed countries towards emissions reduction, so the impacts of the global climate crisis are not transferred to new generations and across generations.
The youth propose the need to protect and defend life with real and responsible measures to face the climate crisis, within a framework of equity and common differentiated responsibilities. Moreover, in the global climate crisis there is a need for integral development and balance with Mother Earth through enacting public policy and actions towards a dignified human life for future generations and in harmony with Mother Earth.
5. The Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.
The Plurinational State of Bolivia reaffirms its commitment to the Paris Accords, developing a second Nationally Determined Contribution (CND in Spanish) in the framework of its vision to face the structural causes of the climate crisis and in time to build on a new civilizing horizon based on the Living Well ethic. In harmony with Mother Earth and comprehensively taking in consideration the principles and provision of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (CMNUCC in Spanish), as well as the Paris Accords to face the climate crisis in the framework of equity and common yet differentiated responsibilities.
Bolivia establishes ambitious goals for mitigation and adaptation, specially in the forest, energy, water and agricultural sectors, considering actions through national efforts and international cooperation. In concordance with the Plurinational Policy on Climate Change, adaptation and resiliency of productive systems and life systems will be promoted, enhancing the capabilities of adaptation, reduction of vulnerability across the different social, economic and environmental sectors, and inclusive of climate justice, gender perspective and intergenerational equity.
- The Nationally Determined Contribution must seek to achieve social, ecological and economic impacts in order to influence the development of indigenous, native, campesino and local communities, in harmony with Mother Earth.
- Emphasizing the following areas of impact: i) Increasing the forest coverage, reducing deforestation, and conservation of biodiversity through development of control capabilities, oversight and restitution of the forest; ii) Strengthening of environmental functions through the integral, complementary and sustainable management of the forests, guaranteeing the conservation through sustainable practices; iii) Poverty reduction and contribution to the GDP through programs and projects implementations on integral resource management.
- Looking for solution to the mono-crop current tendency, for instance, through agro-ecological productive models based on the non-commodification of forests; improving oversight and control of legal and illegal deforestation in order to ensure environmental functions. As well as reducing legal and illegal deforestation.
- Promoting the sustainable production, use and management of forests, for instance through the production of non-timber species with high nutritional and economic value.
- Reducing the advance of the agricultural frontier and promoting agro-forestal systems whilst integrating autonomous territorial entities in the management of the forest.
- Emphasizing that the proposed goals must find balance in the national support through our own efforts and with international cooperation in order to bolster the national commitment and manage international financing.
- Emphasizing the following impact areas: i) Energy generation through the development of the electric system and the limiting the polluting energy sources; ii) Improving the consumption of energy through the energetic efficiency measures and the electrification of the energetic consumption; iii) Improving the access to energy through the increase of basic services availability and interaction with the electricity grid.
- Highlight that the energy goals are quite ambitious, specially increasing the coverage for the whole population, for which investment in technology and wind and solar projects is necessary, as well as digital technologies to reach remote areas without access to the National Integrated System.
- Emphasize the importance of encouraging the generation of clean energies, the consumption of renewable energies and improving the energy efficiency.
- Express that the actions on distributed generation could have positive effects in the generation of clean energies, in the consumption levels and in the income for families, as well as in the need to promote the research and development of capabilities to face the measures related to the development and adoption of clean technologies.
- Emphasize the pursuit of options in order to create a more efficient use of the energy, such as amplifying the use of electrical public transport or substituting the consumption of diesel gasoline for other less polluting fuels.
- Emphasize the most important impact areas: i) Social area, through focusing on vulnerable groups, reducing food insecurity; ii) Prioritizing the increase of agricultural performance before the expansion of the agricultural frontier and the recovering of degraded areas towards a better management of the soil; iii) Improving the management of agricultural and natural resources, enhancing the resilience of productive systems and investing on resilient infrastructure.
- Highlight the importance of reducing the agricultural risks in the face of extreme climate events.
- Emphasize the importance in improving the productive systems to reduce the use of agrochemicals and the emissions of greenhouse gases stemming from agriculture. Promoting more ecological systems such as agroforestry, silvopastoral, among others.
- Express the importance on setting goals for the management of soils and relating the aims of the National Determined Contribution to the goals on soil neutralizer degradation.
- Emphasizing the following impact areas: i) Promote the increase of drinking water coverage, safe water and basic sewerage; ii) Increase the environmental functions through the conservation of high Andean wetlands; iii) Promote the integral management of water resources in watersheds through the social management of water, as well as the planning and betterment of the water security; iv) Improve the adaptation levels through the increasing of irrigated agriculture for farm produce.
- Highlighting the importance of the adaptive water planning for both surface and ground waters.
- Emphasizing the recommendation of having a multi-sector platform that could push the implementation of these goals in the context of public management.
The National Determined Contribution must include transversal lines for interculturality, the fight against poverty, human rights, economic development, environmental education, gender and intersectionality, adaptation based on life systems and cosmo-biocentrism, climate risk comprehensive management, science and technology.
- Express that Bolivia, within its economic capabilities, has proposed an ambitious National Determined Contribution (NDC) and will implement it by its own efforts (unconditioned goals) and through cooperations additional financing mechanisms (conditioned goals), which will considerably increase the mitigation ambitions and reduce the implementation time, with an emphasis on the adaptation actions.
- The NDC should promote the participation of different sectors in the implementation, such as international cooperation, NGOs, civil society, as well as social and academic organizations through bilateral and multilateral conventions.
- It is advisable to work, along with the conditioned and unconditioned goals, on implementation lines based on horizontal and vertical cross-sectorial coordination, towards the strengthening of institutional and technical capabilities, as well as the improvement of financing access, and the implementation of a supervising system.
- Express the need to push forward complementary programs that support the implementation of the NDC in each of the different sectors.
- Promote the development of institutional capabilities and human talent through international exchange and cooperation, for topics such as safeguarding of ancestral knowledges.
- The NDC should allow for a monitoring system of transparency, accessible and differentiated, regarding the advance and fulfillment of the goals.