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Chief Raoni Metuktire joined by other important Amazonian leaders to launch climate sentinel alliance in run up to COP 21

Chief Raoni Metuktire joined by other important Amazonian leaders to launch climate sentinel alliance in run up to COP 21

Brasilia, April 14 2015. Call to unite guardians of nature before Brazilian Congress: from left to right, Chiefs Pirakuman Yawalapiti, Txicao, Aritana Yawalapiti, Raoni Metuktire, Davi Yanomami, Afukaka Kuikuru and Tabata Kuikuru.

Chief Raoni (Kayapo people), Chief Davi Kopenawa (Yanomami people), Chiefs Aritana and Pirakuman (Yawalapiti people), and Chiefs Afukaka and Tabata (Kuikuru people), traditional Amazonian chiefs, great knowledge bearers and guardians of the largest green areas of our planet, sealed a pact in Brasilia during a large indigenous mobilization destined to preserve their hard-won rights, which are threatened by global markets.

While South America celebrates the day of the Indian on April 19, these iconic leaders come together to announce the creation of the next international alliance whose official launch is set to coincide with the COP 21 conference and will enable long lasting links to be created between the many scattered forms of ancestral civilization all over the world who are facing the same challenges.

The COP 21 Conference on climate change will take place in Paris between November 30 and December 15 2015 and will welcome over 180 Heads of State. Having caught up with a reality they have refused to acknowledge for economic reasons and not taking into account the warnings of those who pay heed to it, these leaders must decide upon the outcome of the planet... without exploiting its resources and causing irreversible damage. Put off by previous summits of the same nature, important traditional Amazonian Chiefs will therefore launch their own alliance and call upon the participation of indigenous peoples and guardians of nature from around the globe.

This “guardians of mother nature alliance” is a lifelong dream for Chief Raoni Metuktire, indigenous chief from the Brazilian Amazon, world famous for his fight to defend the Kayapo people, indigenous peoples in general and the lungs of our planet. Raoni Metuktire, one of the most iconic figures of international conservation of our time, regards this great assembly as a legacy of nature’s guardians for future generations - an opinion he shares with the other chiefs who have already joined him in constructing this project.

After having participated in the unification of indigenous Xingu territories of Brazilian States Mato Grosso and Pará, the creation of the world’s largest protected rainforest reserve (180 000 km2) and global public awareness raising for deforestation and the indigenous cause, Chief Raoni hopes that this alliance may contribute to the preservation of all the planet’s threatened peoples and ecosystems.

Chief Raoni has dreamt for a long time that his message of union between native peoples and all other defenders of nature be understood and that it may help pave the way for future generations and the planet they will inhabit. Alongside the chiefs who have already joined and the two set do so, his nephew and faithful follower, Chief Megaron Txucarramãe not to mention other ongoing support, Chief Raoni will seize the COP 21 occasion to kick start this dream alliance and continue to create, in the long term, permanent links between all native peoples from every continent who are threatened by economic and demographic pressures that exacerbate climate disasters in which they are not only the whistleblowers but also the first to get hit.

One of the primary challenges of this coalition will be to create strong propositions to save primary forests. These are the result of millions of years of activity from living, priceless and irreplaceable natural laboratories. From the mere fraction that has been surveyed, humanity has benefitted considerably. Furthermore, the destruction of these is not just a compounding factor of global warming but it generates poverty, cutting off local populations from their food supplies.

While the deforestation of the three largest remaining tropical forests (Amazon, Indonesian and equatorial Africa) reaches a point of no return, the allies hope to have an impact on the COP 21 and thereafter.

To defend native peoples is to defend the last natural ecosystems of the planet which they themselves defend in a vital struggle. This very struggle to enforce their frequently violated rights is intrinsically linked to the preservation of their territories and cultural diversity. This struggle, which is far from completion, cannot be won without support. It requires both a mutualisation of resistance initiatives and a pooling of resources and all forces available.

Chief Raoni has placed the guidelines at the roots of his initiative. It remains for the alliance he aims to create to be designed in unison. The alliance will take shape step by step, networking with other charity or conservation initiatives that aim to shape the future. In order to grow and strengthen, the alliance will articulate its strategy around four main components: the fight for cultural empowerment, a political struggle, a legal struggle and finally awareness campaigning. The latter is essential because in order to bend the economic interests of more and more high-powered people, it will have to sway public opinion which, alone, has the power to influence governments and corporations.

We cannot build our future while at war with one another but rather we must do so together, as will be explained at the COP 21 by the major chiefs who intend to be joined by other iconic indigenous representatives from the Amazon, equatorial Africa, Indonesia, Australia and Canada with the support of other allies fighting for nature and the livelihood of these international icons. United by an unprecedented alliance linked to figures of leadership recognised all over the world for their efforts to protect the planet, these guardians of mother Earth will carry together strong future proposals.

Date : 19/04/2015