AUGUST 9th, INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE WORLD’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Latin America | August 9th, 2022

Today, August 9th, Greenwood Energy joins the United Nations [UN] in commemorating the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and celebrating the invaluable contribution of thousands of indigenous communities around the globe to the preservation of our common environment.

On December 23rd, 1994, the United Nations General Assembly established, through its Resolution 49/214, that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People shall be observed on this day every year. The date marks the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN’s Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. According to the United Nations, the indigenous population currently exceeds 476 million people, who make up 5,000 groups distributed across 90 countries and represent 6.2% of the world’s population. Of the 7,000 languages currently spoken on the planet, 6,700 are indigenous languages, of which 40% are at risk of disappearing. For this reason, the United Nations invites us every August 9th to remember the cultural richness of indigenous peoples, promoting respect for their rights, languages, traditions, and customs.

August 9th also commemorates the leadership of the different indigenous communities in their tireless efforts to protect the environment and preserve all forms of life. As highlighted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO] in its 2021 report, indigenous and tribal communities are the ones that best safeguard the forests of Latin America and the Caribbean, and their endeavor is key to reducing carbon emissions. A study published in March 2022 by the World Resources Institute in association with Climate Focus, shows how 80% of the lands that belong to indigenous peoples and local communities in Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Mexico represent CO2 net sinks, scavenging more than double carbon dioxide equivalent per hectare than lands not entitled to them. According to the results of this study, lands belonging to indigenous peoples and local communities are responsible for meeting 30% annually [on average] of the UN goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions that these four countries have pledged to achieve by 2030. Without these environmental contributions from the communities, other economic sectors would have to make greater efforts in order to fulfill the goals these four countries have committed themselves to achieve under the Paris Agreement, ratified by them under the 2021 Glasgow Declaration. For these reasons, the study also calls on the governments of these nations to work together with indigenous peoples and local communities to find ways in which they can contribute to the reduction of emissions, and even improve current goals, through the development of initiatives that maximize and complement the capacities of communities to manage the territory in a sustainable way.

Greenwood Energy is aware of the urgent need to reimagine development, promoting projects that drive sustainable economic development based on social welfare and the preservation of the cultural and ecological diversity of our planet. Our focus on Reimaging Development led us to conceive of the TERRɅ INITIɅTIVE in association with the Elder Mamus and Traditional Authorities of the Arhuaco People in Colombia. The project will help not only to promote indigenous culture but also to grant long-term financing to the indigenous association to broaden its strategy of land acquisition and preservation under the “Guardabosques Corazón del Mundo” program. To learn more about this project, visit https://bit.ly/3wxbBgd

On August 9th every year, Greenwood Energy takes time to recognize each of the indigenous communities that inhabit our planet, and gives special thanks to our elder brothers and sisters from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta for their long endeavor in protecting the most irreplaceable nature reserve in the world. We also extend our gratitude towards the Arhuaco People, who constantly provide us with new insights through their ancestral wisdom about life and our Mother Earth, and particularly to the Elder Mamus for sharing their profound views on the TERRɅ INITIɅTIVE with the rest of the world. A video with their testimonies is available at https://bit.ly/3pJWMTD.