We have talked to the most inspiring people during the COP23 in Bonn, and those who are at the forefront of the fight against climate change. Here are some bites of the interviews.
- In 2016, 200 people who spoke out against environmental destruction were killed. 40% were indigenous.
« How many more have to be killed? We are being persecuted by our own government. There is no justice for indigenous people. We are going to the court to claim justice but we face corruption. Governments from the developed countries talk about the millions of euros they give to protect the amazonian forest but we never see the money. » Edwin Vásquez, COICA
- Trump has reversed the climate policies of his predecessor Barack Obama and cancelled climate finance programs, including an outstanding $2 billion pledged to the Green Climate Fund.
« We are the people experiencing the impact of climate change, we are the ones paying the highest cost, our livelihood is at stake, we see our people dying from the effect of climate change. We think that keeping the US in the negotiations will be dangerous in the long term, President Donald Trump is poisonous to the negotiations; let us not give him the platform to sink the boat from within. » African Civil Society — Pan African Climate Justice Alliance
- Sea levels across small island nations are rising at a rate of up to 3–4 times larger than the global average. Tuvalu, in the western Pacific Ocean, is expected to be fully submerged by 2050.
« Tuvalu is only 26 square kilometers of land. How difficult is it for the international community to save our land and to assure us of life continuity of our space? When our people are forced to relocate to Australia, they become assimilated into the Australian way of life. That means that our language will die out, our way of life will die, our traditional skills will disappear, our culture and our traditions will disappear » Reverend Tafue Lusama, Church of Tuvalu
- The tropical rainforests of South America are responsible for 20% of Earth’s oxygen and they are disappearing at a rate of 4 hectares a decade.
« Oil companies are all about violence, division, denial of human rights, and denial of rights of mother earth. They started to destroy our forest so their helicopters could land there. Their strategy was to divide our communities and our families. But we depend on the forest. The forest is our supermarket, where we find all the food we need. This forest is also our pharmacy, where we find natural remedies for whatever illness we have. » Pueblo Originario Sarakuya
Interviews by Anne-Sophie Garrigou
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