Invited by the US government to participate in the Leaders’ Climate Summit, the Brazilian Sinéia do Vale cited only one president in his speech this Thursday (22): Joe Biden.
The environmental official of the Indigenous Council of Roraima thanked the Democrat for his efforts to listen to civil society in the debate on global warming and opposed the Brazilian president when he said that the indigenous lands functioned as a ” barrier to deforestation “.
Leading a government with a negligent environmental policy, Bolsonaro has already attributed “a considerable part” of the burnt and deforested areas in the Amazon to the “natives and caboclos” – claiming that these populations will not be able to sustain themselves if they abandon these practices altogether. .
Sinéia, for her part, said that indigenous peoples have lost space in recent years in the environmental debate in Brazil, which she called paralyzed, and said it was necessary to involve them to prevent the destruction of forests. “We are talking about most of the Amazon, which is formed by indigenous land conservation areas and has served as a barrier against deforestation and degradation,” she said.
According to the person in charge of the environment, the natives are the real “specialists” in the preservation of the environment. “All the technical groups on climate change in Brazil are paralyzed, inactive. Therefore, it is very difficult for us when there is such an important discussion on the climate. We lost these spaces […] Indigenous peoples bring ancestral knowledge as important as the science of researchers. Indigenous peoples are experts in preserving the environment. “
Sinéia was the only Brazilian besides Bolsonaro to speak at the virtual meeting promoted by Biden, and Planalto only learned of his participation when he received the program for the event this week.
In her speech of just over five minutes, she also stressed the importance of resources – including foreign countries – for preserving the environment “reaching the edge” and actually helping those in need. “We are not only concerned with the current situation, but with long-term conservation.”
In an interview with Folha on the eve of the summit, Sinéia said that the dismantling of policies targeting indigenous communities in Brazil had worsened under the Bolsonaro government and complained, as he did in his speech of this Thursday, the reduction of spaces for discussion. that indigenous peoples have it with the government.