What are the solutions surrounding displacement, land grabs the local impacts of extractive industries?
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From a Western perspective, it is easy to become detached from the harsh realities of the climate crisis. No matter how much research you do or documentaries you watch, at some point we all close our laptops or turn off our phones and return to our moderately cosy lives. For those, such as the Pacific Islanders seeing their lands slowly slip under the rising seas, climate change and its effects are a very real current reality, and we cannot allow their voices to go unheard. More must be done to give a platform to those currently facing the worst effects of climate change, from the Pacific Islanders to the Amazon tribes fighting against the corporate or government-sponsored invasions of their lands. The true face of the climate crisis must not be silenced - it must be seen by all.
Although only representing 5% of the world’s population, Indigenous peoples protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity. In this way, the protection of Indigenous rights to their traditional lands is critical to the overall health of ecosystems and thus also to the health of our planet. It is crucial then that the importance of Indigenous and traditional peoples as guardians of the land is recognised and respectful support given to them where possible. It must also be ensured that they are involved in the political process rather than side-lined as is often currently the case. Organisations representing indigenous interests must be given the same kind of political power as other interest groups, and it should not be down to money or economic gravitas whether the voices of interest groups are heard or not.
People at the frontline are having their homes and lives destroyed by the effects of climate change (e.g. sea-level rise, extreme weather events, food and water insecurity, etc.) or corporate assaults (e.g. mining, pipelines, pollution and oil spills, deforestation, etc.). Due to their geographical location, they are made vulnerable and have to fight against harmful practices that destroy their community. From the protests at Standing Rock against the Dakota Pipelines to the Island Nations campaigning for 1.5°C to Stay Alive, we must stand in solidarity and support them. These actions might be happening thousands of miles away, but we must recognise their right to a healthy and sustainable environment. Furthermore, the outcome of these protests can set a president to stop further harm against other communities.
Right now, many countries are becoming increasingly hostile to ‘refugees’ or ‘migrants’. And with climate change predicted to create hundreds of millions of climate migrants, this could continue to create a dangerous environment for those who have been forced to leave their homes. Therefore, it is extremely important for us to start to prepare for climate migration now so that our societies and infrastructure can support those in need. We must aim for climate migration and adaptation that prevents displacement, whilst at the same time co-operating and protecting the rights of climate migrants.
Understand Climate Displacement and Destruction
Learn About Harm Done By Organisations
Fight for Human Rights
Boycott Harmful Corporations
Protest Local Injustice
Declare a Climate Emergency and End Fossil Fuels
Take Them to Court