For a Safer Earth, Healthier Climate

Advocate Demands Respect for Indigenous People @ 2022 Biodiversity Conference

By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja

An Advocate at the UN Biodiversity Conference, Conference of Parties (COP15) held from December 7-19 2022, in Montreal Canada has called on governments to respect indigenous people and not give in to the demands of Corporations that are solely responsible for the devastation of the earth’s diversity.

Deputy Executive Director, of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria and Food Sovereignty Coordinator of Friends of the Earth Nigeria and Africa, Mariann Bassey-Orovwuje made the call while speaking at the event.

According to Mariann “Corporations are the sole people destroying our ecosystems, they are the ones devastating our lands. Presently they are here in Montreal influencing the UN Summit because they don’t want to be regulated, my grandma tells me if you are hiding what you are doing then you should not be doing it.

These corporations get away with a lot of greenwashing measures, pretending to be real solutions but they are not solutions.  They are selling and bringing out a model that is devastating for us and we should resist it . The gathering today shows that we can no longer be bullied into silence and that we must confront this because the people have the power

The activists called on governments not to yield to bullying by corporations to protect indigenous communities, peasants, and fisherfolks from the destruction caused by Corporations.

“We implore our government, people who are genuinely interested in our biodiversity, and mother earth not to yield to the pressure bullying, and intimidation by the Corporations.

Stating that Indigenous people, peasants fisher-folk are the ones who defend the earth’s biodiversity against corporations, she said they are often chased away from their ancestral lands, harassed jailed, and in most cases killed by the wicked corporations

“We demand that Indigenous people be respected. Their lands, their cultures, and their foods are respected. They have a right to demand what happens in their territories. There should be no price tag on their foods, and on their land.

This is the 15th time that governments countries and Institutions will be gathering to debate interrogate and comment on our biodiversity. And this time it is happening in the beautiful city of Montreal.

“However, we are tired, fed up with empty rhetoric, empty promises lacking in sincerity, and meaningful content. We demand that this conference must come out with outcomes that would at the barest minimum be based on justice. Human Rights and equity.

Side events at the conference include panel sessions, protest walks, and the film screening ‘Out of the Weeds’, a story of Dwane Jackson who won the case against Monsanto. He got cancer from the giant toxic and poisonous Glyphosate among others

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