Heard Voices?

We are now a month into 2011 and it has been two months since COP16 ended. A few of you commented saying that you would like more information on the topic of “Unheard Voices” and so here it is.

As I said before in my previous post, youth and indigenous peoples have had their voices stifled. One voice that I have forgotten to mention is the voice of the Earth. As humans we have valued our freedom of speech and freewill but in almost all events, negotiations, conferences that will be affecting our planet we have ignored it and trashed it instead.

In April 2010 Bolivia held a “World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of the Mother Earth.” This conference was open to all young, old and the indigenous. The outcome of the conference was a declaration, the agreement of the people where the call for the establishment of a international climate court persecuting polluters. They condemned the REDD method as well as agreed to hold polluters responsible for their climate debt.

It seems that they have made more and better progress recognised by and made for the people compared to that of the UN. Bolivia was the only nation who stood agains the Cancún accord. The President of Bolivia chose to oppose the text because “we felt an enormous obligation to set aside diplomacy and tell the truth.”

Many people, myself included until I learnt more about the accord believed it to be a great step forward. It is in fact the opposite, the Cancún accord replaces binding mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emissions with voluntary pledges that are utterly insufficient. The pledges agreed on contradict the goal of capping the rise in temperature at 2˚C but instead leads us to 4˚C or more. Due to the presence of multibillion dollar companies the text is full of loopholes for polluters.

Despite Bolivia standing alone publicly several negotiators at Cancún privately spoke to the delegation of Bolivia and voiced their support. It seems that Bolivia is on the right track listening to the people, putting aside the politics. Indigenous peoples especially had a huge say in this agreement. It is sad that there has been limited media coverage over this event but hopefully more attention will be focused should they choose to hold another one.

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