During a public event held in Paris in December 2015 at the time of the COP21, representatives of frontline communities discussed and denounced the false solutions to the climate crisis, and promoted the real solutions that are rooted in peoples’ knowledge and experiences. They stressed how converging provides hope, opportunities and solidarity and, importantly, advances the struggle for systemic change. The purpose of this report is to amplify the voices of frontline communities and to share the political messages of the 16 social movement leaders who spoke at the meeting.
“For Indigenous Peoples, it is important to erupt this false notion of North and South divide by bringing attention to what is happening in the global north, where we have faced over 500 years of colonialism. Yet, we are experiencing a strong Indigenous resurgence in our struggle. This is not about returning to the way we lived 500 years ago. Rather, it is about respecting one another, the land and the water. It is about establishing a reciprocal relationship with all of life beyond the just the value of commodities. This is a resurgence of our culture and knowledge rooted in Land and Water based practices, which is intergenerational. This intergenerational wisdom and Land/Water based practices provides knowledge for sustaining nature and all of life.” – Sherry Pictou, from the Mi’kmaq community, Bear River First Nation, Nova Scotia in Canada, and a member of the World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP).
“The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is captured by neo-liberal governments and transnational corporations. The solutions placed on the table by this political and economic elite do not address the underlying causes of climate change and ignores the voices and rights of frontline communities. The solutions of the UNFCCC are false and we must familiarize ourselves with why this is so and share experiences on how to fight back.” – Paula Gioia, La Via Campesina15