Importance of Natural Resources

Climate Stories

It is said that if you want to be heard, you
tell a story. Ogoni is 404 square miles [smaller than Hong
Kong] and has one of the highest population densities in the world. And that is the same
location where we have 96 oil wells, with gas flaring taking place 24 hours a day for
over 35 years. That gas flaring is leading to the warming
of the Ogoni environment. Of course, Shell dismissed it; but we noticed incidences of
floods, which is of course not known to the environment. People have lost their homes.
Lost the means of livelihood. They can no longer go into the field, they can no longer
go to farms. People have died in the course of moving from
one location to the other. In this climate crisis what are the duties
of States? States in Roman law: “bonos paterfamilias.” Good father of the family, of humankind and
of life itself. So, we want to ask them a question: what are your duties to present
and future generations? So, we all know this for a fact and you know,
Fiji continues to face such devastation. Being in spaces like this, where you can talk
about these experiences with other people that are doing similar things, would make
you understand that you’re not alone and that there are other people in the fight with you. I’m an Indigenous person from Siberia, Russia.
My people call themselves forest people. The main reason why I’m here is deforestation
of Siberia, Siberian fires and many, many environmental problems which exist in my region.
My people, and mostly all Indigenous groups in Russia, are small numbered and they live
in very, very remote areas. And, because of climate change they need to migrate, they
need to change their activity, and if we don’t act right now… if we don’t scream about
the problem, we will not exist in ten years. If rivers are not there, if wetlands are not
there, my people are also not there. For me, it means, just my home. It’s very, like, it’s
very mine. It’s my community. It’s my relatives. I cannot just leave it. I would tell you, the climate is not negotiable.
Unfortunately, we don’t have anywhere else to live if we destroy the Earth. So, I would
like to bring a message to world leaders: will we be able to leave this land, which
we received for our grandparents, in better conditions for our children and grandchildren?
It is one of our responsibilities. The impacts of climate change, I mean, we
live by it day by day. Our lands get washed away day by day. Every high tide, every monsoon
season we lose land. You know, our islands are getting smaller and smaller and smaller,
until we have to leave some of our sandbanks. You know, the birds that go past can’t rest
anymore, and some of the species back home are our totems, you know, which give us direction
in life. And, it’s very close and personal to us.
For me, it’s about protecting my island. Like, it’s bigger than anything else. It’s something
that is a personal battle for me. It’s a personal journey. It’s my connection to my land and
my sea, and also for my family; and to make sure that my grandchildren and their children
still remain on our lands and keep practicing our cultures and traditions on land. And to
make sure that we don’t have to move away and leave my ancestors buried back on the
island if they are to sink because of the rising sea levels. My grandfather told me and he always uses
this quote; he always says the elders have told him: “this is your land, look after
it.” And about the sea, they said: “This is your sea, look after it.” Sometimes you can be locked up in your own
world, believing that you are alone in this struggle. Audrey Lorde said, and I quote: “We don’t
live single issue lives. We live multiple, intersecting lives.” And that’s the beauty
about it. At the end of the day, if we’re just gonna
continue working in our silos and not really recognizing the intersectionality with environmental
justice, climate justice, gender, human rights, like, disability rights, like everything is
so, so integrated that it’s impossible to achieve any of these missions on our own. We are here on a charm campaign. We’re gathering
young people from around the world. We must make our voices heard. So they, so we see that there is hopeless
among the youth; but at the same time the youngsters led by Greta, she’s a 16-year-old
schoolgirl, have ignited the fire within the youngsters, and that is a hope for the future. So it is, I think, this is, I think, a good
inspiration to people. And it is hope created among we elders, especially we activists,
having a dream of a planet without destruction, a planet without disaster, a planet without
inequality. So for the young people around the world,
I want to say that you’re not alone up there. We all are fighting the same fight that you
are fighting as well. I was able to journey out, and really see,
to really find my true self. We all are beacons of hope and we all have
that urge of activism to stop such injustice in every place we go to. It’s about human
rights for everyone and not just for some, not just for some group of people. We are
not cherry-picking which human rights we’re gonna talk about, and who are we gonna put
at the front line. Honey! Well, climate change is striking right
now. It’s affecting everyone: all groups of people, all kinds of human beings, species
on this planet, and so it’s really about being real. It’s just about love. It’s everything about
love. Questions are very powerful. If you want to
be heard, you tell a story. People like listening to stories. If you want to touch the heart,
sing a song. If you want to start a revolution, ask a question.

Reader Comments

  1. My fav quote: "If you want to be heard, tell a story. If you want to touch the heart, sing a song. If you want to start a revolution, ask a question." Tony Oposa

  2. What will it take for the Governments the Politicians of every country in the world to do some think instead of putting things like Brexit first , politics should be the last thing we should thinking of , it should be the ecosystems the environments the wildlife the oceans and the rivers . The illusions are the governments and the politicians pretend to care but arguing and the never agreeing will always be there first priorities in life and actions has never been a priority to theses illusionist people just plan old money pocketing peoples Tax instead

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