Today was my third day at the UN Ocean Conference. I think there is a major resource and group that is being overlooked here. The indigenous people. After having been to many, many, many sessions I have seen that the indigenous people are the ones being the most affected yet they are not the ones actually contributing to the problem. So, we the so called developed nations and we the so called more advanced are the ones who have created this unbelievable travesty upon the earth yet we are not the ones that have to experience the repercussions of our actions. Instead that unfortunate task is left to the indigenous people. But, what does that mean? It means that their way of life is forever altered every time a plastic water bottle is used, it means that their solutions are not heard, it means that even the UN is unable to answer their concerns.
So what can be done? For one there should be more interest and investment in indigenous advocacy. I believe this because meeting after meeting here we have talked of problems and what is being done but not what should be done and not what solutions can actually be implemented on a global level. Yet, so many of those answers lie with the indigenous people as they have been the ones to integrate the ocean into every aspect of their lives and they have been the ones that have been able to sustainably use the natural resources around them while contributing less than 0.2% of the world’s heating. There is so much to be learned from them. There should be and must be greater value and emphasis on the indigenous people as they are the ones that have solutions that can be implemented as they have been used for hundreds if not thousands of years.
So, I encourage each and every person to learn to recognize the value of the indigenous voice. Also, I encourage that each one of you realise that the actions we are making as the developed nations are affecting people in ways that wreck their culture and their way of life. Making it our responsibility, as the “advanced” to learn from their ways and to actually understand their stories so we can learn to be better.