POSSIBLE FUTURES PROGRAMME AT COP27 UN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE
Therme Art, Impact One, Therme Group and the One Health Research Centre (OHRC) joined forces to present the Possible Futures programme during the COP27 UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh this year.
The events were hosted in collaboration with Impact One and Therme Art’s partner networks, featuring a series of participatory activations, performances and panels, inviting key figures in urban development, architecture and environmentalist industries to engage with the themes of Indigenous and environmental rights, collective responsibility and integrative futures.
FOREST ONE EVENT
AT EXTREME HANGOUT – PARK REGENCY RESORT
9. November, 2022
On 9 November, in partnership with Future of Cities, Amazon Watch, The New York Times and EXTREME, Impact One and Therme Art invited Indigenous representatives from Amazonic communities, urban development leaders and industry innovators to participate at its Forest One event. The evening focused on exploring symbiotic modes of living, presenting new outlooks to urban development and infrastructure for the protection of planetary health and wellbeing.
Stephen Dunbar Johnson, CEO of the New York Times, ignited the event with opening remarks, followed by a prayer by chief and spiritual leader of the Amazonic Yawanawa tribe, Rasu Yawanawa.
Talking about what we could do with Indigenous communities in this special space, and how we could use this space to connect with Indigenous communities and have a moment of reflection. There’s so much to learn from Indigenous communities — what we’ve inherited and what we’ve lost. So how can we spend time reflecting and thinking in this special environment? So I’m really delighted to be here. – Stephen Dunbar Johnson (CEO of The New York Times)
AYA EARTH PARTNERS: “THE AMAZON’S MARATHON” REPORT PRESENTATION
AYA Earth Partners unveiled their pioneering report as part of Impact One and Therme Art’s Forest One programme, titled The Amazon’s Marathon: Race to Zero and to Resilience. With contributions from leading scientists and activists, the report provides an analysis of Brasil and the Amazon, mapping the potential of the region to become the first major economy to achieve net zero carbon emissions while boosting economic growth.
Co-founder of AYA Patricia Ellen, MATA founder and urban developer Alexandre Allard, social entrepreneur and teacher Vanda Witoto, Earth systems scientist Carlos Nobre and political scientist and civic entrepreneur Ilona Szabó, took to the stage to consider the report in an engaging panel that discussed bridging the gap between Indigenous forms of knowledge with western development, strengthening governance and enabling sustainable initiatives across all 9 states in the legal Amazon, including local communities and governments, civil society and the private sector.
One of the big projects that we have inside of AYA is to show that unlike treating Amazonia as a problem, we have to treat Amazonia as the solution, as an economic solution, as a way to drive prosperity. – Alexandre Allard (Co-Founder of Aya Earth Partners)
Hopefully COP29 will be in Brazil, but in the Amazon. If we’re able to come to Sharm El Sheikh, we should be able to go to the Amazon and make it happen there; in the middle of the forests, so that the whole world understands that saving the Amazon is not about saving the forests, it is about saving humanity, and it is a job of all of us. – Patricia Ellen (Co-Founder of Aya Earth Partners)
The nature-based, climate-positive, and people-centric economic model demonstrates a new framework for the Global South, detailing 11 critical pathways that would see Brasil lead the way in a global shift toward more sustainable development. Themes addressed include responsible land use and commodity production, socially inclusive education, bioeconomic development and rainforest restoration.
This project is exactly what José Bonifácio wanted to do 200 years ago; education, science and technology, respecting Indigenous people and local community knowledge and bringing innovation – that’s the very idea of the project we are proposing for the Amazon, which is how to merge nature based and science based knowledge with Indigenous knowledge and bringing technological innovation for a new economy, a bio-economy in Brasil. – Carlos Nobre (Earth Systems scientist)
If we listen to the Indigenous voices, we will hear the calling of Mother Earth. – Vanda Witoto
NINA GUALINGA “LIVING FOREST: KICHWA PEOPLE OF SARAYAKU, AMAZON BASIN ECUADOR” KEYNOTE ADDRESS
Indigenous activist and climate advocate from the Kichwa People of Sarayaku, Nina Gualinga presented Living Forest: Kichwa People of Sarayaku, Amazon Basin Ecuador. She discussed how Indigenous lands are consistently exploited, leading to the destruction of environment and communities in the Amazon. The loss of forests, biodiversity, language, culture and tradition is imminent in Indigenous communities fighting for their rights to exist, as they continue to defend their ancestral lands. Nina Gualinga talked about Western societies’ responsibility to reckon with the destructive and extractive industries that have been implemented globally and protect the Amazon and the communities that live there, whilst developing more symbiotic approaches to production, infrastructure and construction within these regions.
We have different value systems and understandings of what development means, what wellbeing means; in my community it means fertile soil, it means clean water, fresh air and it means the solidarity of our people. – Nina Gualinga (Environmental and Indigenous rights activist)
According to a report from MapBiomas, out of the 69 million hectares or 170 million acres of native vegetation lost in Brazil over the past 30 years, around 70 percent of which took place on private land, only 1.6 percent of this was on Indigenous territory. It has become abundantly clear that Indigenous communities actively decelerate the destruction of the Amazon, and protecting Indigenous lands is one of the most effective ways to slow the devastation of natural habitats. And yet for too long, Indigenous communities have remained among the most adversely impacted by climate change and global systems of inequality; a global predicament that must be collectively transformed.
“INDIGENOUS YOUTH: COLLECTIVE ACTIONS FOR OUR FUTURE” PANEL DISCUSSION
The Indigenous Youth: Collective Actions For Our Future panel, curated and moderated by Nina Gualinga, invited youth leaders from Indigenous communities in Amazonic regions to share their experiences as individuals on the front-lines and collectively, as a generation inheriting the cost of extractive industry dependence and ideological polarisation in the face of destruction. The panel included activist and Indigenous rights defender from the Kichwa community Leo Cerda, visionary young Yawanawa Leader Isku Kua, Kichwa activist and defender Alexis Grefa, Indigenous advocate from the Kichwa community Maria Jose Andrade and activist from the Terena community Taily Terena.
With this collective, we understand the importance of the youth to keep our tradition alive, how it is important to listen to our elders, to maintain alive our ancestors. Yes, we are living in the city, yes we are going to university, yes we are going outside to work, but this doesn’t mean that we are losing our identity. It’s actually the opposite, we are getting stronger. Because when we understand who we are, it is not upon the other to decide it. – Taily Terena (Climate advocate and Terena representative)
This new generation of committed and inspiring Indigenous youth leaders are paving the way for systemic change and greater decision-making power for their communities on a global scale. Faced with the enormous responsibility of protecting their territory and encompassing forests, and biodiversity, as well as preserving their communities’ ancient knowledge, cultures and languages. The panel showed how Indigenous youths are living their Indigenous identities in the midst of the climate crisis, assuming leadership roles and driving the fight for rights, inclusion and solutions.
Today the Yawanawa people are living a new phase of development within our territories, seeking out new ways of working with our own knowledge, systems and development within our territories. – Isku Kua (Yawanawa Leader)
The Forest One programme was drawn to a close by Yawanawa representatives, leaders and youths, who held traditional ceremonies composed of music and chant rituals.
STEFANO BOERI ARCHITETTI’S “GREEN OBSESSION: TREES TOWARDS CITIES, HUMANS TOWARDS FORESTS” EVENT ITALIAN PAVILION – BLUE ZONE 7. November, 2022
Held in the Blue Zone of the Italian Pavilion, Stefano Boeri Architetti’s event Green Obsession: Trees Towards Cities, Humans Towards Forests on November 7, provided an ideal platform for Impact One, Therme Art and Therme Group to present their Dubai wellbeing city concept, currently in development with Stefano Boeri Architetti. The “Green Obsession” event centred on discussions around integrative urban planning, sustainable city living and biodiversity.
A mature tree in the city produces 110 kg of oxygen each year, and absorbs about 400 kg of carbon dioxide. Bringing nature to the cities of the world is no longer just a gesture of good intention by a small minority. These are necessary choices if we want our cities to become the protagonists of change. – Stefano Boeri
“ANCESTRAL WISDOMS AND POSSIBLE FUTURES” HOPE HOUSE – FOUR SEASONS RESORT 11. November, 2022
The Ancestral Wisdom and Possible Futures event, held on November 11 at Hope House in Sharm El Sheikh’s Four Seasons Resort, invited a remarkable group of leaders to examine, share and reflect on alternative modes of knowledge production, pedagogy, language and activism.
The territory that is guarded by Indigenous communities is the most important remaining territory on our planet. – Mikolaj Sekutowicz
When you want to create in harmony with an ecosystem and the larger net or web that we’re all related to, we have to start by listening before we start to weave. – Jeanne de Kroon (Social and Environmental Activist)
Rasu Yawanawa, Kenetsaini Yawanawa and Iskukua Yawanawa performed traditional music and chanting of the Yawanawa community in an opening ceremony. This was followed by Ancestral Knowledge as the Fundamental of Contemporary Education, a conversation between Isku Kua and Nina Gualinga, discussing the importance of language in retaining culture, heritage and identity, as well as prioritising schools and education programmes for indigenous children, that allows them to retain their specific forms of ancestral understanding.
“INDIGENOUS WOMEN ON THE FRONTLINES ON HOW TO BE A GOOD ALLY” PANEL DISCUSSION
Indigenous Women on The Frontlines on How To Be a Good Ally invited Patricia Gualinga of the Kichwa community, Celia Xakriabá and Sônia Guajajara, recently elected as the first indigenous congresswomen respectively for the States of Minas Gerais and São Paulo, as part of Brasil’s new government, Gloria Ushigua and Casey Camp-Horinek from the Ponca Nation, who came together in a listening session, sharing their personal lived experiences coming from different Indigenous communities across the American continent. The discussion centred on the crucial role Indigenous women have played in political and environmentalist movements both historically and in the present day, highlighting the essential work that each of the panellists are engaged in, actively fighting to protect their communities, their territories and the planet, in the view of exploitative industries and climate change.
We work on our healing and collective healing because we are hurt and we have to heal. Our planet, our Mother Earth, our land is hurt, and when the earth hurts we also hurt and when we hurt the land hurts. That is us as women, we are connected to the land. – Patricia Gualinga (Indigenous Leader and Defender of Native Rights from the Kichwa People)
Indigenous women’s rich knowledge about the natural world, health, ancient rites and rituals, amongst other significant cultural expressions, are vital in the development of effective solutions to counter colonial legacies, such as cultural hegemony, ecosystem destruction and unequal power structures. Only through intersectional, interdisciplinary and intentional methodologies can we cede epistemological space in the world to Indigenous ways of knowing and being without intervention, assimilation, or appropriation.
It’s time to ensure security for the real guardians of Mother Earth (…) it’s also important that global funding foresees the implementation of global policies, it is only by ensuring the rights of Mother Earth that it is possible to save humanity. – Sônja Guajajara (Politician and Indigenous Environmentalist from the Guajajara community)
“In this time of prophecy, we understand that it is our honour, our responsibility and our duty to speak on behalf of the one true mother we all share, the Mother Earth, of the one true father we all share, the father sky and to move into that position as an elected official for my people, one of the first acts that we enacted, that I brought to the council, was to put a moratorium on fracking and injection wells within our territory.” – Casey Camp-Horinek (Native Rights Activist and Environmentalist of the Ponca Community)
Therme Art, Impact One, Therme Group and the One Health Research Centre’s participation in COP27 was met with collaborative, thoughtful and innovative engagement. We were incredibly proud to host such a powerful programme, with key contributions from Indigenous representatives and pioneering thought-leaders, along with distinguished experts from the fields of science, urban planning and architecture. Our participation in COP27 anticipates our involvement at COP28 next year, where we look forward to the fruitful relationships, progressive solutions and collaborative exchanges that will arise from the UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh.
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