Indigenous peoples from Brazil protest UN Rio+20 summit

1. Indigenous peoples from five countries told the UN Rio+20 summit that the green economy is a “crime against humanity” that ‘dollarises’ Mother Nature and strips communities of their rights. Native peoples gathered in Rio for a counter-summit issued a declaration blasting the goals pursued by world leaders attending the official UN Rio+20 summit on sustainable development.

2. The indigenous peoples have been attending a parallel “People’s Summit,” an initiative of 200 ecological groups and social movements from around the world. They comprise 400 representatives of 20 Brazilian indigenous groups, including Guaranis, Tikunas, Tukanos, Gavioes, Kayapos, Xavantes and Bororos, as well as 1,200 natives from Canada, the United States, Colombia and Nicaragua.

3. “The Green Economy is a crime against humanity and the Earth,” the text of the declaration said. “In order to achieve sustainable development, states must recognise the traditional systems of resource management of the Indigenous Peoples that have existed for the millennia.”

4. “We cannot allow false solutions to destroy the Earth’s balance, assassinate the seasons, unleash severe weather havoc, privatise life and threaten the very survival of humanity,” the Kari-Oca 2 declaration said.

5. “We see the goals of Rio+20, the ‘Green Economy’ and its premise that the world can only ‘save’ nature by commodifying its life-giving and life-sustaining capacities as a continuation of the colonialism that indigenous peoples and our Mother Earth have faced and resisted for 520 years,” the declaration said.

6. “Our rights to self determination, to our own governance and own self-determined development, our inherent rights to our lands, territories and resources are increasingly and alarmingly under attack by the collaboration of governments and transnational corporations.”

7. Rio+20 marks the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit – a landmark gathering that opened the debate on the future of the planet and its resources.


9. Indigenous people prepare to board an underground train as they commute to the People’s Summit for Social and Environmental Justice in Defence of the Commons, a parallel event during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, in Rio de Janeiro

10. An indigenous man stands in a subway train as he makes his way to the People’s Summit at Rio+20 for Social and Environmental Justice in Rio de Janeiro