“There is no planet B.” Perhaps no one understands that better than Indigenous people. Understanding how to coexist with nature has been an essential life skill for many generations, and today’s Indigenous people are still honoring the environment through various movements. These movements support sustainable, low-impact lifestyles that meet the needs of humans and the planet. If you want to support Indigenous organizations working toward this goal through everything from education to legal help, check out this list of Indigenous-led eco-charities worldwide.
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Climate justice is the goal, and Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are keeping a focus on that goal through a series of campaigns supported by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC). AYCC understands Indigenous communities are highly affected by climate change and is committed to empowering the younger generation to address the issue.
To participate, you can sign the petition to urge Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ban any governmental support of new coal and gas projects. Organizers say, “We are the caretakers, protection of the country is at the very core of our culture and connection to the land and sea. It is the teaching of the Dreaming.” You can also sign a petition to ban fracking in the region.
A recent article from The Guardian summarizes the mission saying, “Where they can, communities are already acting to make these changes reality. For example, in the Northern Territory, where Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network, Seed, is working with communities to protect the country and water from dangerous gas fracking, communities are working to become energy self-sufficient and supply clean and cheap power with solar power and batteries.”
The goals of the IEN are many, but they center around continuing to impart ancestral knowledge about land management to modern generations both within and outside the Indigenous community. IEN is a grassroots effort started in the United States in 1990. In addition to educating and empowering the Indigenous community, the group aims to protect the environment, human health, and animals by promoting sustainable lifestyles and influencing policies that affect Indigenous Peoples at local to international levels. The group includes elders and youth in campaigns to protect the rights of all while transferring traditional cultural and spiritual beliefs to the next generation of land stewards.
Through IEN, the ‘Keep it in the Ground’ campaign provides information and news about Keystone XL, Line 3 and No DAPL. The ‘Just Transition’ campaign seeks to refocus how we view the planet’s natural resources — a shift that moves away from seeing it as a product and instead promotes a lifestyle of balance with nature. ‘Save our Roots’ highlights various land and water issues, such as a campaign to stop genetically engineered trees and protect against deforestation worldwide.
Many Indigenous groups still live in and rely on forested areas for protection, shelter, food, heat and natural materials for home goods, trade and industry. But while these communities continue the practices of previous generations, they’re fighting a battle with a world trying to use those same resources without consideration for Indigenous people or the land. FPP’s goal is to ensure these communities have a voice when it comes to political strong-arming that strips them of their lands and their rights to them.
The ‘Free Prior and Informed Consent’ (FPIC) campaign provides the people the right to approve or deny outside use of their traditional lands. ‘Self Determination’ supports forest people’s rights to develop and practice their own political, economic, social and cultural practices. They also work to ensure gender equality and land rights, among other concepts.
Led by Indigenous women throughout North America, Women’s Earth Alliance, Sacred Earth Advocacy Network is on a mission to identify and enforce federal environmental laws and customary international law. It presses for governmental law reform and offers support for women-led Indigenous environmental justice groups. With a well-established nationwide network of legal professionals, the group advocates action through grassroots solutions for the climate, economy, water, energy, food, cultural preservation, health, safety, education and more.
The Earth has no voice. Or rather, it does, but it’s often drowned out by humans. CCAEJ works to advocate for the planet from a community perspective. It brings communities together in search of solutions for social and environmental problems. The focus is to empower people to develop systems that meet community needs with respect for the planet. As CCAEJ explains on its website, “We believe in a zero-emission future and in regenerative and sustainable communities.”
Working with local communities and acknowledging that they are closest to the problems and potential solutions, the group addresses crises related to pollution, cleaner transportation, zero-emission technology and more.
Lead image via Pixabay