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Brazilian Guarani indian leader’s views on Climate Change - Olivio Jekupé

Published 25th October 2009 - 2 comments - 1596 views -

Olivio Jekupé and his family live in the Krukutu indian village located in the São Paulo metropolitan region, Brazil. He studied philosophy, is an indigenous writer and the President of his village's Association. Always tranquil, Olivio delivered an interesting view on indigenous peoples views on Climate Change:

"We live this life here, like they say, and the government should pay us for it, because we are doing that which the whites are not doing. We are protecting the forest that the whites destroy."

"...in respecting the forest, we are protecting the world...So, that’s what the world cannot understand. Love the earth, love the forest, because we will be happy in the future."

OLIVIO JUKEPÉ'S DECLARATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

So, then, the issue of climate change, we at the indian villages, we are noticing that it is arriving very fast. I always say that this global warming, these changes, they will affect everyone. So, I think that us, the indigenous peoples, that already do a good bit, which is protecting the forest, we now have to try to do an even better partnership which is to talk with the non Indians to try to raise awareness amongst them so that they won’t destroy nature, because if they destroy nature the weather will really change, there is no escape. So, climate change, affects all peoples. So, even though we live in the forest, we are affected. In the Indian village where I live, we are there and we see the change in the cold weather, the time that was supposed to be cold is warm, the time that was supposed to be hot is cold, so this is sad because we observe that the weather is changing. It’s not that we hear it on TV, we see in the real world the weather being impacted and that impacts us. So me, as the president of the association of the Indian village where I live, I receive many tourists, Europeans, Brazilians, and I always show them how the life we live, we suffer prejudice in town, because society says “Why don’t you cut down the forest to plan?” but I say the opposite: We live this life here, like they say, and the government should pay us for it, because we are doing that which the whites are not doing. We are protecting the forest that the whites destroy. So, we have to continue to teach our children to respect the forest. Because in respecting the forest, we are protecting the world. So, that’s what the world cannot understand. Love the earth, love the forest, because we will be happy in the future.

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This is the first of a series of declarations by indigenous peoples from Brazil collected at the Indigenous Book Fair of Mato Grosso State/FLIMT (with my FLIP/Mino HD!), which took place on 6-11 of October. You will hear the opinions of indigenous holy men, women, writers, leaders, youngsters and elders on: What does Climate Change mean to you?

See Moura Tukano's declaration here.

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OLIVIO'S ORIGINAL DECLARATION IN PORTUGUESE:

É, então, a questão da mudança climática, a gente também na aldeia a gente está percebendo que ela está chegando muito rápido. E eu sempre digo que esse aquecimento global, essas mudança, ela vai afetar todo mundo. Então, eu acho que nós indígenas, que já fazemos uma parte boa, que é proteger a floresta, a gente tem que agora a gente tentar fazer uma parceria melhor ainda que é conversar com os não índios pra poder conscientizar eles para que eles não destruam a natureza, porque se destrói a natureza o clima vai mudar mesmo, não tem escapatória. Então, mudança de clima, afeta todos os povos. Então por mais que nós vivemos na floresta, nós somos afetados. Na aldeia que eu moro, a gente está lá e a gente vê a mudança no frio, época que não era pra fazer frio está fazendo calor, dia que era pra fazer calor faz frio, então isso é triste porque a gente observa que o clima está mudando mesmo, Então, não é que a gente escuta na televisão a gente vê na prática o clima sendo afetado e isso afeta nós. Então eu, como presidente da associação na aldeia onde eu moro, eu recebo muitos turistas, europeus, brasileiros, e sempre eu mostro pra eles que a vida que nós levamos, a gente sofre com preconceito na cidade, que a sociedade costuma falar que nós somos vagabundo, “Porque que não derrubam essa mata para plantar”. Eu falo ao contrário: A gente viver aqui nessa vida, como eles falam, o governo devia pagar pra nós porque nós estamos fazendo aquilo que o branco não faz. A gente protege a floresta e o branco destrói. Então, a gente tem que continuar ensinando as nossas crianças a respeitar a floresta. Porque se a gente respeita a floresta, a gente está protegendo o mundo. Então, isso que o mundo não consegue entender. Ame as terras, ame as floresta, porque seremos felizes no futuro.

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Comments

Nicolau Kietzmann on 26th October 2009:

Deborah, adorei a entrevista!
Muito bacana essa idéia de colocar os índios nos vídeos!
Sorte rumo a Compenhague!

Paul Montariol on 10th November 2009:

I hope that they will succeed!

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