Return on the meeting “Sanctuarization of the forests”

Event organized by Émilie GAILLARD, General Coordinator of the Normandy Chair of Excellence for Peace (Normandy Region, CNRS, University of Caen Normandy) in collaboration with Nadia Tahir (ERLIS, University of Caen Normandy) and Vassili Rivron (CERREV, University of Caen Normandy) The objective was to address the following points:

  • the Amazonian forest object of deforestation
  • the cosmogony of the indigenous peoples: what relationship with the forest?
  • What are the implications for the anthropological approach to the relationship with Nature? 
  • what legal perspectives are open?

On the program:

  • 4.30 pm – 6.30 pm

Workshop with indigenous leaders from the Alliance of Mother Nature’s Guardians

  • Magdalene Setia Kaitei, Maasai people (Kenya), Executive Director of Emayian Integrated Development Organization.
  • Mindahi Crescencio Bastida Muñoz, Director of the Original Caretakers Program of the Center for Earth Ethics, General Coordinator of the Otomi-Hñahñu Regional Council (Mexico), guardian of the philosophy and traditions of the Otomi people.
  • Ivanice Pires Tanone, cacique of the Kariri-Xocó indigenous people, one of the few indigenous women leaders in Brazil
  • 8 pm – 10 pm

Screening of the film “TERRA LIBRE” – Debate with indigenous leaders/Guardians of Mother Nature

“TERRA LIBRE” – A film by Gert-Peter Bruch (125 min. Audience Award of the Atmospheres Festival). The screening, organized in collaboration with the Lux cinema, was followed by a debate with Gert Peter Bruch and two of the three indigenous leaders: Magdalene Setia K. and Mindahi Bastida. A call for the awakening of consciousness, with the guardians of the living world as guides.

With the presence of Gert-Peter Bruch, founder of Planète Amazone. Workshop animated by Vassili Rivron (anthropologist, specialist in Brazil, CERREV, University of Caen Normandie) and Nadia Tahir (Senior Lecturer in Spanish-American Studies, ERLIS, University of Caen Normandie).

First, Mindahi Bastida explained how the sacred territories of central Mexico are now being desecrated. The territories that indigenous peoples collectively safeguard to preserve life are now in danger. From the point of view of the cosmovision of the indigenous peoples, land, water and air are considered sacred elements and not resources. This is why they plead for the legal recognition of their action in favor of the protection of the Earth, asking democratic governments, such as that of the French Republic, to sign the Convention n°169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, to show their international support. In addition, it opens the reflection on the fact that within this climate crisis, the indigenous peoples cannot do this work without collaboration and that it is important to raise awareness of these global problems that affect us all. He quoted: “What world are we leaving to future generations? And, what generations are we leaving to the world?”

On the other hand, Magdalene Setia declared that it is time to think about “us and future generations”, being necessary to adapt to indigenous knowledge and integrate it with scientific approaches to return to nature. She quoted: “We call on governments to support the protection of nature, forests, for the adoption of policies that protect present and future generations”. In Kenya, the Mau forest, which feeds rivers, life and people, is being destroyed. According to Magdalene, the government has now realized that this has a direct impact on the population and that the Mau Forest needs to be protected. There is still time to pursue collective action and to encourage young people to participate in this process. Magdalene Setia: “Everyone must be involved in the restoration of the forest.

In this context, the Normandy Chair for Peace seeks not only to make the voices of indigenous peoples heard on a large scale, but also to reinforce the urgent need to take environmental conservation more seriously at the local, national and international levels.

Research workshop conducted as part of the Normandy Chair of Excellence for Peace in partnership with the Alliance of Mother Nature’s Guardians.

This event brought together representatives of Otomi and Massai peoples and was the occasion of a very nice inter-cultural meeting in the amphitheater of the MSRH. The preview of the film directed by Gert Peter BRUCH allowed to understand the delicate situation of indigenous peoples in Brazil.

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