Several Colombian indigenous communities on Wednesday signed their own “Kyoto Protocol,” an agreement to preserve their cultures and the ecosystems they live in.
More than 400 people participated in the meeting, close to the city of Popayan in western Colombia.
The communities “are saddened to observe the forests diminish and the lagoons and streams disappear because humanity does not understand that the earth is a part of life,” community elder Jose Domingo told ABC.
The creation of schools in six Indian reserves in the Cauca region will allow traditional and cultural knowledge to be passed to new generations. This project aims to counteract the increasing Westernization of the indigenous communities and is financed by the Spanish government through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The leader of the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC), Elides Pechene, explained that “the indigenous villages are aware that they need to conserve their territory so that Mother Earth does not become commercialized.”
After the exchange of opinions, the pact was signed and initiated with a ritual to celebrate nature.