For those living within the Indigenous territories of the Amazon, the commitments made by world leaders at COP26 to tackle the scourge of deforestation ring hollow.
As the destruction of the world’s largest rainforest increases, many consider a $19bn pledge to end and reverse deforestation insufficient and uncredible.
Often, world leaders make such grandiose statements at international events in an effort to ensure their place on the right side of history. Doing so is often followed by demonstrating a complete lack of political will to bring such plans into reality. That, combined with the non-binding nature of the agreements, means that what leaders say on the international stage can be in complete contrast to what happens when they return home.
In much of Latin America, large extractive companies are often accused of buying politics. These firms know that their actions, while contrary to environmental commitments of current legislation, will be carried out without obstacles. Much of that is down to the judicial impunity they enjoy and their close relationship with public authorities.
While environmental commitments can help cleanse the dirtiest of consciences and ensure compliance with regulations, the implementation of rules are scarce. Funds to stop deforestation have existed for years but have largely been ineffective.
Another problem in combating deforestation is that international cooperation projects that reach the Indigenous territories are not always aligned with recovery programs. For example, in Caquetá, Colombia, incentives are being granted to improve pastures in the Amazon in areas that were previously deforested, according to Edilma Prada, researcher and intercultural editor of Agenda Propia, an independent media outlet specialising in Indigenous peoples in Latin America.
CommentsWe encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.