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Nina Gualinga Speaks Up About Climate Change and COP20

Activist Nina Gualinga

Nina Gualinga is from a small community in Ecuador called Sarayaku. She is an activist for the rights of Indigenous people, speaking up on platforms such as the Huffington Post about protecting the Indigenous cultural identity that contains traditions to use resources in sustainable ways. In particular, she focuses on Indigenous practices that encourage the regrowth and regeneration of resources.

Recently, Nina Gualinga spoke about climate change at the COP20 Climate Conference that took place in Lima in December of 2014. She spoke to the world leaders in attendance about the importance of protecting the environment to help make for a better world for future generations. She explained that it is vital to use resources wisely now to avoid environmental disasters and further irreversible climate changes.

In particular, Gualinga advocates reducing the global usage of fossil fuels. Namely, those resources are gas, oil, and coal. Currently, these fuel reserves are being burned at an alarmingly fast rate, which is raising global warming. According to Eye on Latin America, “between 60-80% of the world’s known fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground, instead of being burned and thus resulting in vast amounts of carbon dioxide being released into the environment…”

Why is this cause close to Nina Gualinga’s heart? The Amazon rainforest in Ecuador is a massive site of oil production. While advocates for the extraction of oil from the Amazon may argue that it will help take Ecuador out of poverty, Gualinga explains the opposite.

She says that Ecuador will remain in poverty, despite the oil extraction, and the activities will only destroy the environment as well as local culture and kill animals. The effects would reach far beyond Ecuador, having an effect on the global climate in the form of worsening global warming and more.

There is an Amazon Watch campaign that calls for an end to the drilling of oil in the Amazon rainforest. To date, there are 37,560 people who have signed the petition. Below is a video that has gone viral that features Nina Gualinga discussing the issues in her local area of Sarayaku, Ecuador. The video is titled Keep the Oil in the Ground.

Are you worried about climate change and the effects of oil drilling in the Amazon?

28 thoughts on “Nina Gualinga Speaks Up About Climate Change and COP20”

  1. Thanks for this post. This is probably the most important topic facing humanity today. It needs to be talked about more, and people need to be convinced that it is happening, it is real..The more people who really listen and pay attention with an open mind will eventually come to the same conclusion. We must act now, even though I think it is too late at this stage. Thanks for following my blog, I am now following yours.

    1. Yes, climate change is SO important and it’s tough that many people are choosing to look away as it’s easier to put their head in the sand.. acting NOW is so important, as you say.. thanks for taking time here and I’m glad we now follow one another’s blogs :)

    2. Thanks so much, it is refreshing to have a conversation with someone who is on the same page. I have been called an alarmist, but I would rather be on the safe side, than sorry, but you would have to be blind not to see it. It is not looking to be a bright future. That alone should be cause for concern and make us be worthy stewards.

    3. Yes, the old adage “better safe than sorry” seem so fit here. Thanks for adding so well to the discussion! I wish you a nice weekend ahead

  2. Thanks for bringing this concern to light. I believe the resources of the rainforest are depleting and most definitely play a part in global warming. :)

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Yes, it’s a tough point we’re at now in terms of the environmental issues. I am glad Nina is bringing attention to the issues. Hugs

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Thank you, Linnea. I felt she was in need of being spotlighted here for her inspiration efforts. I hope you are doing well!

  3. Everything Nina says is true. She is a hero!
    As a Canadian, I am ashamed about the Tar Sands oil extraction.
    I cannot find the exact year it began, but I seem to remember it being a long time ago.(not 2006 as Wik says but in the 1990’s}
    If we had used the vast area of the sands to put up windmills and solar farms, and forged ahead with the research on how to utilize the wind and sun better, we would be so far ahead.
    What a pity we are. How disrespectful to the aboriginals (ya, we named the sands after their heritage)
    Only the Chinese really want this evil sin oil we are selling.
    I am so sad the government has glorified this project, as well as restoring the sea pup hunt. I’m sick to my stomach and heart.
    I guess I might be over-opinionated.

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Hi Resa, you are not over-opinionated, in fact I admire the way you are true to your views and communicate them well! I wish more people stepped forward, the way that you do. I believe the Tar Sands issue began in the mid-90s, and it’s awful the way it is affecting future generations. It makes me scared for the future people of this world… Thank you for sharing your views and never apologize for what you believe. xx

  4. There are so many women, young and old speaking out on so many issues vital to our survival. Yet they seem to be ignored by those with the power to make the necessary changes. Do you wonder what it will take?

    Thank you for this one my friend.

    1. Christy Birmingham

      That is such a great interpretation, Val. There’s gaps in communication that are appalling and need to change… if only we can find the correct key for the lock… Thank you.

  5. Great post dear Christy-Pie!~

    I like this young woman approach over here.. She seems to have indigenous roots, but I find quite odd that she speaks english so fluently ~

    Anyway I liked when she says that we can’t justify Amazon Rainforests abuses using economical arguments and she is so right regarding the fact that the cycle of weather has changed… This is certainly a local (latin american) issue with a considerable global impact.
    Last but not least I wanted to add this ad over here read by actor K Spacey. You’ll like it… the ending is ironic but true!

    Thanks for sharing!. Happy weekend B2 :star: hugs Aquileana :D

    Nature Is Speaking – Kevin Spacey is The Rainforest | Conservation International (CI)

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Hi Aqui,
      That video is a great share, thank you! I hadn’t seen it before. The rainforest is talking – making air… aha, good point! Thank you for your perceptive comment and pointing out how fluent she is in English. The global environmental deterioration is so sad and I’m thankful for activists for the cause, such as Nina Gualinga. Knowing I have your support is… empowering! Thank you xo

  6. Christy, I’m so glad your post is about a brave young woman addressing climate change. “Nina splits her time between Sweden and Sarayaku. She is studying human rights at university in Sweden.”-this is indeed worthy of great admiration, being an environmental activist and also educating herself on how to target the situation more efficiently. I suppose becoming an “activist” for any cause involves not only saying you believe in the cause, but learning about it as much as possible. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Hi Maria,
      You make a great point here about what exactly IS an activist. It is more than learning, in my opinion, with a focus on taking action and speaking up about what needs to change and suggesting alternative solutions. I am pleased you enjoyed the post and thank you for the comment!

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