From Copenhagen to Cochabamba, via the Amazon By Ben Powless

17 April, 2010 — Climate and Capitalism

On his way to the World Peoples’ Conference in Bolivia, a member of the Indigenous Environmental Network from the Six Nations in Ontario revisits the scenes of struggle to defend indigenous communities and rights in the Peruvian Amazon.

This article first appeared in, and is published here with the author’s permission. Photos he took in Peru can be viewed on Flickr.

The Amazon, it is often said, functions like the lungs of Mother Earth. The dense forest and undergrowth absorb much of the carbon dioxide that we manage to pump into the skies — an ever more important and taxing effort in light of the threats to our climate.

In December, countries around the world gathered in Copenhagen to reach an agreement to protect the climate, even if purely face-saving, and failed. With that sour taste gone, Bolivia has invited governments, social movements, Indigenous Peoples, politicians, really anyone who cares, to attend the so-called World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. The conference will be held the 19th-22nd in Cochabamba.

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