NEWS:  March 22, 2018
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Bird’s Eye View of the News

Atila Sinke Guimarães
HEADING TOWARD AN INDIGENOUS SPIRITUALITY –   Today, my task is to analyze some of the 79 schedules the WWF organizers offered yesterday, March 21, to participants of their Forum. As in the previous articles of this series, I will copy verbatim the text of the schedules from the WWF website and make short comments on them.

Schedule 1: March 21, Wednesday, for the 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. meeting – This session aims to bring together people impacted by various water related crimes to forge a clear path for the role that civil society can play in protecting communities, advocating their rights, bringing justice to those affected and identifying best practices of compensation.

1. The concept of crimes related to water is mentioned in this text. What normally comes to mind is the case of someone being criminally drowned in a river or lake. This is not, however, what the WWF is referring to. As the phrase continues other elements of WWF’s concept of crime appear: Crime is an injustice committed against the rights of communities.

Protesting indians

Munduruku tribe members protest their land demarcation for a hydroelectric plant

2. What would be an example? One example would be a government that decides to build a dam and a power-plant on a river in the Amazonia region on land that belongs to the government, but is claimed as the property of a minuscule tribes of Indians. These Indians alleged that they could not live anywhere except that precise area that would be used by the plant. The government is accused of a crime against the Indians.

So, according to these arguments the government would have to stop the project that actually was meant to benefit millions of other people and supply energy and bring progress to an enormous region. I am not making this up. This is precisely what happened with the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant in the Amazon region of Brazil.

3. Campaigns denouncing these “crimes” against the Brazilian Indians were aggrandized by the agents of Liberation Theology. They made lots of noise about the Indians’ rights, causing the postponement of those plants for many years. It does not seem a coincidence that the WWF and Liberation Theology promote hand-in-hand the same type of class-struggle, which corresponds well to communist goals. It is another confirmation that the Green Revolution represents a metamorphosis of the Red Revolution.

Schedule 2 – March 21, Wednesday, for the 4:30 to 6 p.m. meeting – New Zealand, Ecuador and Bolivia’s law are working on the recognition of nature’s right. The theory of giving rights to nature was proposed in the 1970s and has been gained concrete examples and cases worldwide in recent years as an environmental defense strategy. As examples, a New Zealand river, Whanganui River, is now a person under domestic law, and India’s Ganges River was recently granted human rights.

This session will analyze case studies of the recognition of river rights, from the governance and law perspective, and the diverse cultural approaches and relationships to water and rivers of people, ethnic groups and countries around the world.

1. Some time ago, we saw the UNESCO issuing a Declaration on Animal Rights. We also have seen the UN promote the Earth Charter and commemorate a Mother Earth Day as if it were a saint's feast day. In this WWF schedule, those who consider nature as a subject with rights are presented as models to be followed.

A poster advertising the rights of rivers

A site dedicated to protecting the rights of rivers

2. Normally speaking, only rational beings can have rights. So, in this act granting rights to nature, what is implicit is that nature is a person. What kind of person? If we take into consideration the example the WWF gives of the Ganges River, we see that this new person is a deity; as a matter of fact, the Hindus consider the Ganges River as divine.

3. So, the ecological program that is evolving under the Green Revolution acquires a religious aspect. We have “Mother Earth,” a higher divinity, surrounded by an array of minor deities such as rivers. It seems that if things continue on this path, shortly, a whole procession of god-idols will be offered by the WWF for people's adoration.

4. Again, it does not seem a coincidence that the proposal to give rights to nature was an initiative of the governments of Ecuador and Bolivia. Indeed, the presidents of both countries – Lenín Moreno and Evo Morales – are known Marxists who do their best to advance communist ideals. It also is not per chance that the Earth Charter was drafted by Gorbachev former president of the Soviet Union.

Schedule 3 – March 21, Wednesday, for the 4:30 to 6 p.m. meeting – Indigenous peoples of the Americas have their own vision on water and water related issues. Water is a first-order component of their cosmo-vision, well beyond a human right. Indigenous peoples have created systems of integrated water management and governance throughout the centuries that still adequately respond to challenges associated with water security.

These traditions, in dialogue with indigenous knowledge, inspire the search for innovative technologies and forms of organization for the sustainable provision of water on the continent. Indigenous practices related to hydrosocial cycles and hydropolitics are largely invisible, as are connected holistic values including spirituality, regulatory frameworks, hydraulic practices and conflict resolution.

This session will give visibility to the Forum agenda about the importance of the water cultures of indigenous peoples. The session will give the floor to indigenous leaders of the region to present their visions and cultures on water.

1. The first thing that shocks in this text is its lack of objectivity. Indeed, there is no accessible evidence that this generic affirmation is true: “Indigenous peoples have created systems of integrated water management and governance throughout the centuries that still adequately respond to challenges associated with water security.”

Guayabero indians fishing

Guayabero Indians fishing - not constructing hydroelectric plants - in Mato Grosso State

There is no such a thing as “integrated water management and governance” among Indians. I am from Brazil and among our Indians I have never observed anything like this. They use the rivers and oceans to fish and sail. They do not make rational exploitation of water by constructing hydraulic mills to grind corn into flour or, still less, some hydraulic-generated electrical tool to deliver light to their tabas.

So, as far as I know, the statements of WWF on this topic do not seem true; they appear, rather, as mere propaganda.

2. If you still have doubts about where the WWF and Green Revolution are heading, here you have the answer: They want to promote “holistic Indian values, including their spirituality.” In other words, Tribalism is being presented as new model for society with the fostering of “indigenous spirituality,” that is, the idolatry of nature as something that WWF participants should imitate and spread as connatural with the Agenda 2030.

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