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© Eric Julien / Tchendukua 2021


Why COP26 needs indigenous voices

The Kogi of Colombia are an indigenous South American tribe from the Andes who have been warning about the impact of climate change for decades. In a film first shown on Netflix, the Kogi raise awareness of climate change through self-filmed footage that reveals the symbiotic relationship that can exist between nature and planet.

The Kogi say that to listen is to think, and thought is the basis of reality. We need to listen in order to survive. 

Alan Ereira

Ahead of COP26, UK based environmental charity the Tairona Heritage Trust today rereleased the environmental film, called Aluna – meaning consciousness – for free in 14 languages to help put the voice of indigenous people at the heart of discussions on climate change.

“Indigenous voices are almost entirely absent from all mainstream discussion of climate change. Their worldview is fundamentally different from ours and urgently needs to be listened to,” said Jean-Paul Mertinez, director of Compassionate Films and Trustee of the Tairona Heritage Trust. “Time and again Western scientists have found immense value from speaking to and learning from the Kogi and other indigenous groups. The way they live in closer connection to the natural world provides them with insights that are not tied to industrialisation and exploitation of the planet’s biodiversity. We hope that now with the Tairona Heritage Trust releasing the film to audiences for free in 14 different languages it will help to amplify the important understanding the Kogi have, and that these will reach the leaders at COP26 and beyond.”

The leaders of the Kogis are called the Mamas, who are trained in caves from birth about the ‘natural forces, rhythms and laws of nature which they say govern all life’. And through this learning the Mamas then guide their communities based on principles of interconnection.

Watch the documentary for free.

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Written By

Iain is a creative writer, journalist and lecturer, and formerly an editor of two international business publications. Iain is now editor of Innovators Magazine, as well as the strategic content director for OnePoint5Media.


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