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Carlos Vicente Addresses the Climate Action Assembly II

Carlos Vicente addresses the Climate Action Assembly II at the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, USA.

Good morning everyone. We would like to thank the Parliament of the World’s Religions for the opportunity to promote the voice of each of these Indigenous leaders on this stage two days ago.

They told us about the gravity of the situation they face in which their fundamental rights to life and the preservation of their cultures are threatened by a development model that promotes death rather than life. They have also brought us their example of struggle and resistance which have lasted for centuries. 

The crisis of global climate change, pollution, and the accelerated loss of biodiversity teach us that all the violence practiced against the Indigenous peoples and the nature is also violence practiced against each and every one of us. And that defending the rights of Indigenous people guarantees the defense of our rights of life. 

As members of the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative in Brazil, Colombia, Peru, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Indonesia, we have been working hard to raise awareness, educate, and engage religious leaders, and have achieved important results in influencing government actions in favor of defending the rights of Indigenous peoples and preserve forests.

I took part in the Amazon Summit last week and I was able to see the power and influence that faith communities can exert on the commitment of the government in the Amazon. With the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative, we offer this platform for religious leaders to engage on this matter. And we issued a strong call to action to all Amazonian governments that was now echoed at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

We call on all religious communities represented here to expand your efforts, even further, and to work even more closely with Indigenous peoples, scientists, and environmental groups to influence governments and companies to promote sustainability. Religious communities can change the consumerist and selfish values that underpin this lifestyle of modern societies and fulfill the devastation of the forest and condemn Indigenous peoples to indifference and extermination.

Together, let’s raise awareness among new leaders and members of our religious communities about climate change and the importance of the tropical forest. Let’s teach about the spiritual values of caring for nature. Let’s adopt environmental practices in our religious communities. Let’s promote dialogue and pressures on government and companies to adopt the appropriate policies and business practices. 

Love for all people and care for nature are the foundations of all religions and the spiritualities. They are also the way to build a society of peace and dignified life for all today and always. Now, I would like to invite to this stage the amazing Indigenous leaders from Brazil, Diara Tucano. 

Thank you so much.

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