his name is Sumac Helena Siren Gualingabut they know him as Helena Gualinga, At just 19 years old, she is one of the indigenous activists seeking protection of the Amazon. Gualinga belongs to the Quechua Sarayaku community. Helena Gualinga attends the Conference of the Parties for the second time (COP 26), an international forum of the United Nations that seeks to involve the countries of the world in the fight against climate change, which was held in Glasgow until November 12, 2021.
Women with the surname Gualinga are known for their fight for the rights of indigenous peoples and nature. Helena is Nina’s sister, Patricia’s niece and Christina’s granddaughter, all workers, all surnames Gualinga.
In a recent interview that was introduced by Helena Gualinga Business from Ecuador, The young activist showed his frustration with past COP 26, as he believes there is a debt with Amazon. Furthermore, he stressed that, although the Ecuadorian government has shown itself to be in favor of the fight against climate change, The policies of President Guillermo Lasso’s administration are about to emerge.
Gualinga referred to the Ecuadorian government‘s announcement about the creation of a new marine reserve for the Galapagos, a news that was internationally lauded for its conservationist nature, however, the activist indicated that “When there is a global conference, and mitigation policies against climate change are being discussed and negotiated and to protect key points such as the Amazon, it does not do justice to declare a Galapagos reserve“For him, although the new reservation is important, only”It was an easy way to try to look good with everyone, but the agenda of the government is the extractor,” he told the Ecuadorian newspaper.
When the new marine reserve was announced, Helena’s sister Nina expressed her concern about the lack of concrete proposals for the conservation of the Amazon. in that moment, Nina Gualinga wrote on its Twitter account that it is “extremely important” that the Galapagos is more secure, however, He denounced that Lasso did not mention that his administration was “going to destroy forests and indigenous areas by doubling down on oil exploitation.” In addition, he indicated that “we are at COP26 to talk about climate change and give up fossil fuels. In Ecuador, Lasso is about to double oil exploitation and cause destruction and more climate crisis,
Helena Gualinga confirms what was said by her sister and mentions that “The government we have now is not an environmentalist. We see how climate justice and transition are being talked about, but this is not a priority in the policy of this government.” Is different: “What we see in Ecuador is that oil exploitation is doubling and oil reserves are expanding.,
In mid-October, representatives of Ecuador’s indigenous peoples and nationalities sued Guillermo Lasso before the Constitutional Court to prevent oil and mining exploitation. The discontent of indigenous groups draws on decrees 95 and 151 issued by the President of Ecuador, which seeks to expand oil and mining extraction in Ecuador’s Amazon.
The lawsuit indicates that the right to consult with indigenous peoples and nationalities on the extent of evacuation activities in their territories has been violated. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) is a specific right of indigenous peoples recognized in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (UNDRIP). Through CPLI, Indigenous peoples can give or decline their consent for a project that affects them or their regions. Once they give their consent, they can withdraw it at any stage of the process. FPIC, on the other hand, allows them to negotiate the terms under which projects are designed, implemented, supervised and evaluated. This principle is rooted in the universal right to self-determination.
On the presence of indigenous people at the Conference of the Parties, Gualinga reported Business that “this is a pending issue”, because indigenous delegations have been their own attempt at survival and have not received any other form of support: “We have ensured that there is more visibility and more spokespersons for the indigenous people. This is not the effort of the COP or the governmentsRather, it is something the indigenous community has worked on. The results we are seeing now are the result of more than 30 years of efforts.”