Indigenous wisdom can provide perspectives that are very different from the view of mainstream world culture. But this wisdom is also available in our own culture, at least to the extent that we can joke about it. While it is difficult to step outside the assumptions of our own worldview, it is not impossible. Business and government frame things in ways that suit their purposes, but we do not need to accept their framing. Healthy skepticism, humourous cynicism, indigenous wisdom, and compassionate spiritual discernment can all take us to the same place. The quote below, from the Cochabamba declaration, and the cartoon on the right both express similar sentiments, one on behalf of the oppressed peoples of the world, the other from a perspective of western cynicism — both speaking on behalf of nature.
The definition of forests used in the negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which includes plantations, is unacceptable. Monoculture plantations are not forests. Therefore, we require a definition for negotiation purposes that recognizes the native forests, jungles and the diverse ecosystems on Earth.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples must be fully recognized, implemented and integrated in climate change negotiations. The best strategy and action to avoid deforestation and degradation and protect native forests and jungles is to recognize and guarantee collective rights to lands and territories, especially considering that most of the forests are located within the territories of indigenous peoples and nations and other traditional communities.