Climate Action Must Address Fossil Fuels, Protect Forests, and Listen to Communities

As Hurricane Florence bore down on the Carolinas and super Typhoon Mangkhut devastated the Philippines and parts of China, the streets of San Francisco were also flooded last week by tens of thousands of people demanding greater, more urgent action to address the global climate crisis.Led by the native Coastal Miwok and Ohlone peoples of the Bay Area and indigenous peoples from around the world, over 30,000 demonstrators filled Market Street in the largest West Coast mobilization for climate justice ever. The “Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice” march in San Francisco was one of over 900 actions in 95 countries calling on governments and institutions to leave fossil fuels in the ground and commit to 100% renewable energy.Amazon Watch made sure that a delegation of the Kichwa indigenous peoples from Sarayaku was also there. They made the long journey from deep inside the Ecuadorian Amazon to share their solution to the climate crisis, their Kawsak Sacha, or Living Forest Proposal, which they publicly launched in Ecuador this summer. This visionary proposal would create a new international category for the permanent protection of native land, free of natural resource extraction and based upon the interconnected relationship between indigenous peoples and all the living beings within their their forests and waters.