Protests by greens and indigenous groups overshadowed debate on the world's environment at the Rio 20 United Nations summit here on Thursday, while celebrities clamoured for a sanctuary to protect the riches of the Arctic, news reports said.

A brewing regional crisis also prompted South American presidents at the summit to hold emergency talks where they decided to rush foreign ministers to Paraguay in an attempt to shore up democracy in the troubled state, AFP reported.

On its penultimate day, UN chief Ban Ki-moon defended the first summit on sustainable development in a decade as "the beginning of a journey."

The event "will lead to a more sustainable future for ourselves and for generations to come," he said.

But the gathering came under fire from the leftist presidents of Bolivia and Ecuador, along with indigenous peoples, who said capitalist greed lurked beneath its promotion of the green economy.

Bolivian President Evo Morales described the green economy as "a new colonialism" that rich nations sought to impose on developing countries.

"Countries of the north are getting rich through a predatory orgy and are forcing countries of the south to be their poor rangers," he said.

"They want to create intervention mechanisms to monitor and assess our national policies using environmental concerns as an excuse."

Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, also pressed African countries to protect their mineral wealth from transnational companies.

In an interview with AFP, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador accused rich countries of "looting the planet, consuming environmental assets freely."

Indigenous peoples from five countries told the UN Rio+20 summit that the green economy is a "crime against humanity" that 'dollarises' Mother Nature and strips communities of their rights. Native peoples gathered in Rio for a counter-summit issued a declaration blasting the goals pursued by world leaders attending the official UN Rio+20 summit on sustainable development.
Picture: KeystoneUSA-ZUMA / Rex Features

Indigenous peoples gathered for a counter-summit issued a declaration describing the green economy as "a crime against humanity and the Earth" by dollarising nature and stripping communities of their rights.

Greenpeace announced that ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, actress Penelope Cruz and director Robert Redford joined a campaign for a "global sanctuary" around the North Pole.

The indigenous peoples have been attending a parallel "People's Summit," an initiative of 200 ecological groups and social movements from around the world. They comprise 400 representatives of 20 Brazilian indigenous groups, including Guaranis, Tikunas, Tukanos, Gavioes, Kayapos, Xavantes and Bororos, as well as 1,200 natives from Canada, the United States, Colombia and Nicaragua.
Picture: Andre Penner/AP

The celebrities are among the first 100 names on a planned million-signature scroll that Greenpeace wants to place on the seabed beneath Earth's northernmost point.

The goal is to counter nationalist claims on the North Pole and preserve the heart of the Arctic Ocean from a carve-up for resources.

The shrinkage of Arctic ice through global warming has led to jostling over sea routes and access to the sea bed, believed to be rich in hydrocarbons and minerals.

"We cannot allow false solutions to destroy the Earth's balance, assassinate the seasons, unleash severe weather havoc, privatise life and threaten the very survival of humanity," the Kari-Oca 2 declaration said.

At Friday's close, the 190-nation summit is due to endorse a lengthy statement vowing to tackle Earth's environmental problems and entrenched poverty.

"This is a very good document, this is the vision on which we can build our dreams, our visions and it is important that the member states are united and work together," Ban said.

But the Elders, a group of respected former leaders, environmental activists and poverty alleviation campaigners, slammed the draft as lacking ambition.

Mary Robinson, the former Irish president and ex-UN high commissioner for human rights, described it as "a failure of leadership" while former Norwegian premier Gro Harlem Brundtland said its "omission of reproductive rights is a step backwards."

"We see the goals of Rio+20, the 'Green Economy' and its premise that the world can only 'save' nature by commodifying its life-giving and life-sustaining capacities as a continuation of the colonialism that indigenous peoples and our Mother Earth have faced and resisted for 520 years," the declaration said.

"The failure of Rio 20 is a call for action which will give the people more energy to mobilise in the future," said Greenpeace political director Daniel Mittler, who called the summit an "epic failure."

"We are losing species hundreds, maybe a thousand times faster than natural evolution. We are creating a huge ecological debt. It's payback time," WWF International's executive director Lasse Gustavsson said.

Separately, Paraguay's opposition-controlled Congress voted yesterday to impeach President Fernando Lugo for his role in deadly clashes to evict landless farmers.

Rio+20 marks the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit - a landmark gathering that opened the debate on the future of the planet and its resources.
Picture: REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota, speaking after an emergency meeting in Rio of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), said the bloc would immediately fly a team of foreign ministers to Asuncion to shore up that country's "stability (and) democracy."


Picture: Xinhua /Landov / Barcroft Media

Indigenous people prepare to board an underground train as they commute to the People's Summit for Social and Environmental Justice in Defence of the Commons, a parallel event during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, in Rio de JaneiroPicture: Felipe Dana/AP

An indigenous man stands in a subway train as he makes his way to the People's Summit at Rio+20 for Social and Environmental Justice in Rio de JaneiroPicture: REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

An indigenous man talks on a mobile phone at the Kari-Oca village constructed as a counterpoint to the Rio+20 conference in Rio de Janeiro, BrazilPicture: Mario Tama/Getty Images

A Brazilian indigenous man participates in a protest against the construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric plantPicture: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

A member of a Brazilian indigenous group attends a march to deliver a declaration to leaders attending the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, in Rio de Janeiro, BrazilPicture: Andre Penner/AP

Picture: Xinhua /Landov / Barcroft Media

Picture: Andre Penner/AP





A Canadian indigenous chief is stopped by a Brazilian soldier upon arrival at RioCentro for the handing over of the Kari-Oca II DeclarationPicture: CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/GettyImages


Responses to "Indigenous peoples from Brazil protest at the UN Rio+20 summit (PHOTOS)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    We STAND WITH YOU in your FIGHT!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow I'm just blown away.....Indigenous people around the world are all saying the same thing..... don't destroy our land for the almighty $$$$

  3. Unknown says:

    We all must stand together to protect the Earth.......what good is money if there is no air to breathe or clean water to drink?
    Th Prophecies have already begun.......

    SAVE THE AMAZON<> No dams on the Amazon River, no deforestation for cattle farms,no hostile ranchers wiping out Indigenous villages for profit!

    DEE KO Cherokee/Mohawk Wampanoag Territory-Turtle Island

  4. Anonymous says:

    2:3 Wolves are better shepherds than men. They cut the weakness from the herd. That action initiates preservation, and sanctifies conservation. The wolf is the shepherd God created, no doubt.
    Derek Warren

  5. Anonymous says:

    Solar panels/energy gives the illusion of a safe energy, with no harmful emissions. HOWEVER, IT CUTS STRAIGHT INTO THE ROOT, OF THE BIOLOGICAL WORLD, by directly converting sunlight into energy for machine organisms, without participation from plants, or animals. This creates an environment that is suitable for natural selection to occur.
    Every calorie you consume is converted sunlight. Plants, convert sunlight during photosynthesis. Herbivores consume the plants, and carnivores consume the herbivores. This cycle is completely bypassed by the use of solar panels/energy. There is nothing green about it.
    Evolution as it occurs, naturally subjected to influence, spawns direction. Direction subsequently ends in destination. When destination is revealed, an initiated bypass becomes a relevant direction, manipulating the forces of evolution, creating a breech within, and insuring the survival of a species, that would be otherwise filtered out(AKA The human race/Biological organisms)by machine organisms.
    The process of natural selection is already occurring, it can be seen in prosthetics, and mechanical powered life support systems, such as pace makers, or kidney dialysis. These that offer life beyond the grave. Which brings us to the only scientific solution that would secure the existence of biological organisms. The bypass of natural selection.
    This will create conditions that place a species far beyond its borders of existence in time, and space. By the fashioning of distance through bearing. Not speed as in relativity. S=C=P(Segregation=Conservation=Preservation)
    Segregation as Conservation

    We know the dangerous world of forced integration that we live in today, a time bomb of combat technologies, fueled by progressive socialism, and haunted by internal conflict.
    Derek Warren

  6. Anonymous says:

    "Protests by greens and indigenous groups overshadowed debate"?

    On the contrary. The presence of so many highly involved people, yearning for a greener, safer, more sustaineble and just world, shone a tremendous bright light on even the most shadowy places of the greedy.

    I thank and honour all people who united to make our voices heard.

    Thank you,
    Diny van den Bout
    the Netherlands

  7. radfax says:

    We as free people must not pull back from seeking the truth and consistency in any plans concerning our race, the planet and its species.
    If we look at the world, we are all sharing it as the whole, the one, and, at present, there is no other.
    The bottom line is, you cannot get off.

    It is each and everyone's responsibility to ensure that industry, Governments and corporate's do not destroy the environment and species any more.
    There are no excuses for the wanton destruction of the planet, it's species and habitats to date.

    You/we/I have only to look to see the massive environmental damage that big companies and governments have already created with their insatiable greed and their need for cash, control of people, energy and resources.
    The truth is they must be stopped from destroying any further.

    Alternative energy is not a fantasy, there is an inexhaustible amount of information readily available.
    Conservation of energy must also be fully realized, utilized and practiced.
    Do not be fooled into thinking bio fuels, or hydro electric dams are an answer.
    They serve no sustainable purpose, resulting once again in the destruction of habitats and the displacement of wildlife and indigenous people's.

    As a race, we must not allow any to destroy our environment.
    We must not allow corporate, industry, or regimes to force us to be separated from interacting with our environment.

    Nuclear power is a demon seed with nuclear waste having a half life of 25,000 years.
    This means that it will still be 100% toxic to all forms of cellular life in 25,000 years time.
    Chernobyl in Russia and Fukushima in Japan has shown that no nuclear power plants are 100% safe, and once an accident happens, the species and environmental impact is both far reaching and devastating.

    People must pluck the sickness of greed and corruption from their Nations
    You only get one chance, make that chance, one of a future for all People, species and planet.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Brasil only wants to assimilate the Indigenous popultion so that they can procede with destroying the Amazon for money.

  9. That's not a Canadian chief, that's Arvol Looking Horse, 19th generation keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe.

  10. Unknown says:

    Watch the Video about the Free Land Camp (Alternative space for Indigenous Peoples of Brazil) in the Peoples’ Summit during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development - Rio +20.


    - Protest march and occupation of the headquarters of BNDES against the construction of Belo Monte Hydroelectric dam.
    - Protest march in front of the Rio Centro (Place of the UN Conference in Rio +20) with the goal to deliver their Indigenous Free Land Camp Declaration.
    - the struggle of the Brazilian Indigenous Peoples for the UN and the Brazilian Government to hear their grievances and demands, since most of them were almost excluded from the official discussion of the Rio+20 UN Conference. Several traditional leaders had no credentials to enter and participate in discussions in the UN event.

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