Earth Day 2021
Lessons on sustainability we can learn from indigenous peoples

To celebrate Earth Day 2021, Jazmyne Simon, a Solution Architect at Goby, examines some lessons about environmental sustainability that we can learn from indigenous peoples around the world.

Video transcript:

Hi everyone. My name is Jazmyne Simon and I'm a Solution Architect at Goby, the ESG Platform. Today for Earth Day I wanted to shine a light on indigenous people, and what we can learn from them in order to avoid further ecological decline.

As I'm sure we are fully aware, climate change is on a scale that has never been seen before, but the solution to protecting biodiversity on this planet could be gleaned from the practices of indigenous communities. Indigenous people around the world have been purveyors of environmental sustainability for hundreds of years.

A recent UN report found that in areas owned or managed by indigenous people, the ecological decline was far less severe, and in some cases altogether avoided. This is due to a culture that values living in harmony with nature. Many indigenous people actively manage their land and employ generations-old techniques that promote biodiversity. So not only do these communities actively avoid ecological degradation, they also carry out practices that restore lands. There's also a strong cultural emphasis on reducing waste and living a low consumption life.

I personally really enjoyed learning about the specific environmental practices of indigenous people. And I implore you to do some of your own research, and find ways that you can put some of these practices to work in your own life.

Indigenous people are exemplars of how practices at the micro-level can make huge impacts. However, despite being a model for environmental sustainability, because of their dependency on nature for subsistence and livelihoods, and because of systematic oppression and a lack of economic and political power, these communities are disproportionately affected by negative climate change.

Environmental sustainability has never been a hip, trendy virtue signal for indigenous people. And it shouldn't be for us either. There are real stakes, and we can learn from these communities.

Earth Day is not a day; it's a lifelong commitment. And it's important for us to recognize, honor, and celebrate indigenous people and their practices of sustainability. So thank you, indigenous people, for everything that you do. And I hope that you watching can take notes on how to be better stewards of the earth. So with that, happy Earth Day, and thanks for watching.