Aparecida 83 – 84 – Biodiversity and Native Peoples

As the bishops analyze the reality facing the Church, they turn to issues related to the environment, but in a very different manner than Western approaches.

First of all, in paragraph 83, they relate the question of bio-diversities to the socio-diversity of the peoples and cultures in Latin America and the Caribbean, noting the rich traditional knowledge of the native peoples.

 Latin American is the Continent that holds one of the greatest biodiversities on the planet and a rich socio-diversity represented by its peoples and cultures. Those peoples have a great store of traditional knowledge of the sustainable use of natural resources, and of the medicinal value of plants and other living organisms, many of which form the base of their economy.

But they note the controversy generated by patenting practices of some industries that threaten the lives of the native peoples.

Such knowledge is currently being subjected to unlawful intellectual appropriation, when it is patented by pharmaceutical and biogenetics industries, generating vulnerability to the farmers and their families who depend on these resources for their survival.

The bishops are very concerned about the denial participation to native peoples in decisions about biodiversity and nature. In paragraph 84, they bluntly note:

The traditional communities have been practically excluded from decisions on the wealth of biodiversity and nature. Nature has been, and continues to be, assaulted. The land has been plundered. Water is being treated as though it were merchandise that could be traded by companies, and has been transformed into a good for which powerful nations compete. A major example of this situation is the Amazon.

Here is an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About John Donaghy

Permanent deacon, ordained in the Catholic diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras, in 2016. Missionary in Honduras since June 2007, living and working in the parish of Dulce Nombre de María.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization, Guest Writers, John Donaghy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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