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Time to live in harmony with Mother Earth

“Mother Earth – our only home – is under pressure. … Without a sustainable environmental base, we will have little hope of attaining our objectives for reducing poverty and hunger and improving health and human well-being.”
This was the message from the UN general secretary Ban Ki-moon for the International Mother Earth Day last year, 22 April 2010.

Today it is the again Mother Earth Day emphasising the importance of living in harmony with the nature. This is a good opportunity to see the situation from a new perspectives. The Guardian had an interview last week with the Bolivia’s foreign minister David Choquehuanca which is well worth reading. Here are some highlights from the interview:

Our Mother Nature feeds us, gives us drinks … and we respect her, we value her, we have to look after her. She is a mother and to us our Mother Nature”

“Bolivia is not trying to wreck the climate talks. We are only trying to defend life, the future of new generations. We must guarantee that we are going to reduce the planet’s temperature by one degree centigrade, as the scientists have said. We didn’t know anything about this topic and it’s been scientists who said that [temperatures have increased] 0.8C, and we are already feeling the consequences. The Europeans have said we [must hold temperatures to] 2C but with the Cancún resolutions the same scientists are saying that the planet could have 4C temperature rise with disastrous consequences for us.

“At these summits the Europeans have said that with 2C rise in temperature, planet Earth has a 50-50 chance of surviving. We said, if a person knows that a plane on take-off has only a 50-50 chance of landing at its destination, would that person let his son board that plane? He wouldn’t. That’s the risk.

“We believe that everything in the planet forms part of a big family. We are being fed with the milk from Mother Nature, water. All animals feed with the milk of Mother Nature … as do plants, that’s the reason why we work so as not to produce imbalances, we work towards harmony between plants, people, animals, we work for the balance of the planet. We have values and principles, which have survived more than 500 years. Among these values we could mention the tama. The tama means big family, that we all belong to a big family, and there is another value, there is another principle called la tumpa. La tumpa tells us that there must be a compulsory control among all of us.

“We are in the process of recovering [our indigenous] principles, values and codes. [After] 500 years or more we are just resurfacing, we are just rebuilding, we even have financial systems unknown to our universities and schools, unknown to scientists and the world of knowledge. Our grandparents had financial systems to organise each home, called ceje, and villages, called colga. Those principles could help us to rebuild. But like everything, we have to look at this as a whole.

“Our philosophy tells us that [other nations’] problems are also our problems. We have to work the balance between people, between regions, between continents, between countries, a balance between man and nature. Development – the one implemented by western societies – has an impact in this balance. It has generated considerable imbalances between people and regions. It has created a million problems. Today we are talking of crisis, energy crisis, financial crisis, food crisis, institutional crisis, climate change; we indigenous people can contribute to solving all these crises with our values for the attainment of balance.

“What we want is, firstly, internal balance, balance with our environment, with the community and between men and nature. But we have only been around for barely a year, we are just starting to walk our own road, we have our road, our zarawi in Aymara, we have trodden other roads, they have forced us down unfamiliar roads which were taking us north.

“We try to achieve total happiness, on the skirts of Mother Nature. Our Mother Nature feeds us, gives us drinks … and we respect her, we value her, we have to look after her. She is a mother and to us our Mother Nature, Pachamama, represents the same as any mother to each one of us. We are talking about a mother. I don’t know what your feelings are when you talk of your mother, that’s what we feel when we talk about Pachamama, our Mother Nature.”

It’s time to learn from these words and live in harmony with our Mother Earth!

PS: When talking about Mother Earth, here is a youtube clip of the beautiful song Mother Earth by Within Temptation that can be recommended:

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