Luis Arce: An Anti-Imperialist Climate Agenda (Speech)

Thank you very much brothers and sisters, hugs to the city of La Paz, Bolivia and to everyone that follows us via social media around the world. I want to salute: to the jilata David Choquehuanca, Vice President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, our brother Rogelio Mayta Minister of Foreign Affairs, brother  Magin Herrera, Vice-Minister of Environment Biodiversity Climate Change and Forest Development. Our sister Angelica Ponce Executive director of the Plurinational Authority for Mother Earth, our brother Juan Carlos Huarachi, Executive Director of our Bolivian Central Labor Syndicate, and to all of our members of our executive committee COM, to our sister Executive Segundina Flores leading our Bartolinas big hug to our sister, to our brother Omar Ramirez Secretary of International Relations, our brother Fabio Mamani Secretary of Environment of the Confederation of Intercultural Communities of Bolivia, to all our special guests, vice ministers, our brother Omar Quiroga director of ABT present here, I also salute Adolfo León Executive Director of Fonabosque, our brother Javier Gasso Ambassador of Spain, our brother Alexander Yañez Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, our brother Japanese Ambassador Kida Osmu, our brother Alejandro Lopez representative of the World Food Program, to our brother Martin Chaqolla Jilliri Apu Mallku of CONAMAQ, our sister LIdia Mamani Jilliri Mama T’alla of our CONAMAQ, our  brother Justo Molina President of our CIDOB, our sisters and brothers of the women’s confederation Bartolina Sisa Justo Molina and Juana Azurduy de Pailla, to all our intercultural women, to the districts in La Paz, our organic social movements, our Indigenous representatives of North America and The Red Nation who join us today, to our confederation of women Silvia Lazarte our brothers and sisters of the 20 districts who are here today, and  sending a salute to our militants to our Movement Towards Socialism Party who always follow us, to the youth who are also present in these acts, to the Bolivian people through online networks and social media.

Before I begin, as a just recognition in this very important encounter of October 11th, 2021, I want to mention an affectionate salute to all the Bolivian women that everyday, as well as today, are working with strength and dedication for their families. I congratulate the Mother, Daughter, Sister, Comrade and Lifelong Partner, to the Bolivian Women who wrote, and still write, pages of heroism and greatness to our homeland who, like today, are the vanguards in the construction of our Plurinational State of Bolivia. Bolivian Women are the heart of our homeland which is why I ratify our compromise to work everyday for a more secure and just society and with more opportunities for all women. Congratulations on your national day to all our Bolivian women. In addition, it is for me a great honor to share this encounter of the peoples’ struggle, because another world is possible.

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Bolivia, like every other country in the world, is living under the climate crisis caused by the capitalistic greed that, following the Industrial Revolution & the culture of consumerism, has provoked uncontrollable greenhouse gas emissions resulting in the increase of global temperatures.The climate crisis is the manifestation of a irrationality, not of humankind, but of a capitalist system that prioritizes and makes exclusive rapid gains thus losing our connection with Mother Earth. The capitalist rationale is the irrationality that endangers the two main generators of wealth in the earth; nature and humanity. It is a crisis that places a heavier burden on so-called developing countries that are no more than peripheral capitalism. Where the most poor are the most vulnerable is the impact of the global crisis creating more sorrow and pain in our families and in our communities.

The light of our Mother Earth, our Pachamama can defeat the darkness of consumerist society that enslaves so many beings as well as nature. In Bolivia we have converted to ash the forces of neoliberalism, as well as constructed a country free of the dispossession and theft of natural resources, free of inhumane exploitation of our people and free from imperial servitude of the North. Like Bolivia, we have to stand firm and attentive with our common struggles to find a definitive solution to the global climate crisis through a people’s perspective. This means, brothers and sisters, that we must follow at least ten actions within our national and international milieu;

The first: a frontal fight against capitalism, as it is the main source of the environmental crisis, through empowering people in the struggle for freedom because the power is of the people and for the people. In this fight we will liberate all the living beings of the Mother Earth living under mercantilist and capitalist exploitation. Second, we must continue to fortify the role of the state and it’s control over strategic natural resources promoting the distribution and redistribution of incomes to benefit, not just humans, but all of Mother Earth. Third, we must develop and fortify the communitarian economies in order to generate wealth for the people while promulgating what we like to call, the Economy of Mother Earth. Fourth, advancing energetic transitions that respect the principles of equity and common responsibilities, however, differentiated among countries. Capitalistic centered countries should contribute and compensate more than peripheral countries. Fifth, boost, in all aspects and levels, harmonious relations calibrated towards complementarism between humans and nature without the mercantilization of nature. Sixth, to reduce every form of inequity and exploitation of human beings and advance equitable relations between men and women while revitalizing the same complementary relationships with every living being of our Mother Earth. Seventh, to amplify the decolonization of our peoples and of our cultures to broaden our relationship with the Pachamama, our Mother Earth. Eight, to promote universal citizenship and break territorial walls and boundaries between free citizens of the world so we may define, in all the corners of the world, the culture of life. Ninth, to promote technology as a public good for all peoples to be utilized to benefit humanity and Mother Earth. Tenth, to continue with our anti-colonial, anti-imperial, anti-capitalistic fight and in this path we will march towards a civilized horizon of living well. Nevertheless, our work to reactivate our economy, resolving societal problems, and constructing  harmonious relationships with nature continues in our country. In Bolivia, we are implementing our social communitarian  economic model, working to fortify strategic sectors of our economy in order to generate an economic surplus to revitalize the income and employment sectors and distribute the wealth to all Bolivians, emphasizing historically excluded sectors. This way, we reduce inequity and poverty.

In a plural economy, the state is a key player in regulating, promoting and producing its economy in every form. Bolivia compromises to put in corresponding efforts to halt climate change while executing necessary actions to reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gasses from polluting our atmosphere. We must also implement adaptive processes and confront damages as well as losses that further produce the climate crisis effects on our populations, infrastructures and ecosystems. Regardless, we are not able to confront subjects on  mitigation, adaptation, and damage to loss methods on a macro scale. This scale requires intervening. As our Chancery Minister once said, “If an effective compromise from capitalist centered countries to finance and feasibly transfer technologies does not exist,  we are unable to confront the climate crisis by ourselves”. Northern countries that have caused the climate crisis carry a climate debt and must pay to countries like ours. Countries that have benefitted from unequal business relations and interchanges are not exempt from the historical responsibility they hold with the ongoing climate crisis. Within our international compromises regarding climate crisis management we clearly state our requirements in order to accomplish our goals which includes the importance of international cooperation. Until today, Bolivia has received very little international support to fight against the climate crisis. In this decade, we hope this financial and technological support multiplies in significant form. We have incorporated four sectors within the nationally determined Bolivian Contribution Adjustments for our next presentation to the United Nations convention regarding climate change. These sectors involve: energy, water, forests, and agriculture. In relation to the energy sector, Bolivia is committed to improving generational conditions and access to energies while implementing methods of efficiency with a large contribution of renewable and alternative energies thus displacing the use of fossil fuels. In relation to water resources, Bolivia is working to reach self-sustainability, equitability and inclusivity  regarding the use of hydratic resources in all of its multifaceted utilities including: managing the most resilient basins against climate change, promoting and protecting public access to wells all while implementing better agricultural technologies to better preserve water usage. In relation to our forests, we must reduce deforestation in order to reduce carbon emissions as well as improve our management of forest fires while advancing integral, sustainable, and communitarian forest management. We must look to further improve our efforts to protect and preserve our forests. In relation to our agricultural sector, Bolivia looks to revitalize diverse systems of food production with security and sovereignty along with greater conductive  efficiency thus fortifying adaptive agricultural systems capacities and better agricultural risk assessments.

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Furthermore, it is vital to generate a global consciousness concerning the prices of agroecological and organic products that today sell for a high market price in northern countries. In addition, we must benefit productive and exporting countries of said types of foods in order to incentivize their production thus, preserving nutrients that our Mother Earth gives us. Within our vision we see our economic growth increase at the same time we look to abide by our social goals like reducing extreme poverty. However, we must also meet the additional challenge of reducing carbon emissions in order to improve the management of the global crisis. In our efforts we seek to work together in the rural and urban areas with our youth, with our women, with our local leaders and with our Municipal and Regional authorities. In Bolivia we have an advanced legacy recognizing the rights and preservation of Mother Earth that complies with our legislation. We have to realize what we have codified into law under code 300 titled “Mother Earth and Integral Developments Towards Living Well”. It is imperative to transition to living well in harmony and  equilibrium with Mother Earth. However, all our actions and efforts that we realize in our country run the risk of being paralyzed and diluted for the economic interest of the most privileged. After last year’s national elections, the anti-democratic conspiracy has not been definitively expunged. Such conspiracy continues to rise its head promoting disturbances and division among Bolivians creating conditions for another coup d’etat that instead of prosperity would do away all our struggles and accomplishments in order to implement actions that we have uttered. We call upon the people of the world whose genuine representatives are present in this meeting to be on alert since the struggle of a single group of people is the common struggle of all peoples around the world; in the same way that defending the rights to Mother Earth is defending the lives of all peoples.

 

 

Featured image:  Luis Arce Catacora: President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia Speech

(Internationalist 360°)

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