LatinaLista — Indigenous people have long been considered the caretakers of the planet. Traditions are passed from generation to generation on exactly how to care for Mother Earth. Until recently, those traditions have not been widely shared with the rest of the planet but a new book hopes to bridge that information gap.
“Lecciones para la Tierra” (Lessons for the Earth) is a result of a contest conducted by the Environment Ministry, with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
Photographers and journalists identified 13 regions to visit rural indigenous communities where they gathered the 20 best stories of how the indigenous are combatting climate change using ancestral farming and sustainability practices.
One example highlighted in the book that shows how ancestral practices are mixed with modern-day science is the case of three sisters in Quipillacta, a community in the Andean region of Ayacucho. Magdalena, Marcela and Lidia Machaca use a mix of science and pre-Colombian techniques to build a network of canals to collect rainwater, which, in turn, directs the water toward natural reservoirs that are now experiencing low water levels.
A range of other practices featured in the book include how the indigenous are renewing forests, preserving crops, refitting dwellings to keep the cold out and creating their own clean energy by replacing firewood with goat dung for fuel.
Xabier Díaz de Cerio, the book’s editor, told reporters that the book’s objective is to inspire other communities to combat climate change on their own farms and land.