The climate crisis has gone from being a distant theoretical danger to a very real and present threat. With extreme weather events on the rise, it is important not to forget that there are other components to this crisis.
Wildfires Destroying Indigenous Communities
2019 saw devastating wildfires in both Brazil and Australia. In both cases, the toll of the fires on the environment was horrific, and it was rightly decried around the world. However, those massive fires also caused significant damage to indigenous communities. With such large areas of land being reduced to ash and charred wood, local ecosystems were decimated. The knock-on effects of these events are difficult to comprehend, but the problems they create for local animals and humans can force indigenous people to seek food and shelter elsewhere.
Wherever groups of people are forced to pack up and move from a now-inhospitable area to one that may already be inhabited, conflict is inevitable. This has been true throughout human history, and it is no different when indigenous people are forced from ancestral lands and onto those of a neighboring group.
With little help forthcoming from Brazilian or Australian governments, the impacts of wildfires on indigenous communities are amplified. It is often harder for these people to gain access to the vital support they need.