So what needs to be done ?
According to Dr Rupa Marya's studies, ecocide is rooted in the legacy of colonialism. It has close ties to capitalism as the modern-day apparatus for perpetuating these colonial legacies. Therefore, Dr Guinto advises us to investigate all the related issues and tackle the existing power and privilege asymmetries. "With great power and privilege, we have an utmost responsibility and obligation to tackle all of these barriers with justice and equality. True decolonisation of society must include decolonisation of the climate movement and advocacy", claims Dr Guinto.
We must ensure that we do not become neocolonisers in our pursuit to decolonise. Our excitement for change should not contribute to the worsening of the problem. We must constantly keep reflective of our position, privilege as well as personal and societal histories.
We must not be superficial in pursuing our decolonising, and it should not be a way to prove our "wokeness" / awareness of the current global issues. We genuinely need to dismantle power structures perpetuating the discourse around our climate, the type of solutions propagated, the nature of our negotiations, and the diversity of our movements and science. All these efforts need to go beyond the cosmetics and move to the underlying structures and mental models we have in mind when dealing with the climate crisis.
We need to understand the concept of planetary health that Dr Guinto explains involves two patients: the people and the planet. We must embrace this concept and accept the "plural - versatility". This is to accept the universality of western knowledge and the different knowledge systems that can enrich and help us incubate more durable and lasting climate solutions.
To decolonise our relationship with the planet, we are called to shift from the egologic perspective to a more ecological approach that is sustainable for all the inhabitants and life-supporting systems. To do this, Dr Guinto suggests that we need to decolonise the political economy of the health of our planet. We must refuse stop-gap solutions, shifting to an economic model which safeguards the health of our people and our planet and changing the mindset where we can consume endlessly and produce limitlessly.
To build global alliances between countries and listening to new alternative voices. There needs to be a diverse discourse about this issue that is inclusive and gives substantial help and attention to our different marginalised groups.
"What we want is for the future children of 2121 to look back to the past, after reading history books claiming that the Covid generation who went to COP26 were good ancestors because we made good decisions for ourselves as well as the health and wellbeing of our future children" Dr Renzo Guinto.
Author: Anize Kaz