Indigenous peoples and their allies have been at the forefront of the movement to protect ecosystems and oppose new energy infrastructure in countries around the world, including the US. Because of this, they have been the targets of threats and violence.
To kick off its second season, In This Climate (ITC) podcast is shining a spotlight on land defenders, people willing to risk their lives to protect Indigenous land rights and biodiversity from the interests of big business.
The podcast returned Aug. 6 with a Facebook Live episode featuring Nina Lakhani, author of "Who Killed Berta Cáceres? Dams, Death Squads, and an Indigenous Defender’s Battle for the Planet." The book follows the remarkable career of Honduran Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres, who was murdered in 2016 for leading a campaign to stop construction of an internationally funded hydroelectric dam on a river sacred to her Lenca people.
Other guests featured in August include Adam Shapiro and Marvin Wilcox of Frontline Defenders, New School Associate Professor of Global Studies Jaskiran Dhillon, IU Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Eduardo Brondizio, and University of Oslo Postdoctoral Fellow David Rodríguez Goyes.
“To start Season 2, we decided we wanted to focus on the dangers faced by indigenous land defenders, the international governing and economic systems that allow violence, and strategies for supporting the safety of land defenders,” said ITC producer Emily Miles. “In Cáceres’ case it was a hydroelectric dam that she was fighting against. These things that we consider to be clean energy often have consequences that we don’t think about and that don’t benefit everyone equally. When we say sustainability, the question is, ‘For whom by whom?’”
The land defenders series is just the start of a jam-packed second season covering the people, places, and problems of environmental change. The podcast is planning mini-series that connect agriculture, mass incarceration, spirituality, technology, and politics to climate change and the environment. Additionally, each month will feature a Facebook Live event to spark conversation and inform future episodes.
“With this new format we’re hoping to start more conversations with our audience,” Miles said. “We want to know who they are and what they’re talking about. I’m really excited for greater listener engagement.”