A massive plea to apply the aboriginal knowledge to face the fire crisis in Australia
Australia27 January 2020
From the beginning of spring, Australia is immersed in the greatest environmental tragedy in the recent history of the country. Exceptional drought and record high temperatures have led to one of the longest and most destructive fire seasons on the continent, with active fires since September that have already burned more than 10 million hectares of forest and shrubland, four times more than last year’s Amazon jungle fires. The fires killed more than 30 people and resulted in the displacement of thousands of casualties in the states of Victoria and New South Wales.
The magnitude and catastrophic impact of these fires has triggered a debate on territorial management. Different groups are calling for the voice and perspective of Aboriginal peoples to be taken into account in the future. Not only because the indigenous peoples are suffering from the effects of fires, but beacause their traditional practices could be part of the solution to the problem. Aboriginal people have applied a set of techniques that have been effective for thousands of years to prevent large-scale fires, which the settlers have shown no interest in knowing or maintaining.
While the fires were still active, Australia celebrated its national day on January 26, commemorating the date that British Captain Arthur Phillip took over the colony of New South Wales. On the same day, more than 100,000 people took to the streets of Melbourne and other cities to support Aboriginal communities and once again protest against the government and its climate policies in a day that, contrary to the official celebration, they called Invasion Day. A massive plea for the people who have been caring for the continent for thousands of years.