242. Xiye Bastida: Her Story of Nature (Earth Day Special)

Outrage + Optimism

22-04-2024 • 29 mins

To mark Earth Day, Christiana shares her conversation with the incredible young climate justice activist, indigenous rights advocate and author Xiye Bastida.

From the Otomi-Toltec indigenous community in Central Mexico, Xiye’s life and work demonstrate how indigenous wisdom and principles unearth solutions to the climate crisis. She is driven to create a climate movement that is more inclusive and more diverse.

Since 2019, Xiye has been actively involved in organising climate strikes with Fridays For Future, including for their largest youth-led march in New York City.  In her role as Co-founder and Executive Director of Re-Earth Initiative, Xiye supports frontline youth across 27 countries, whilst also studying for an​​ Environmental Studies degree with a concentration in Policy and a Minor in Latin American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  Recently listed in TIME100 Next as a phenomenon (we agree!), she holds the UN Spirit Award.

This episode is the full, unedited version of a conversation recorded for the recent mini series Our Story of Nature - From Rupture to Reconnection, co-hosted by Christiana Figueres and Isabel Cavelier. This is a wonderful and moving insight into Xiye’s story of nature, on how to slow down, and how we might keep past and future generations in our minds - and hearts. We hope you enjoy it!

Background on Earth Day:

The first Earth Day was on April 22nd 1970. Across America, twenty million people took to the streets to protest against environmental destruction. Many people were motivated by the devastating impacts of a recent oil spill in California, others campaigned to reduce air pollution. The spirit, scale and power of the protests were inspired by student anti-Vietnam marches.

Denis Hayes, who coordinated the original Earth Day, remembers how the day unified diverset groups:   "By the time it finally came around, it was in virtually every town, every village, in the United States. It took this basket of issues that we now call 'the environment' and elevated them spectacularly in the public consciousness."

Earth Day 1970 is described as the dawn of the modern environmental movement. Events that day resulted in political changes: landmark environmental laws were later passed in the United States - the Clean Air and Water Acts - and the Environmental Protection Agency was created. Many other countries subsequently adopted similar laws. In 2016, the United Nations chose Earth Day as the day to sign the Paris Climate Agreement into force.

Earth Day is now the biggest civic event in the world, with billions of people participating in events to highlight the urgent need to protect our planet. Its theme this year is Planet vs. Plastics - calling for widespread awareness on the health risk of plastics, for an end to single use plastics, and for a robust UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution.

NOTES AND RESOURCES

More on Xiye Bastida, Co-founder and Director of Re-Earth Initiative

More on Earth Day

Links to Our Story of Nature episodes:

Our Story of Nature - From Rupture to Reconnection - Episode 1

Our Story of Nature - From Rupture to Reconnection - Episode 2

Our Story of Nature - From Rupture to Reconnection - Episode 3

Our Story of Nature Intro Music - Catalina by Tru Genesis

Other full, unedited interviews from the mini-series can be found HERE

Learn more about the Paris Agreement.

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