The Kogi are the last surviving civilization from the world of the Inca and Aztec, and their cities are untouched by our world. The mountain they inhabit is an isolated triangular pyramid rising over 18,000 feet from the sea, the highest coastal mountain on earth. It is on a separate tectonic plate from the Andes, and its unique structure means that it is virtually a miniature version of the planet, with all the world’s climates represented. The mountain is quite literally a micro-cosmos, a mirror of the planet on which every ecological zone is represented and in which most of the plants and animals of the planet can find homes.
The Kogi are profoundly frightened by what we are doing to the world, but also well aware that we have no understanding of the forces which we are unleashing. They believe that the only hope of survival for mankind is if we can learn why they are so scared, and they know that we will only believe what we can see
The core message of ALUNA is that the Kogi understand – as we do not – that there are critical interconnections within the natural world. It is a subtle and hidden network, and interfering in one part has a major impact on other specific parts. The words of the message are “protect the rivers” but the question is how? The answer is to draw on indigenous understanding of environmental impacts, and the obvious follow-on is to engage indigenous expertise in environmental impact assessments. This involves significant adjustment not only on the part of Western development projects, but also indigenous communities themselves to provide that assistance and guidance on request. Systems need to be established for this, and it may well be the next task of the Trust to assist with this.