Fighting Calls From Within: 6 Amazon-Led Campaigns & Networks You Should Know About
The Amazon biome is now dangerously close to a critical ecological tipping point, in which 40 percent of its area could irreversibly “switch” from a rainforest that generates water to a dry and degraded grassland-type landscape. In 2020, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has reached its peak highest rate in a decade.
Given the Amazon’s essential role as a carbon sink, this could have serious implications for the global climate, not to mention the lives and livelihoods of the more than 30 million people who reside in the biome.
But this is not a given. Popular solutions and calls for global action to save the Amazon are multiplying left and right. With that, here are six Amazonia-led campaigns and networks the world should know more about:
Launched this month at International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) world congress, this campaign aims to secure a global agreement for the permanent protection of 80 percent of the Amazon by 2025. It is led by the Coordinator of indigenous organizations in the Amazon basin (COICA), which represents more than 2 million Indigenous people from the nine Amazonian countries.
COICA describes the campaign as “an urgent step to stop the point of no return and respond to the global crisis with transformative change,” and the campaign urges countries in the Amazon Basin to declare a state of emergency and stop the expansion of destructive industrial activities, as well as to prohibit government policies and public subsidies that allow further destruction of forests. He also calls on industrialized countries – given the role of the Amazon in their contribution to climate change – to channel resources to preserve the rainforest.
How to support: request access and add your signature to the declaration here.
“Os nossos passos vêm de longe” (“our steps come from afar”) is a familiar slogan among black Amazonian women. Their struggle for rights, visibility and a better life is a centuries-old struggle that began with their West African slave ancestors – and continues to this day.
Despite making up over 70 percent of the female population in the northern region of Brazil, black women are often overlooked in traditional accounts of the Amazon. Across the region, they often face significant discrimination and prejudice, as well as economic marginalization and limited access to appropriate health care.
Rede Fulanas aims to connect, mobilize and give visibility to black women across the Amazon, by organizing an annual march of Amazonian black women in the city of Belém and regular statewide meetings and campaigns.
How to Support: Follow Rede Fulanas and check out upcoming events on their Facebook page.
While the 1988 Brazilian constitution recognizes indigenous ownership of traditional lands, many of these lands have yet to be demarcated and legal protection is often not enforced. This leaves these lands vulnerable to encroachment and degradation by activities such as mining, logging and ranching. These activities also have a direct impact on indigenous populations, for example through the spread of disease.
Launched in 2005, APIB is an ongoing campaign to promote and defend indigenous rights in Brazil. It aims to formulate and implement specific and differentiated public policies for indigenous peoples; it documents, disseminates and also calls for justice for violations of indigenous rights in the country. During the COVID-19 pandemic, violations of the rights of indigenous peoples increased in Brazil, and the APIB played a key role in their follow-up.
How to support: Donate to support the work of APIB here.
Economic development often leads to environmental destruction, but the two do not have to go hand in hand. The Origens Brasil network adds value to the standing Amazon rainforest by promoting sustainable trade and ethical trade in priority conservation areas, showing the world that it is possible to “produce to conserve”.
Origens Brasil certifies a wide range of some productsfrom wild mushrooms and Brazil nuts to sneakers and soaps, and consumers can trace their origins by scanning the QR code embedded in their tampons.
So far, Origens has recruited 1,921 producers from 43 indigenous, Afro-descendant and local communities across 52 million hectares of protected Amazon rainforest. About thirty companies, including international heavyweights like the giant of the thong Havaianas, have also joined, pledging to source their raw materials from certified producers in the region.
How to Support: Look for the Origens Brasil stamp when you shop or find suppliers via their website.
MOCICC is a Peruvian civil society movement aimed at catalyzing climate action at the local and national levels. The movement is campaigning on multiple fronts, including small-scale and urban agriculture, clean energy, Amazon protection and conservation, and international climate commitments.
Deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon is lower in the territories occupied by indigenous peoples than in those in the hands of individuals or states, and MOCICC’s Amazon efforts are focused on promoting the recognition of the territorial rights of indigenous peoples. Amazonians such as the Wampis, Awajún and Achuar, which contributes to both human rights and climate goals.
How to Support: From signing up for newsletters to participating in campaigns, MOCICC offers a range of opportunities to get involved in their work. here.
Cuencas Sagradas is a campaign launched by the indigenous peoples and local communities of the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Amazon to permanently protect more than 35 million hectares of sacred and biodiversity-rich tropical forest through a global and transnational bioregional plan.
The plan aims to demonstrate that extractive industries are not the only viable form of development in the region, “but that there are other possibilities which do not require the pollution of forests and rivers”. He calls on the Ecuadorian and Peruvian governments, as well as financial institutions and the private sector, to halt the advancement of extractive industries, infrastructure megaprojects and improving access to the region; ensure transparency and conscience in public policy and its implementation; and guarantee the rights of indigenous peoples, including territorial rights, as well as the rights of nature itself.
How to support: Add your signature to this declaration.