The wilful jeopardising of indigenous peoples’ lives is particularly grave when you consider that the death of each elder represents the “burning of a library“.
We will continue dreaming to protect our forest. We are the earth, the water, the air. We are the forest itself. And for her, we will continue to fight and unite until the end, with lots of love, and lots of rebellion.
At this crucial moment for Australia and the world, it is pertinent to take a step back from reactions to the ongoing flames and proactively revisit what happened in the Amazon—and why—before fires reignite in the dry season.
The fires in the rainforest have finally been extinguished by the arrival of the rainy season, but threats and violence continue unabated against forest defenders. They need international support if the Amazon is to be at the centre of climate action rather than just another distant frontline in the war against nature.
These days I am immersed in rage, pain and despair. The Amazon is in flames, the Chiquitanía region is gravely wounded and beneath the fires, many of our hopes for Bolivia and the world are turned to ashes.
Obviously, successfully preserving the remaining Amazon will take multiple solutions, both small scale and local and large scale and international. But if you are feeling hopeless about what’s happening, consider joining up to Amazon Uprising and protect some trees, while getting informed about what’s going on in the bigger picture.
The Indigenous peoples of Amazonia have lived in a symbiotic way with the rainforest for millenia. They are the keepers of deep knowledge about the ecosystems they live within and are indispensable to its effective protection. Protecting the rights of indigenous people and their land claims in the Amazon can be one of the most effective ways of halting deforestation.
Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro isn’t the only culprit behind the fires currently raging across the Amazon at a rate of a football field per minute. With the high demand for meat, soy, and petroleum in developed countries, we are directly fuelling these fires in the Amazon basin. There is much that we can do to help turn this crisis around.
The Amazon is so key to the future of our planet that it has become a hot issue of geopolitics. And, we are not only talking about the physical environment. We are talking about the future of the people- those who live there and us.
And now, the Amazon is on fire. Wildfires are incinerating the rainforest at a record pace, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE as it is commonly referenced). INPE recently stated that there has been an 80 percent increase in wildfires in the Amazon, compared to the same period from last year.
Julie Kunen, PhD, oversees conservation activities in 15 countries, from Canada to Tierra del Fuego, as the Vice President of the Americas program for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). With a decades-long career in conservation, academia, and development, she is committed to uniting the worlds of food, sustainability, and conservation.
Exactly a year ago today I wrote a piece on this blog called The day I closed my Amazon account. It set out why, and how, I had decided that Amazon was so at odds with my values that I was withdrawing my support for good