The Amazon is on fire, here is how you can help
Joint Statement from Tom B.K. Goldtooth, Executive Director of Indigenous Environmental Network; and Lindsey Allen, Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network on the Amazon Rainforest fires and Brazilian President Jair Bolonsaro’s war on Indignenous peoples and the environment:
“It’s a shame that the Brazilian cavalry hasn’t been as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated the Indians.”
“The Indians do not speak our language, they do not have money, they do not have culture. They are native peoples. How did they manage to get 13% of the national territory.”
“There is no indigenous territory where there aren’t minerals. Gold, tin and magnesium are in these lands, especially in the Amazon, the richest area in the world. I’m not getting into this nonsense of defending land for Indians.”
These are just a few of the shameful and hateful words of Brazil’s current president, Jair Bolonsaro. As he was running for president, Bolsonaro also promised to open up the Amazon for mining and agriculture, as he also promised to “crack down” on environmental activists. The biggest newspaper in Brazil, O Globo, called this a “war on NGOs.”
The catastrophic fires raging in Brazil right now are not only a global emergency, they are a testament to Bolonsaro’s racism, ignorance and greed. His words and deeds have paved the way for these man-made fires. We know that protecting tropical rainforests, stopping fossil fuel emissions and upholding the rights of Indigenous Peoples are some of the most important ways to address the global impacts of the growing climate crisis. That’s true in the Amazon. That’s true in the Indonesia rainforests. That’s true at Standing Rock.
Indigenous Environmental Network and Rainforest Action Network are in complete support of our sisters and brothers in Brazil fighting for their way of life, for their rights and their land, and for our planet and future.
What can you do?
Our friends at RAN complied the following list of ways to help
Many organizations have been working hard to protect the Amazon and are continuing those efforts today.
Support our friends at Amazon Watch:
They have a long history of working to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon Basin.
Give to RAN’s Protect-an-Acre program (PAA): Since 1993, we have distributed more than one million dollars in grants to more than 150 frontline communities, Indigenous-led organizations, and allies, helping their efforts to secure protection for millions of acres of traditional territory in forests around the world. Supporting the land rights of Indigenous Peoples is the most effective method of protecting the rainforests, and our PAA program gives you the opportunity to give directly to the frontline communities fighting to stop this destruction.
DONATE TO PROTECT-AN-ACRE
RAN has also been sending resources directly to Indigenous organizations fighting against Bolsonaro and his destructive administration through our small grants program.
We’re also joining a chorus of groups to push the investment firm BlackRock to STOP its plans to develop in the Amazon. Sign the petition today!