The Amazon, a source of life, is today threatened with death. The Amazon, with its 8 million km2, is the heart of the planet and there, we live; more than 400 indigenous peoples and 3 million Amazonians, in the depth of the rainforest and the greatest biological diversity on Earth, surrounded by impressive reservoirs of freshwater that produce “flying rivers” that bring rain to different regions of the globe. That Amazon, vital for stabilizing the planet’s climate and for the future of humanity, today it is experiencing an escalation of pandemics:
- The health crisis, reinforced by the second wave of COVID 19, which has given rise to another variant in city of Manaus, Brazil, and has already caused more than 50,000 deaths throughout the Pan Amazon;
- That of the extractive industries of mining, agribusiness, energy, and mega infrastructure;
- That of the climate crisis that intensifies floods, droughts, fires, and diseases in our territories;
- That of racism, discrimination, and colonial modernity against indigenous peoples, afro-descendants, humble populations, and nature itself.
- That of authoritarianism, which deepens the criminalization and murder of leaders who defend their territories;
- That of patriarchy that, together with capitalism, racism and lesbophobia structure the inequalities in our society that worsen during the pandemic, revealing a greater number of disappeared women and high rates of femicide, neglect in health services that remain in impunity due to the intolerance and indolence of state organisms.
- That of Political systems in crisis that contribute to the proliferation of corrupt governments, clinging to power, undermining democracy and proving incompetent in responding to the multiple crises.
This escalation of pandemics is a symptom of a planet that needs to heal, in which it is urgent to re-establish harmony between human beings and nature, between individuals and their families, between society and the state, between nations and the planet.
The Amazonian peoples, social, women, environmental, cultural, and religious organizations and defenders of human rights and the rights of nature, self-convened in the virtual event: “The cry of the jungle / Voices of the Amazon”, held on February 26 and 27, 2021, within the framework of the World Assembly for the Amazon, we invite you to share, join and strengthen the following Life Plan to save the Amazon.
1) Solidarity and urgent action to face the Sanitary Emergency in the Amazon.
- Guarantee universal access to reliable vaccines for the Amazonian population, and proceed in accordance with decisions and consents, expressed by indigenous people’s prior consultation. Promote transparent information about vaccines, stopping fear campaigns, which with false information spread political and religious fanaticism. Scale-up vaccination processes without discrimination or corruption and in optimal conditions, within the cold chain of custody and with equipped community posts.
- Intellectual property liberation and establishment of a moratorium on the application of World Trade Organization’s Intellectual Property Agreement on Trade (TRIPS) in order to improve, mass produce and lower the cost of access to treatments, and produce vaccines based on generics and other effective technologies to address COVID-19 global health crisis.
- Demand that WHO and PAHO open scientific advances on Covid19 to public access, establishing that vaccines are a free public good and accessible through COVAX and other mechanisms.
- Immediate medical care for indigenous peoples who have been denied care and access to medicines. Strengthen care associations and universal public health with community systems, indigenous monitoring actions, health self-care, and collective self-government; and immediate response in form of reproductive health services and attending to gender violence against indigenous women.
- Establish a basic income for families who have suffered family losses and/or who have become ill until the vaccines are effectively implemented.
- Life corridors guaranteed and kept free from extractive activities for the estimated 200 uncontacted peoples throughout the basin, in order to avoid their extinction due to potential contagion.
- Raise resources to support COICA’s health emergency fund to enable mechanisms of immediate response to the needs of the indigenous populations.
- Forgive the external debt of the Amazonian countries to avoid the collapse of their economies caused by the pandemic.
2) Bridle the Amazon’s point of no return
- Defend and guarantee the life plans and cultures of indigenous peoples and other populations who inhabit the forest, to save the Amazon, the biodiversity, and to prevent the planet’s climate collapse.
- Favor local, small-scale economies and production and trade cycles that respect our rhythms, traditional knowledge, relationships, and nature.
- IMMEDIATELY Stop the deforestation and degradation of the Amazon, the largest tropical forest in the world where 20% of forests have been lost, by:
- Suspending and prohibiting extractive activities, investments, and projects in the Amazon in the sectors of mining, oil, mega-hydroelectric, plantations, cattle raising, forestry, infrastructure, and others.
- Adopting sanctions in their home countries and internationally against transnational companies that drive Amazon destruction.
- Tracking the value chains of meat, soy, mining, oil, and other products to prevent and sanction the sale of extractive products that destroy the Amazon. It is imperative to legislate compliance with human and nature rights within each value chain.
- Putting pressure on governments and raise consumer awareness so that their consumption does not feed further processes of destruction in the Amazon.
- Banning the use and expansion of transgenic seeds and agrochemicals that drive the expansion of the agricultural frontier at the expense of the rainforest.
- Reject the ratification and implementation of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Mercosur due to its serious impacts on Amazon. Denounce the Free Trade Agreements that threaten our local economies and feed profit circuits for big capital. Prohibit and limit in trade agreements, the export and import of products that have serious impacts on the environment. All trade agreements must be reformed so that they observe standards and social and environmental licenses for each product and/or service.
- Recognize and strengthen the contribution of women in defending their identity and culture within the struggle of Pan-Amazonian peoples, guaranteeing gender equality in political participation in all decision-making spaces.
- Demand that banks and investment funds in developed and emerging countries suspend the financing of extractive, productive and commercial activities such as the intensive livestock industry, monoculture plantations, and others that bring us closer to the point of no return for the ecosystems of the planet.
- Demand the creation of an Amazon restoration fund supported by developed and emerging countries, one that is managed in a transparent way, with participation, protagonism, and proposals from the Amazonian peoples in defining processes for the protection of their territories and for the entire biome.
3) Achieve climate and environmental justice
- Transform the economies, the patterns of production, consumption and waste management of developed countries and of the elites in developing countries to stop Amazon destruction. Solutions for climate change must be comprehensive and not limited to the substitution of fossil fuels for alternative energies without taking into account the great demand for natural resources that requires for example going from one billion gasoline cars to one billion electric cars.
- Change our relationship with nature by recognizing the rights of nature and establishing laws and mechanisms in our countries to prevent the occurrence of new ecocides such as the ones underway in the Amazon right now.
- Doubling at least, in this decade, the contributions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from developed and emerging countries so that we begin to move closer to a path with the goal of limiting the increase in temperature and preserving life as we know it.
- Build capacities in indigenous peoples and civil society to monitor and audit the contributions to reduce emissions that are related to the Amazon.
- Reject false solutions of carbon market mechanisms and carbon sequestration technologies that only deepen the root causes that led us to this serious climate crisis. Reject geo-engineering “solutions” that are being promoted illegally and that can cause irreparable damage to planet Earth.
- Establish progressive taxes on the use of fossil fuels to discourage their use and replace them with alternative energies.
- Demand the payment of the climate debt by developed and emerging countries for having caused more than 90% of historical emissions of greenhouse gases, which has led to the climate crisis. In order to address the emergencies of developing countries and peoples, we demand a true Green Fund, with the participation of civil society, having a minimum of five hundred billion dollars, which represents less than a third of the defense budget of the planet’s main superpowers.
- Stop the criminalization and murder of indigenous leaders and nature defenders. Strengthen peoples’ own cultural mechanisms to stop violence against them. Urge UN human rights bodies to take action so that the States sanction impunity and stop criminalization. Push for the implementation of the Escazú agreement, which enters into force on April 22nd of this year, and for its ratification by all of the countries of the region.
- Promote structural solutions that, in an integral way, lead to a system change to preserve the climate, overcoming capitalism, extractivism, productivism, patriarchy, anthropocentrism, racism and colonialism.
4) Promote territorial self-government and inclusive governance
- Strengthen indigenous and Amazonian peoples autonomy and territorial self-government generally as legitimate forms of collective social public authority, as well as their legal recognition and budgetary support by Amazonian states.
- Apply consultation for free and prior informed consent of indigenous peoples in the following areas:
- All plans about the Amazon that are drawn up at national and international levels to avoid unilateral and wrong decisions that are taken in offices far from reality and that reduce the Amazon to the status of a carbon sink.
- All projects, credits, and investments that affect Amazon. The Amazonian peoples are neither recipients nor implementers; we are the ones who have conserved the Amazon for centuries. Our voice and knowledge must guide public policy and science in its protection, not the other way around.
- Democratize the direct access to national and international funds for self-governments of indigenous territories for proper, timely, and effective use in order to address the different pandemics that afflict the Amazon.
- Strengthen national, regional, and local jurisdictional bodies to defend indigenous and nature rights so that there is rapid and effective justice.
- Promote the adoption of regulatory frameworks that allow guaranteeing the intangibility of uncontacted peoples territories as corridors of life in the countries of the Amazon basin.
- Impulse sustainability of life as a political commitment aimed at building a new fair and equitable model, where people and nature are at the center, in an interdependent and balanced relationship, and where women live free from all discrimination and violence.
- Sanction governments such as Bolsonaro, who openly promote the Amazon destruction. Demand international system investigations to try those guilty of Amazonian people’s genocide.
- Establish intergovernmental mechanisms with indigenous and local peoples’ decisive participation, which would allow integral solutions to the Amazon, since today it is fractured by border’s political divisions
5) Impulse a worldwide mobilization to save the Amazon
- Let us build Assemblies in the Amazon’s defense in all countries, cities, and communities on the planet in order to inform ourselves about what is happening there, make proposals, and define the actions that we can take in our town to stop the escalation of pandemics that are hitting the heart of the planet.
- Let us carry out demonstrations and other creative manifestations in our schools, work centers, and towns to disseminate the demands raised in this Life Plan and ensure that the Amazon’s cry is heard by all people, authorities, and decision-makers in our countries.
- Let us organize cultural circles in order to, through Popular Education, community and social movements, strengthen the mobilization in defense of the Amazon.
- Let us mobilize against the burning in all our countries to avoid that, again this year, the Amazon suffers new fires caused by cattle ranching and agribusiness.
- Let us make Amazon’s defense one of the main axes in the fight against the climate crisis.
- Let us discuss the possibility of holding a large hybrid meeting in Amazon’s defense on the way to COP 26, which will take place towards the end of the year in Glasgow.
- Amazonize yourself! Let us be the Amazon, let us recover our roots with Mother Earth and listen to the cry of the jungle.