All societies change and evolve, including Indigenous societies. Colonialism happens when a vision and form of development is violently imposed by another culture. For many Indigenous peoples, ethical and sustainable development is tied to the health of human and non-human communities, of the land itself, of the planet, and of future generations. We need to realize that we are part of nature, and not above it. We need to think together about economic models that are not based on greed, over-consumption, the separation between humans and the environment, or the commodification of nature.
The Amazon forest is one the most important icons of our time and that is why it has caught the attention and imagination of businesses and political leaders around the world. However, very few people make the connection that Indigenous peoples are the last line of defence of the forest and of other protected areas. Indigenous peoples are 4% of the global population and they protect 80% of the world’s (remaining) biodiversity.
If the Brazilian government removes Indigenous peoples’ rights and land titles, Indigenous peoples won’t be able to perform the role of land defenders. We need your support in placing Indigenous rights at the centre of the climate agenda.
There are several bills being voted on in the Brazilian congress that would remove protections for the Amazon forest and other sensitive areas. There are already groups of businesses organizing to respond with a boycott of Brazilian products if these bills are turned into law. A boycott could be very damaging for the already vulnerable Brazilian economy and it could hurt the wrong people in the short term - that is why we should be careful and mindful with this strategy. But it could also be the only leverage of international pressure in case of humanitarian and ecological crises in the future.
If the rights of Indigenous peoples are cancelled, we will likely witness a new wave of genocide. In this case a boycott may be the last resort in trying to stop the violence against Indigenous peoples and destruction of the Amazon in Brazil.
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