Posted on October 12, 2021
Amazon Watch is protecting rainforest and advancing the rights of Indigenous peoples with help from CREDO members
For 25 years, Amazon Watch has worked to protect the Amazon rainforest and advance Indigenous rights in solidarity with Indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability and climate justice.
In March 2021, CREDO members voted to distribute a $58,290 grant to Amazon Watch, and since 2018, we’ve been able to donate $144,840 to help the organization fight for Indigenous peoples in the Amazon, elevate Indigenous women’s voices, and demand climate justice.
Since their March grant, Amazon Watch has secured a number of victories and launched new programs, with help from CREDO members. Here’s a quick sample of some of their recent work:
Recent Amazon Watch Victories
After months of sustained campaigning in solidarity with Amazon Watch’s partners, including the Association of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples (APIB), in July British mining company Anglo American withdrew 27 mining research permits in Indigenous lands in Brazil, including the Munduruku territory of Sawre Muybu. These permits posed a significant threat to Indigenous peoples and their withdrawal is a major win for Indigenous self-determination and climate justice.
In response to the current trend toward the tipping point of the Amazon, when ecosystem destruction will push the rainforest to ecological collapse, as well as the calls from Indigenous peoples for allies to show solidarity, Amazon Watch hosted a Global Week of Action for the Amazon (GWOA) from September 5-11 in coordination with its coalition partners. The group organized online and in-person actions against a multitude of threats and amplified Indigenous-led solutions including the campaign to protect 80% of the Amazon by 2025 (80×25).
While Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro made false claims downplaying the severity of Amazonian deforestation to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September, Amazon Watch and its partners at Amazon in Flames Alliance released aerial photographs showing the real-time destruction of the rainforest to counteract these falsehoods.
CREDO’s grants supported Amazon Watch’s work to hold governments and leaders accountable for rainforest destruction and harm to Indigenous communities.
Amazon Watch’s recent work to avert the tipping point
Excitingly, on September 10, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) approved Motion 129, the 80×25 initiative proposed by Indigenous leaders and bolstered by Amazon Watch and its partners. This decision is monumental for Indigenous solutions and for avoiding the point of no return for the Amazon.
80×25 is a visionary proposal that Amazon Watch is committed to seeing across the finish line. Following the notable victory at the IUCN, Amazon Watch and its allies are amplifying the call of Indigenous peoples to safeguard the rainforest on the global stage. In November, Amazon Watch is attending the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) to accompany Indigenous leaders to advance the 80×25 campaign. The IUCN approval of 80×25 sets the stage for advancing this proposition at COP26 and attaining commitments from key international stakeholders.
This is a critical time for the Amazon. CREDO’s support has allowed Amazon Watch to respond to threats as they arise, and effectively move these unprecedented opportunities for ecosystem protection and Indigenous self-determination forward.