Amazon Women on the Frontlines of Climate Change

A selection of photos from Amazon Women on the Frontlines of Climate Change, a traveling photography exhibit with written and live testimonies from indigenous women leading solutions on the frontlines of the Amazon as the region confronts the impacts of climate change.

  • A bird's eye view of the Amazon Rainforest, one of the world's greatest natural resources. Because its vegetation continuously recycles carbon dioxide into oxygen, it has been described as the

As in other developing countries, women in the Amazon bear a disproportional burden as climate change impacts their traditional territories and environment. It is in the daily lives of these women – who are highly dependent on local natural resources for their livelihood – that the battle to save the family, traditional ways of life and the future of their children is played out. In order to further preserve biodiversity and limit its degradation, indigenous people – particularly women – can and should play a leading role in the global response to climate change. Amazonian women hold a wealth of knowledge and expertise that can be used in climate change mitigation, disaster reduction and adaptation strategies. These brave women are rising to become effective agents of change, and have taken the lead in a rapidly growing movement to protect their rainforest homelands across Ecuador. As female givers of life, the women of the Amazon have felt a great responsibility to lead the fight against impending oil drilling and the destruction of Pachamama, our "life giving mother earth," and are calling on the world to keep oil under ground in their ancestral lands.

These women and girls are true forces of nature, rising against great odds to lead the charge in the Amazon in unprecedented ways. Amazon Women on the Frontlines of Climate Change seeks to tell their stories through a representative selection of "speaking" images combining portraiture with written testimonies, along with a series of images documenting their perspectives and life in their traditional rainforest communities. The project was created in collaborative workshops with Kichwa, Shiwiar, Sápara and Waorani women; Ecuadorian photographer Felipe Jácome; Amazon Watch Editorial Director & Chief Storyteller Caroline Bennett; and in partnership with WECAN and Acción Ecológica. The series is now touring with Paty and a delegation of women leaders to spaces around the UN climate summit and People’s Climate March in New York City, and plans are evolving to exhibit during UN COP20 events in Lima and on the road to the 2015 COP21 in Paris.

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