Eye on the Amazon

¡Amazonia Viva! Amazon Watch at COP20

Graphic by Favianna RodriquezFollowing the momentum built at the People's Climate March last September, Amazon Watch takes our demands for climate action to Lima, Peru from December 1-12 at the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (UNFCCC COP20). This is the first time the UN will hold its annual climate summit in an Amazon country. Given that some 72% of Peru's national territory is within the Amazon Basin, COP 20 presents a rare opportunity to generate greater awareness and support about the critical importance of the Amazon rainforest in maintaining and stabilizing our global climate and the key contribution indigenous peoples' stewardship of their territories makes in protecting this critical organ of the earth's life support system. It is also a key political moment to raise concern and put pressure on the Peruvian government's failure to address recent attacks on indigenous peoples seeking recognition of their ancestral rainforest territories.

Together with our indigenous allies from the Amazon and NGO allies from the north and south, Amazon Watch is in Lima to highlight and expose major threats from a wave of egregious extractive and infrastructure projects planned for the Amazon, including expanding the oil frontier in the Western Amazon and mega-dams in the Brazilian Amazon, as well as opportunities and solutions championed by indigenous peoples from seeking title to ancestral territories, to creating life plans, defending sacred lands, and heralding paradigm shifting ethos like Buen Vivir ("Plentiful Living"), Selva Viviente ("Living Forests"), and the Rights of Nature. This is also a key moment to build linkages between indigenous, environmental and climate justice movements leading up to the next COP in Paris 2015.

We're supporting calls from our partners on the ground AIDESEP, Peru's national Amazonian indigenous organization, to respect indigenous rights and territories. We're promoting events and presentations at the "Indigenous Pavilion" within COP conferences, and organizing "Amazonia Viva," a massive human banner action on Saturday, December 6 at Playa Agua Dulce in Chorrillos. The human banner is being planned in coordination with AIDESEP and the indigenous Shipibo from the Cantagallo area of Lima to bring awareness to Kawsak Sacha ("Living Forest") and the recent attacks on indigenous defenders of ancestral territory. We need 1500 people to make the banner a wild success. Join Us!

Amazon Watch is also supporting Amazon women who are leading solutions on the frontlines of climate change. As in other parts of the world, Amazonian women bear a disproportional burden as climate change impacts their traditional territories and environment. 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. Women are calling on the world to keep fossil fuels under ground in their ancestral lands, stop mega-dams as false solutions to climate change and promote renewable energy. Support their calls inside and outside of the COP, including events organized by our friends at WECAN (Women's Environmental Climate Action Network).

A traveling selection from our Amazon Women on the Frontlines of Climate Change photo exhibit will also be on display at public events, including the Rights of Nature Tribunal and a WECAN event on December 8th. Several of the women pictured from communities featured in the exhibit will be in attendance, including Patricia Gualinga (Kichwa from Sarayaku, Ecuador), Gloria Ushigua (Sapara, Ecuador) and Alicia Cahuiya (Waorani, Ecuador).

Nina Gualinga, Kichwa youth from Sarayaku featured in the recent viral video also joins us in Lima to call on the world to Keep the Oil in the Ground from the Amazon to the Arctic. Scientists have said time and again that 2/3 of all fossil fuels must remain in the ground to avoid a higher than 2 degree temperature rise on earth; we cannot afford to allow the fossil fuel industry and our global governments to ignore this call!

Stay tuned as we ensure that these messages are heard loud and clear at COP 20 and beyond. ¡Amazonia Viva! Defienda Nuestra Madre! Defend Our Mother!

In Lima? Join these public events!

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