Launched during this ‘Indigenous April’ on social medias, Organize To Protect is a campaign that draws attention to the importance of the work performed by Indigenous organizations in the defense of their territories and the associated biomes.
The campaign is the result of a cooperative effort by Centro de Trabalho Indigenista (CTI) and six Indigenous organizations: Univaja (Union of Indigenous Peoples of Javari Valley), which operates in the Amazon; Wyty Catë Association of the Timbira from Maranhão and Tocantins communities, which operates in the Cerrado and transition areas of the Amazon; the Guarani Yvyrupa Commission, which operates in the Atlantic Forest and the Pampa; the Apoinme (Articulation of Indigenous Peoples and Organizations for the Northeast, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo), which operates in the Atlantic Forest, Cerrado and Caatinga; the Xavante Warã Association and the Terena Council, both active in the Cerrado and Pantanal.
In common, these entities articulate the defense of the territorial rights of the diverse organized peoples and strengthen ways of life that protect and recover biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Indigenous Lands.
See the campaign launch video:
The latest report by the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) highlights that the lands inhabited by Indigenous peoples hold the world’s best-protected biodiversity. This is due both to the protection performed by Indigenous peoples in monitoring their lands against invasions, deforestation and enterprises that serve particular interests, as well as to the daily activities of managing fauna and flora species, recovering degraded areas and planting varieties of trees that are getting lost.
The necessity for measures to reduce climate change has become a worldwide unanimity, with the exception of authoritarian governments such as the current Brazilian example. With the #OrganizeToProtect campaign, we show that Indigenous organizations are autonomously working on their own projects for the future. The demarcation of Indigenous Lands, policies for the protection of territories and the strengthening of traditional forms of life are the best way to protect biodiversity in the Amazon, Cerrado, Atlantic Forest, Pantanal, Caatinga and Pampa.
The campaign comes up in a scenario of flexible environmental regulations and coordinated attacks on Indigenous organizations. More than ever it becomes necessary to organize to protect.