Forests are crucial for the future of our planet: they provide oxygen, natural cooling and store billions of tonnes of CO2.
But the Amazon forest and the people living in it are under pressure like never before from the threats of greed, power, corruption and ignorance. It starts with a road to gain access to wood, oil, minerals and precious metals, and it ends with cutting down vast tracks of forest to make place for agriculture and plantations.
Following cash flows of environmentally and socially devastating projects often leads back to the investors who profit from massively from them, such as multilateral and commercial banks, pension funds and export credit agencies.
Time to fight back
It is high time the protectors of man and nature in the Amazon gain the upper hand in this struggle. Hivos and its partners are therefore embarking on a large-scale concerted effort from 2017 – 2020, ‘All Eyes on the Amazon’, which will include training, data collection, research, lobbying, awareness campaigns and law enforcement components, running in Brazil, Ecuador and Peru.
This initiative combines the forces of environmental activists and human rights activists; those of state-of-the-art-technology and the age-old knowledge of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, to shine light on and call to account companies, investors, multinationals, governments and agri-businesses that abuse their power to profit from secretly destroying the forest.
All Eyes on the Amazon: four pillars
Greenpeace and Hivos, the two initiators of this project, are both forerunners in the effort to create a green and sustainable world and protect the environment. Together with our partners, we have designed a project to deliver:
Radical transparency. Thanks to new radar satellite technology and evidence from local communities, we can map out exactly when and where deforestation takes place and investigate those responsible.
Full responsibility. All partners take coordinated action to stop those destroying the forest. This consists of creating public scrutiny, activating law enforcement, starting (international) lawsuits and mobilising the public through (worldwide) campaigns. To do this, partners receive training in all these areas as well as personal safety.
Indigenous land rights. We will seek acknowledgment and enforcement of the land rights of indigenous people and demand that governments fund the crucial work of local teams of forest rangers. To this end, we will lobby for international acknowledgement of indigenous land rights.
Learning, sharing and scaling up. This project has a ‘Linking and Learning’ component that systematically records lessons and new insights and share its knowledge with other organisations pursuing similar aims. In a later stadium, our approach will be scaled up to Congo and Indonesia through a ‘Seed & Scale’ fund. The ultimate goal is to not stop deforestation only in the Amazon, but all around the world.
A unique coalition
All Eyes on the Amazon is a unique coalition of eleven indigenous, environmental and human rights organisations, and an international enforcement organisation. However, the key to durable protection of the forest lies in the hands its indigenous inhabitants.
The joining factor in all our activities is the cooperation with local communities. They decide for a large part what we will and will not do. The project supports them with technological instruments and training, and brings them into our networks, including international forums.