MANILA: With the record rate blaze in the Amazon that struck Indigenous communities, the world is confronted by a humanitarian crisis in the midst of an ever-worsening political-economic condition.
The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) joins the international chorus of condemnation and call for immediate actions to put an end to the unfolding crisis that jeopardizes the lives of Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon and planet’s survival.
For centuries, Indigenous communities have lived in harmony with the unparalleled resources of the Amazon: enriching and defending their lands, territories, and ways of life from plunderous government-backed and corporate development projects.
But because of this intense blaze in decades in the Amazon, the indigenous peoples (IP), particularly the uncontacted tribes, are imperiled to be wiped out while humanity is threatened to lose a big chunk of the world’s tropical forests and will further suffer the worsening climate change impacts.
The rise in power of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and the link to the disaster happening in the Amazon rainforest cannot be denied. Bolsonaro is known for its anti-IP stance when he has consistently promoted a more institutionalized land-grab scheme to sell over the lands of IP, prohibit the demarcation of Indigenous territories, and constant deployment of military troops.
Moreover, his far-right administration’s pro-clearance policies have empowered and enabled his corporate cronies such as large-scale loggers and ranchers to clear vast tract of lands that would wreak havoc on the world’s largest rainforest until its full ruination.
Bolsonaro’s deplorable policies on resource exploitation in the Amazon rainforest have allowed imperialist agenda through investments in extractive industries, energy, logging, and agro-industrial projects. The nightmare of environmental destruction and IP rights violations under Bolsonaro regime is now a tragic reality.
The irreversible damages on our planet’s lungs, the razed Indigenous territories, the genocide of the IP, the loss of unique biodiversity may take centuries if not decades to recover.
The acceleration of disasters due to climate crisis has exposed the inability of market-driven solutions to the crisis and failure to deliver on climate justice commitments.
Thus, the IPMSDL calls on our networks, colleagues and fellow rights defenders for a global day of action on Sept. 5, 2019 to strongly condemn and call for the immediate stop of forest clearings in the Amazon.
We encourage our partners and members to rise and organize local actions and campaigns in solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon facing threats of extermination.
Let us demand accountability from the Bolsonaro government, from mining and logging corporations, big ranchers and agro-industrial moguls. Let’s stand up to seek justice for Indigenous communities victimized by the disaster brought by the Amazon fire and the system that enabled such.
Let us act in solidarity to protect humanity’s future before it vanishes into ashes. Stand for the Amazon and its Indigenous Peoples. Stand for our future. IPS
Beverly Longid is global coordinator, International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation, and a staunch defender of indigenous peoples rights in the Philippines since the 1990s.
BY BEVERLY LONGID