Amazonia Beyond the Crisis. Accountability for deforestation: preventing further human rights, environmental, and economic disasters

21 Sep, 2019 | Press Releases

The Harvard Club of New York, 21 September

No Peace Without Justice, the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation. the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the Rainforest Alliance, the National Wildlife Federation, IMAZON and ISA organise a special convening of Amazonian Indigenous leaders, business leaders, NGOs, and scientists focused on immediate and long-term actions to protect Amazonia.

  • Venue: The Harvard Club of New York, 35 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036
  • Date and time: 21 September 2019, 8:30 AM-5:00 PM
  • Agenda of the meeting

The world’s attention has turned to Amazonia, due to the headline-grabbing crisis of deforestation and fires. Indigenous lands and the reserves of traditional populations are affected. Community leaders are being threatened, intimidated, or even killed. The right to health is jeopardized by the smoke and haze. Unparalleled ecological and economic assets are being lost, and soil is being impoverished.
After declining in the middle of the past decade, the deforestation rate in the Brazilian Amazon had stalled in recent years. However, even before the recent spike in fires, deforestation remained a serious threat to the rainforest’s overall health. Science has now shown how the Amazon forest is moving toward a dieback scenario, in which the entire ecosystem could collapse in a vicious cycle of degradation and fragmentation if deforestation continues to expand.
Society at large – in countries that share Amazonia – no longer accepts deforestation. It has been proven to be bad for the local economy, bad for biodiversity, and bad for the climate at both regional and global levels. In addition, it threatens the basic human rights of Indigenous and traditional populations by creating a spiral of threats and conflict. In Brazil, a broad and diverse coalition of mainstream economic and civil society stakeholders just launched a national campaign to hold accountable those who engage in land-grabbing, crime, and violence.
Despite different opinions and priorities, most stakeholders share a common expectation that medium- and long-term investments are imperative, with strong, timebound commitments by the private sector to stop deforestation and promote a diverse, sustainable forest economy based on the unique biological assets of the region. There are plenty of good and successful examples of local economic activities built upon sustainable practices that harness natural capital with respect and care.
Indigenous and community leaders, scientists, and business and NGO representatives from Amazonia will gather in New York City on Saturday, September 21, for a meeting prior to the UN Summit, to tell the world not to forget about Amazonia when this year’s burning season ends. They will remind policy makers, companies, and other economic actors that big changes are needed to prevent deforestation and fires in Amazonia in the future, as well as to protect and promote the human rights of local people – including their right to justice and redress.
Prevention is key to avoid the potential for even worse fires next year. As we have seen in 2019, once the fires are lighted it is almost impossible to control them.

Confirmed Participants Include:

  • Domingo Peas Nampichkai Achuar – Confederation of Indigenous Organizations of Ecuadorian Amazon – (CONFENIAE)
  • Ana Valéria Araujo, Fundo Brasil Direitos Humanos
  • Tasso Azevedo, MAPBIOMAS network, Brazil
  • Maurício Bauer, National Wildlife Federation
  • Marcello Brito, President, Brazilian Agribusiness Association
  • Natalia Calderón, Fundacion Amigos de la Naturaleza, Bolívia
  • Lizardo Cauper, president, Interethnic Association for Development of Peruvian Amazonia
  • Marielos Pena Claros, forest ecology scientist, Bolívia
  • Mauro Lúcio Costa, rancher, Paragominas, Pará
  • Niccoló Figá-Talamanca – No Peace Without Justice
  • André Guimarães, Brazil Coalition for Forests, Climate and Agriculture (representing 204 companies and institutions)
  • Carmen Josse, EcoCiencia, Ecuador
  • Benito Juarez, President of Fab Lab Peru
  • Tuntiak Katan – Confederation of Indigenous Organizations from the Amazon Basin (COICA)
  • Thomas Lovejoy, UN Foundation and George Mason University
  • Miguel Macedo, Instituto para el Bien Comun, Peru
  • Laurent Micol, PECSA, consortium of sustainable farms, Mato Grosso
  • Edel Moraes, Vice-president of the Council of Traditional Populations of Amazonia (CNS)
  • Carlos Nobre, Leading Climate Scientist
  • Tina Oliveira, Wataniba, Venezuela
  • Marina Piatto – IMAFLORA
  • Jeffrey Sachs, Senior Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Sustainable Development Goals
  • Nigel Sizer, Chief Program Officer, Rainforest Alliance
  • Roberto Smeraldi, curator of the event
  • Atossa Soltani, Amazon Watch
  • Carlos Souza, CEO and Co-Founder, Terras App Solutions, Brazil
  • Jeferson Stratman, Instituto Socioambiental (ISA)
  • Beto Veríssimo, Founder and Senior Researcher, IMAZON
  • Virgilio Viana, Fundo Amazonas Sustentável, Amazonas
  • Maurício Voivodic, Executive Director, WWF-Brazil
  • Maurício Yekuana, Director, Hutukara – Association of the Yanomami people

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