Recent wins in safeguarding Indigenous lands in the Amazon Rainforest (Interview with Mitch Anderson of Amazon Frontlines, Part Two)
This is a conversation on Green Dreamer with Kamea Chayne, a podcast and multimedia journal illuminating our paths towards ecological balance, intersectional sustainability, and true abundance and wellness for all. This preview has been edited for clarity. Subscribe to Green Dreamer Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or any podcast app to stay informed and updated on our latest episodes.
Mitch Anderson is the founder and Executive Director of Amazon Frontlines (@amazonfrontlines), an international group of human rights lawyers, environmental activists, forestry specialists, environmental health scientists, filmmakers, journalists, anthropologists, and farmers working to support the struggles of Indigenous peoples and defend their rights to land, life, and cultural survival in the Amazon Rainforest.
In this podcast episode, which is PART 2 of this interview (make sure to listen to PART 1 on episode 161 first!), Mitch sheds light on some key wins that we've had lately in safeguarding our Amazonian Indigenous lands and what it took for that to happen; how we can stand in solidarity with our Indigenous peoples to support the conservation of their ancestral lands; and more.
To start, get a glimpse below into the conversation between Mitch and Green Dreamer Podcast's host, Kamea Chayne.
On how the Amazon is approaching a cultural tipping point:
"It’s widely known that the Amazon is approaching an ecological tipping point, but it's much less talked about that the Amazon is approaching a cultural tipping point as well.
These massive threats to the forest are threatening Indigenous people’s territory and livelihood, essentially threatening their knowledge base and threatening their connection to the land.
You can see that in the situation with the Indigenous youth—they’re not looking to the forest as the elders do, as the place to get things, as the place of all meaning in life. They’re also looking to the city and the money economy as a way of survival.
Fundamental to the protection of the Amazon, to the autonomy of Indigenous peoples and protection of their way of life is to be able to invest in the youth and work with them to build out opportunities and platforms for them to make bold proposals about how they and their people want to live in the forest in the 21st century.”
On our need to shift from focusing on protecting the Amazon rainforest to supporting its most oldest guardians:
"Right now, there’s this alignment happening between all the new information about climate change and the importance of tropical rainforest conservation.
There’s a massive swelling of commitment from people from around the world to protect the Amazon rainforest.
But, I think there needs to be a shift from how to save the rainforest to how to best support the Amazon’s oldest guardians and its most experienced protectors—the Indigenous people.”
Final words of wisdom:
"Prioritize listening to the people closest to the land.”
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