Emília Costa, with the Campaign in Defense of the Brazilian Savanna
Started 1 petition
Protect the most biodiverse savanna in the world
My name is Emilia. I'm 27 years old and I am a Brazilian quilombola, which means that I belong to a community that descends from runaway slaves, who resisted slavery. I am a young, black woman. I live in Maranhão, in a community in the Brazilian “Cerrado”, an immense tropical savanna filled with trees, plains, and thousands of animal species. Our Cerrado is an incredible place, but it is currently at risk. Along with my community and hundreds of other people from traditional communities, I am part of a campaign to protect our savanna - the Campaign in Defense of the Brazilian Savanna. Do you want to join our battle? The Cerrado isn't as big or well-known as the Amazon, but it is still one of the most important and rich ecosystems in our country. Please help us pressure the Brazilian Government to give the Cerrado more legal protection by making it a National Heritage Site! The history of the inhabitants of the Cerrado is rich and vibrant. We are peasants, fishermen, river dwellers, coconut breakers, and family farmers. Many of us are indigenous - there are over 80 indigenous ethnic groups - and also quilombolas, groups that descended from fugitive slaves. But our families and our way of life are being threatened. We are losing our native vegetation, rich biodiversity and our ancestral culture to the monoculture of soy, mining, cattle ranching and dams – but National Heritage Site status would help to stop that. We are trying to call for international attention because we found out there is money from the United States, Germany, Sweden and Holland being invested in deforestation and forced evictions. It comes through pension funds, multilateral banks and export credit agencies. Are the North American and European citizens aware that their own money is tainted by environmental destruction and the human rights violations of traditional peoples? The Cerrado is one of the oldest biomes in the world, with 5% of the planet's biodiversity. It hosts jaguars, rare birds and thousands of unique plants – half of which have already been lost. It is also crucial to the maintenance of the water in the South American continent, since the most important rivers and water basins come from here. My community works hard to protect our home but big agribusiness have used violence and coercion to fight us. We protect nature because we know we are part of it, we need it. Without us, the people of the Cerrado, there will be no conservation of nature, there will be no water, there will be no life! We can not lose this battle against greed, power and corruption. Join us in calling on the Brazilian Congress to recognize that connection and protect the Cerrado.