Ask President Biden and US Representatives to protect the Amazon and Indigenous rights!

Ask President Biden and US Representatives to protect the Amazon and Indigenous rights!

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Doug Siebum started this petition to President Joe Biden and

Photo is "Amazon 11" by CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture

Open letter to President Joe Biden and government officials in the House and the Senate,

Indigenous peoples in Brazil are currently being attacked by the Brazilian government on two fronts: Bill (PL) 490/2007, which threatens to cancel Indigenous consultation rights over what happens with natural resources in their territories, and the landmark Supreme Court case of “Marco Temporal”, which threatens to revert the demarcation of Indigenous lands (to be ruled on 30 June 2021). These attacks on Indigenous peoples’ rights go against Brazil’s Constitution and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Brazil’s current president, Jair Bolsonaro, has publicly said that “It’s a shame that the Brazilian cavalry wasn’t as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated their Indigenous peoples.”

Both attempts to cancel Indigenous rights and other attempts to remove legal environmental protections are part of a larger plan to open the Amazon and other protected areas to further mining, logging, cattle ranching and grain plantations.

Indigenous peoples represent only 4% of the world’s population, but they protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity. In the case of Brazil, they are the last line of defense against the destruction of the Amazon forest and other sensitive areas that are crucial for halting climate change. As Chief Almir Suruí stated “The danger we are facing is not only for Indigenous peoples, but for the future, as this will bring enormous social and environmental devastation.”

The importance of the Amazon region:

  • 2 million square miles in 9 countries (2/3 in Brazil)
  • Carbon sink: filtering and reprocessing
  • Water cycles: Larger ecosystem regulation; 15% of all freshwater flowing into the ocean; 20 billion tons of water sent to the atmosphere every day (sky river); plays a large role in ocean currents and climate control
  • Biome: 390 billion trees; 2.5 million species of insects; 1% of flowering plants studied to date; millions of animal species; 10% of the world's biodiversity
  • Medicine: largest source of healing (“pharmacy”) in the world, knowledge kept by local Indigenous groups
  • Indigenous peoples: it's estimated that there were 8 million before Europeans, population decreased 90% (67 un-contacted groups left)

Since moral and humanitarian arguments seem irrelevant for the current president and his supporters, we are begging you to put pressure on the Brazilian Government to stop these inhumane actions, which are resulting in environmental disaster as well as a loss of human life. We encourage you to take every action possible to stop this, including the threat of a boycott on products coming out of that area.

The warning of a boycott has already been issued. On 5th May 2021, an open letter signed by 40 international grocers, food suppliers and investment firms, including the US Agricultural Industries Confederation and multi-national grocery chains like Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda, Aldi and Germany’s Metro, urged Brazilian lawmakers to reconsider legislative proposals that further environmental destruction or face the interruption of the use of Brazilian agricultural products, such as meat and soy, in their supply chains. This boycott campaign will grow exponentially if the government is successful in changing Brazilian laws to further destroy the Amazon forest and the livelihoods of Indigenous peoples and traditional communities.

We urge you to stand with us and the Indigenous people of Brazil. We are asking you to put pressure on the Brazilian Government to stop these attacks on the Indigenous people. We are asking you to release statements to the media to show your support for the Indigenous people of Brazil and to speak out against these attacks.

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