Statement from the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2019

RAINFOREST FOUNDATION US’S GLOBAL PARTNER, THE GLOBAL ALLIANCE OF TERRITORIAL COMMUNITIES, RELEASES A STATEMENT REGARDING THE FOREST FIRES CURRENTLY IMPACTING BRAZIL

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The Global Alliance of Territorial Communities expresses its repudiation of the misleading statements made by the Brazilian government related to the fires in the Amazon and highlights the importance of indigenous peoples and local communities to combat fires and protect the region.

Forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon doubled between January and August, compared to the same period of the past year. Gray smoke is spreading throughout the country and, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), it is the result of intensifying fires that affect the Amazon rainforest.

Given the accusations of the Brazilian government about the causes of the fires, the members of the Global Alliance declare that indigenous peoples and local communities have faced a series of murders, invasions and threats while protecting the forest and highlight its resistant role in order to keep the forest preserved.

The invasions of our lands and the increasing activity of miners, loggers and other illegal groups in our territories are the real cause of the increase in fires and deforestation in the Amazon, which has been stimulated by the environmental policies proposed for the region by the Brazilian government.

As guardians of 400 million hectares of forests worldwide, the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities highlights the international recognition of indigenous peoples and local communities as guardians of the land and forests of the world, expressed in the recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published this month.

Indigenous peoples and local communities in the Amazon Basin, Brazil, Mesoamerica and Indonesia are represented in the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities, grouped by the organizations: Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN) and Coordinator of the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA).

Rainforest Foundation US was founded 30 years ago to promote the rights of indigenous peoples living in the rainforest and to support them and other forest communities in their effort to protect and defend their territories. 

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Didier Devers
Chief of Party – USAID Guatemala
gro.y1669762585nffr@1669762585sreve1669762585dd1669762585

Didier has been coordinating the USAID-funded B’atz project since joining Rainforest Foundation US in April 2022. He holds a Master’s in Applied Anthropology and a Bachelor’s in Geography. Before joining the organization, Didier worked for 12 years in Central and South America on issues of transparency, legality, governance, and managing stakeholders’ processes in the environmental sector. Prior to that he worked on similar issues in Central Africa. He speaks French, Spanish, and English, and is based in Guatemala.