This month, we are sharing the insights we’ve learned through more than 20 years of partnership with the indigenous people of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. Most importantly, we’ve learned that what happens in the Amazon affects all life on Earth. Our fates are interconnected—we are all the Amazon.
Today’s message is from Pachamama Alliance Co-founder and CEO, Bill Twist, explaining how critical it is to protect the Sacred Headwaters region of the Amazon, which we learned while working in this area.
I am writing to you today to encourage you, if you haven’t already, to join with us in efforts to protect one of the most important eco-regions on Earth, the Napo and Marañón River basins in Ecuador and Northern Peru, an area we call the Sacred Headwaters of the Amazon.
This region is one of the most important bio-regions in the entire Amazon Basin. It contains areas with the highest levels of biodiversity on the planet. It is also a region of great cultural diversity with 14 indigenous nations living there and several indigenous groups still living in voluntary isolation from the outside world. Being at the headwaters, what happens in this region affects the entire Amazon River.
Pachamama Alliance has worked for the past 20-plus years to protect this area, and in partnership with the indigenous groups has been effective at stopping the expansion of any industrial level extractive activities in the region. But the threat continues and both Ecuador and Peru have announced new plans to expand oil development into the untouched regions of the area and plans for large scale open-pit mining are being pursued in fragile areas of Ecuador
This area of the Amazon is the last place that should be opened up to oil development or mining. We don’t need more oil, The world has already discovered more oil than we’ll ever be able to burn without putting our climate into complete overload and breakdown. And we don’t need more gold. We’re still entranced with its glitter, yet having more won’t make any difference to the sustainable well-being or our planet. It makes no sense to tear the Earth apart to get something that we don’t need any more of.
Protecting the most biodiverse part of the Amazon basin and supporting indigenous people with their survival and development into the future is not just a “nice to have”. It is absolutely essential to the sustainable well-being of all life on this planet. It’s right at the heart of what’s needed to build a sustainable and just world for all. We invite you to join with us.
CEO and Co-founder of Pachamama Alliance