The equivalent of 987,500 football fields of Amazon Rainforest have been destroyed over the last few years in Brazil

 

Isolated Amazon indigenous people. Photo taken by author.

60 million to 200 million indigenous people are almost wholly dependent on forests, these indigenous forest communities live in the world’s last remaining forests which are critically endangered as the equivalent of 987,500 football fields of Amazon Rainforest have been destroyed over the last few years in Brazil.

These indigenous forest communities are facing ecocide and they are key to the protection of the Amazon rainforest and climate balance. There are at least 80 indigenous tribes in the Amazon rainforest still living in complete isolation from the outside world. Human contact would be detrimental to their very existence, they are the most vulnerable communities since they have no resistance to disease and would be wiped out upon first contact with people from the outside world. We must respect their way of life and leave them in peace and protect them from gold and oil miners.

The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) and WRI  Report found that Indigenous Peoples and local forest communities manage at least 54,546 million metric tons of carbon (Mt C) in the tropical forests they live in globally, or just under one-quarter of the total carbon found above ground in the global tropics.

Indigenous Peoples and local communities manage at least 24 percent of the total carbon stored aboveground in the world’s tropical forests, or 54,546 million metric tons
of carbon (MtC), a sum greater than 250 times the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global air travel.

There is a deeply intrinsic relationship between the health of the Amazon rainforest and the health of the planet. Rainforests  contain 90-140 billion metric tons of carbon, not just in the tree trunks but also stored in the soil below, this helps stabilise local and global climate. Deforestation, oil extraction and mining activities releases significant amounts of this locked carbon, which is having catastrophic consequences on the climate around the world.

The Rights and Resources Initiative offers Amazon forest and global governments to consider  improving protection of deforestation and forest degradation pressures, to enhance local livelihoods, tropical country governments and the international community should:

• Support the efforts of forest peoples’ organisations to document and secure their collective forest
rights by scaling up dedicated funding streams and technical assistance;

• Make Indigenous Peoples and local communities part of the climate solution by incorporating
community-based actions in Nationally Determined Contributions;

• Develop/adopt institutional safeguards that significantly increase the voice and contributions of
forest peoples in the design and implementation priority actions to conserve/enhance forest carbon stocks and non-carbon benefits.

The Amazon rainforest is the worlds largest biodiversity rich biome containing more than half the worlds 10 million animal and plant species, with green capital preservation we can emphasize the immense value of the rainforest and its contribution to the planet.

The Amazon rainforest contains:

One in ten known species on Earth
1.4 billion acres of dense forests, half of the planet’s remaining tropical forests.
4,100 miles of winding fresh water rivers.
2.6 million square miles in the Amazon basin, about 40 percent of South America.

We are at a critical time where global governments, rainforest conservation groups and non-governmental organisations need to reinforce protection of environmental laws for Indigenous people’s defence treaties for the last remaining Amazon rainforests on the Earth.  After spending fifteen years working on conservation projects  with indigenous people in the Amazon, their challenges involve dealing with many front line issues that the largest established charities, governments and academic institutes know very little about. One common example in the Amazonia regions of South America, is the ongoing internalised governmental corruption where some government affiliated corporations provide finances and arms to military and vigilante groups to attack and continually persecute indigenous environmental activist leaders and to drive indigenous people forcefully off of their land.  This is why there is an exponential rise of murders of Indigenous environmental activists every year.

One such story I learned in 2012 at Shell airport waiting to fly deep into the Amazon, here I met with Cristina Gualinga. Cristina is from the Kichwar Sarayaku territory in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The Sarayaku community were subject to violent force to remove them from their ancestral land by illegal invasion of oil companies and their government sponsored military soldiers. Cristina Gualinga and many in her Sarayaku community are life long activists against oil exploitation, after they were subject to brutal expulsion from their territory and Cristina witnessed systematic destruction of her ancestral lands for an oil pipeline, there is a documentary about the Sarayaku’s experience called The Children of the Jaguar.

Governments who are included in the Amazon Basin region countries must collaborate with international conservation organisations and governments from all global countries to step up protection through reinforcement of environmental laws and indigenous peoples rights and powers to indigenous leaders of key communities who are our environmental protectors of the Amazon.

The international governments have a responsibility to the conservation of the planet and especially the Amazon rainforest  and should be providing reinforced prosecution for indigenous communities threatened by oil extraction, hydrodam building or gold mining and every other activity that is rapidly causing ecocide in the Amazon rainforest.

The above map shows the amount of industrial activity in the Amazon and the red crosses show the amount of indigenous people assassinated due to conflicts over rainforest that they are fighting to protect.

Between August 2017 and July 2018 some 7,900 square kilometres of forest were logged in the Brazilian Amazon. In addition to the ongoing illegal logging and goldmines, in 2019  over 7,200 square miles of the Brazilian rainforest  burned—an aggregated area nearly the size of New Jersey. The worst annual rate of deforestation in a decade, according to official government data. This represents an increase of 14 percent over the same period last year.

Greenpeace Brazil pointed out, approximately 1,185 million trees were felled in an area equivalent to the size of 987,500 football fields.

The above graph from Global Witness report ”At What Cost” shows Brazil has the highest rate of environmental defenders being killed than any other country in the world.

Meanwhile, Jair Bolsonaro ignores invitations towards implementing and reinforcing conservation action by other Amazon countries and he encourages persecution of indigenous people, conveniently overlooking the continued murders of Amazon protectors and environmental campaigners, further accelerating the destruction of the Brazilian Amazon, last year many of the raging fires which raged through the Brazilian Amazon were a result of arson as a preliminary measure to clear forest for oil drilling and illegal gold mining in indigenous territories that should be protected areas of the Amazon. Bolsonaro has publicly declared his hatred of indigenous communities, specifically the Kawahivas people who are on the edge of extinction, his promise to corporate interests are to continue to open more the Amazon to the development of the mining and  timber industries.

Global Witness’s latest annual data into violence against land and environmental defenders shows a rise in the number of women and men killed over the last few years to 207 in Brazil especially. What’s more, Global Witness’s research has highlighted agribusiness including coffee, palm oil and banana plantations as the industry most associated with these attacks.

Therefore, corporate sponsored murders of indigenous environmental protectors are conveniently overlooked, increasing the kidnappings, torture and assassination of  key environmentalists. Consequently, illegal mining and logging activities are rising with corporate land grabs and violations of indigenous people’s rights to critical escalation Brazil and other countries that the Amazon basin covers, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia.

The Amazon rainforest is deadlier than ever for land and environmental defenders, with mining and oil industries and agribusiness, these industries are the most linked to murder of environmentalists and indigenous rainforest activists.

Many indigenous communities live solely off of the land, many live in isolated regions that are difficult to access, they are adept at survival from the bounty of nature and in tune with the spiritual elements that come with their connection and close relationship with nature, therefore most of these communities are not  in need of money or the materialistic  way of living that Westerners are used to, and this goes in their favour to be the world’s best and most trusted conservationists. Their lives depend on the preservation and conservation of their ancestral land, not on money. Their connection with the environment is not just dependent on daily living, it is part of their spiritual ancestry, their spiritual ecology, part of their souls and beating hearts. This is what we have forgotten in Western civilisation.

For these reasons, Indigenous people are the best conservationists to manage and conserve the forests and last great wildernesses, as their immediate survival depends on the land and they are attuned to the environment around them, because of this, they are also the most vulnerable when it comes to ecocide, their cultures and survival is ultimately threatened. Read  previous article People on the Edge of Extinction-The Last Tribes of the Amazon

There are indigenous conservation treaty recommendations supported by many Indian and Alaskan Native organisations. A recent convention set up by the Indigenous peoples of all the Americas allowed them to form sixteen principles for building a sustainable and harmonious world community.

These principles are rooted in the concerns of hundreds of Indigenous Elders, Spiritual Leaders and Community Members, they are also rooted in deep ecology values, they recognise the interconnection of all life on Earth and how we affect one another and the Earth with our actions. They recognise how humans must work on internal balance to create external balance and a sustainable world. They recognise the importance of morals, and ethics in communities. These guiding principles constitute the foundation for the process of healing and developing ourselves (mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually), our human relationships (personal, social, political, economic, and cultural) and our relationship with Mother Earth.

The senseless annihilation of the Earth’s last rainforests is part of an ecosystem, not only providing vital equilibrium for the climate but also plant medicines and foods and resources everyone takes for granted. Corporate ecocide has to stop along with the global unfolding ecocide of other ancient wildernesses where our great indigenous people remain.

All this senseless destruction of the Amazon rainforest, is for logging, gold, hydrodams and mostly for petroleum oil, the black life blood of Pacha Mama, Mother Earth, these resources are valued over human life and over the most essential biome of the Amazon rainforest, a major oxygen producer for all life on planet Earth. How many of us have to suffer and to what limit of destruction will this planet be pushed to, before we realise human consciousness is now an ecological issue? Humanity is a threat to itself unless we change the way we live on this planet, we have to live with nature, not separate from her, we are our environment, we are nature. Meanwhile there are solutions that we at Evolve to Ecology are working on to give more power and protection to indigenous communities in the Amazon with the Biobank Green Economy initiative.

by C S

Author of

The Silent Ecocide 

Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, an Ecological Perspective

Carlita is an independent environmental journalist and project developer who provides information overlooked by mainstream journalism funded by political agendas, since Carlita has worked closely with indigenous groups in Latin America for the last fifteen years.

 

Evolve to Ecology News

New Book-Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, An Ecological Perspective.

My new book is now published and available here in Paperback and Kindle
This book provides a fresh perspective on the exponential rise in depression and suicide in modern western society. It’s an alternative book for alternative people who  have tried conventional medicine or who aren’t interested in treating depression with allopathic options, and who are open to trying other options. Scientists have studied depression is in fact a normal response to a global environmental destruction, with growing scientific peer reviewed papers that confirm our degrading environment affects our mental health. There is an urgent need for humanity to reconnect with nature and change society to become more environmentally friendly. The author offers advice on how to manage depression better with nutritional advice and controversial health hacks, recommended lifestyle changes including learning the art of living after surviving grief, deep trauma, and loss.
The aim is to help the reader see their depression as a calling to look within, connect with their truer inner being and begin to nurture themselves spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Furthermore, this book invites the reader to consider their own place in human evolution and redefine their lost purpose to one that is more aligned to Ecology than to Western Materialism, to become self-empowered, not a victim of depression. We look at talk therapies and radical new alternative therapies for managing depression in a challenging world.
Contents-
Introduction
Poem-Faithful Black Dog
Chapter One- I am Not my Story
Poem-The Exiled Dissidents
Chapter Two-Corporate devolution vs Ecology
Poem-My Friend, My Shadow
Chapter Three-A Brief History of Depression
Poem-The Thief
Chapter Four- The Art of Living
Poem-The Heart’s Compass
Chapter Five- Gluten Free Living, Health the Gut, Heal the Mind
Poem-Patented Flower in a Planet Sized Laboratory
Chapter Six- Health Hacks to Avoid Inflammation and Depression
Poem-Beat Your Drum
Chapter Seven- A Look at Different Talk Therapies
Poem-Illusions of Polarities
Chapter Eight- The Therapeutic Benefits of Entheogens and CBD oil
Poem–Merging Galaxies
Chapter Nine- The Noosphere, Consciousness and Biosphere
Poem-Love
99951 word count
414 pages

by C S

Author of

The Silent Ecocide 

Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, an Ecological Perspective

Carlita is an independent environmental journalist and project developer who provides information overlooked by mainstream journalism funded by political agendas, since Carlita has worked closely with indigenous groups in Latin America for the last fifteen years.

 

Evolve to Ecology News

Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, an Ecological Perspective

Carlita is an environmental journalist, author, project developer, hypnotherapist and educator who wants to share her insights and experiences to benefit people living with autism, anxiety, trauma, severe depression and suicidal thoughts. Here she talks openly about her life and gives an ecological perspective in her up and coming book, ”Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, an ecological perspective”.

If you want to put your name on the email list to be notified when the book comes out, please email below at
thesilentecocide@gmail.com  and to receive  updates and learn more about the art of living in a depressing world!

Related articles

An Ecological Perspective on Depression

You can follow her blog below for further updates

The Silent Ecocide

Ecuador Sold Out to the Highest Bidders

(Photos by Luis HerRra/ChakanaNews.com )

After a state of emergency was declared in Ecuador, with two weeks of intense demonstrations in Quito, Ecuador’s capital, Ecuadorian protestors have released ten police and thirty journalists, who were reportedly taken hostage by activist groups, in the midst of violent outbreaks during demonstrations against IMF austerity pressures on the Ecuadorian government, namely the reason why oil subsidies were being withdrawn,

Before being liberated later that evening, some of the police officers were made to carry the coffin of a protestor, named Inocencio Tucumbí, whose coffin was taken to the city centre, Inocencio died after being hit by a tear gas canister fired by the police at a protest last Wednesday.

Getty

Three other protestors have lost their lives during the protests and over 650 protestors have been arrested.

President Moreno had to move the government out of Quito to Guayaquil, Lenín Moreno has agreed to reassess the subsidies, but not necessarily repeal them.

This is not just about subsidies and the IMF, it is a reaction  to the growing awareness by the people of  Ecuador, that their country has been bought out by politicians and corporations, heavily exploited.  As a result Ecuador now carries heavy debt.

Indigenous people are tired of the exploits of oil companies continuing to ignore the laws and rights of indigenous people. For over a century, oil and mining companies continue to ignoring the rights of indigenous people, accordingto Ecuadorian law, they are  to seek prior consultation to any indigenous community that their activities may affect. They need to seek prior notice before going into an area of indigenous territory in the Amazon and exploiting the area for oil or mining. However, most oil and mining companies continue to ignore that indigenous communities exist, and  that the ancestral lands belong to in the Amazon people, not for the Ecuadorian governments to allow corporations to enter, for oil, for gold, uranium and so on, this has continued to increase intensively, without international intervention or help, similarly the same is happening in Peru and Brazil where the middle of the rain forests have seen devastating gold mining expansion over thousands of hectares of Amazon rainforest have been turned to deserts  this year .

In Ecuador, indigenous communties are strong and resistence affects the country immediately.  Unfortunately, for Moreno, he took on Ecuador after the prior president Rafael Correa left a messy legacy behind. Correa squeezed all the money he could steal, out of the Ecuadorian economy.

Download the note bonds that Correa sold out, the cause of the recent subsidy withdrawal

Rafael Correa sold Ecuador out completely just before April 2017 Elections, while he was in government, he did a lot of back handed deals, one such deal was while he was running the Yasuni campaign to keep the oil in the ground, behind closed doors, he secretly made oil deals with Chinese oil companies while pretending to the public he wanted to conserve Yasuni National Park. Promptly after Moreno was elected, Rafael Correa immediately left for Brussels.

Two years before PetroAmazonia oil bonds were sold in the New York Stock Market, Correa’s government denounced the 10 per cent in annual interest the country paid on its bonds as “usury in 2015.” So when the 51-year-old former economics professor was only willing to pay 10.5 per cent in a sale of notes back then, it raised speculation the Opec nation may be running short of cash after oil prices collapsed. Before the March 19 sale 2015, Correa told potential buyers it wanted to pay less than 8 per cent to borrow at least US$1 billion for as long as seven years. Instead, the Andean nation got just US$750 million for five years at yields that were more than two percentage points higher.  The sale “indicates that they are running into trouble,” said Sarah Glendon, an economist at Gramercy Funds Management.

Moreno and the people of Ecuador are paying this price, and Moreno is under a lot of pressure to try and find a solution to the mess. However, the ramifications are worse for the indigenous people and so as it is nearing 2020, when the debts of U.S.$315,339,980, has to be paid back at least

4.625% of notes are due by 2020, the pressure on Ecuadorian people and the government is worse than ever, what will Moreno do to compromise for the people of Ecuador? Times have already been hard on the Ecuadorian economy after Ecuador had to spend a lot of money rebuilding important infrastructure recovering from the 7.8 Earthquake in 2016.

Many indigenous people over the last three years have been greatly pressured and exploited as oil and mining activities expand an develop exponentially in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Since this means more destruction of the Amazon, to be exploited by oil companies such as Petro Amazonas and other oil companies for exploitation and drilling, as this debt needs to be paid back by next year, 2020 and these notes were borrowed on Petro Amazonas assets, one of the driving destroyers of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

 

**Update** A resolution has been reached following the Peace Talks Sunday Night. Moreno will withdraw submission to the IMF, people keep their subsidies and finances in tax and public spending will be affected instead.

How could the concept of Natural Capital help Ecuador reclaim economic autonomy?

Ecuador has more than half the world’s biodiversity found in the Amazon rainforest, in terms of Natural Capital, there is a great deal of value in the Amazon that could wipe out all of Ecuador’s world debt.

Today, biodiversity rich areas of the world are a critically endangered and a limited natural resource. We are living in the Sixth greatest mass extinction, because of our addiction to oil and wealth in terms of short term gain, this drastically affects how we manage biodiversity. It is an apocalypse happening in slow motion which affects all of the earth’s biodiversity which took 3.8 billion years of evolution to form. This extinction differs from previous extinctions, in that it is caused by humans, not by natural causes, as we are the cause, we can also slow it down or prevent it, if we make big changes. While governments are aware of this and we continue to accelerate it, each year, and this affects every single species and ecosystem on the planet, nothing is being done to protect biodiversity, instead twenty years on from my environmental science degree, it is disheartening to see environmental laws have become greately weakened as politicians are the stakeholders of lobbying corporations and are legally bribed to rewrite laws for backhanded payments. According to recent scientific data, animals and plants are disappearing at a rate of between 75 and 150 species per day. There may be no rain forest left in twenty years from now, nor fish in the ocean in ten years time and over half the world will have a water crisis, fifteen years from now. Bees are our most important crop pollinators and are fast disappearing and the rate of deforestation and ocean pollution is destroying these keystone ecosystems, which are drastically affected by man’s own actions. As most people are ecologically illiterate, we negate the goods and services and value these natural resources and the wealth they generate or the species that also contribute to the work of ecological goods and services.

Look at Africa, the natural capital if given monetary value would make it the richest country in the world in terms of natural resources. Western society must live more within our ecologically realistic limitations, consume less and live more sustainably. We agree that predatory capitalism equals exploitation, and thrives from growing centralized power structures. This is part of its subjective characteristics and results in a few countries having more power, wealth and opportunities than the rest of the world, which is the cancer of this growing disparity between the first world nations and ”third world nations”, which were originally ancient first world superpowers in the story of ancient history.

Natural Capital is a concept that was explored nearly 20 years ago now, pilot projects have been quietly funded by the United Nations to see how we can value nature and biodiversity for policy makers. The World Resource Institute (WRI) estimates the value of ecosystem services to be US $33 trillion a year, nearly twice the value of the global gross national product (GNP) of US $18 trillion. The US is also in debt by 17 trillion dollars, if the US switched to an economy based on natural capital, the financial value tied up in its natural capital would take care of this debt. In the same way that a banknote is a promissory note against the gold or silver that has been deposited in the bank, ecological economists are seeing how we can start to put the same value onto ecosystems and the role of species in ecosystem production; another example would be the 80 percent of oxygen generated by algae and microbial activity in the oceans. Hypothetically, the value of the work done in existing ecosystems could regenerate local economies and increase the wealth and monetary value of nature globally, simply by ensuring its conservation and existence by using initiatives similar to the TEEB Economic of Ecosystems and Biodiversity model if we took it to a community level to decentralize governmental powers and management of our natural resources.

Nature’s ecological banking system could be a way to revolutionise our world and local economies and transfer wealth from an oil-based economy to an ecology-based economy, this wealth would provide poor countries with enough ecological economy that global debt would become a thing of the past. This starts on a local level, worldwide, which would regenerate and allow local communities to have better control over their own natural resources, protecting and managing them from over-exploitation of previously decentralised management of resources, which could be prevented, if corporate social responsibility pays a tax to the natural capital destroyed and when more is taken out of the ecosystems and Natural Capital, than is put into them, this crucially needs to be taken into account in order to gain more balance.

In terms of flipping this over to give people power instead of governments, we could make local land trusts run by the local communities which protect thousands of hectares of rain forest for the future preservation of biodiversity and translate the value to cryptocurrency rather than fiat, which is centralized and controlled by governments, whereas cryptocurrency is not. Ecuador, Peru, Brazil,Bolivia, Venezuela and Colombia would be infinitely more wealthy because these countries are where the Amazon basin covers. If we put a value on just one hectare of the Amazon for the biodiversity it holds, or for the oxygen and clean water it produces, or for

Here we provide further steps towards sustainability and increasing power to local communities and protect nature from centralized predatory capitalism exploits:

1. Decentralisation of power in cities and governments, to smaller towns and villages, for local communities to have more say in governance of local resources instead of foreign governments.

2. Improve infrastructures in rural areas for solar and wind technology for self sustainable towns and greener cities, strengthening local infrastructures for alternative fuel systems to make the transition from oil easier, such as make hydrogen fuel cell refuelling stations, along with electric cars more available in every town and city and alternative energy resources for off the grid power generators.

3. Ideally, (because this won’t happen in real world politics), Western governments that currently have central power would return the rights for developing countries the access to manage their own land and natural resources which would remedy starvation, put a stop to corporate land grabs and create a more sustainably balanced structure that is not centralised or controlled by corporations and politicians of the Western World.

4. This is a hard one since those who have the power prefer to keep countries in debt, especially to exploit their resources. -Abolish “third world debt” based on unrealistic inflation agendas for the world powers to control natural resources in ‘poorer’ foreign countries that are actually ‘richer’ in rare minerals and natural resources than most Western countries, we will see how in further paragraphs the Natural Economy in terms of goods and services and biodiversity, can turn the poorest nations into the richest over night and would be used to wipe world debt.

5. Environmental laws need to make corporate exploitations of foreign natural resources a crime, more stringent environmental laws are necessary and no more erosion of these laws by politicians who are corporate pimps bribed to rewrite laws for corporate agendas. Western corporations need to abolish privatisation of water, and land resources in “third world countries”.

6. Return land rights to rural community agriculturalists in developing countries, and locally supporting sustainable agriculture. With localised sustainable farming, there would be an equal distribution of food and grain and where there is poor soil quality implementation of soil restoration projects .

The current global conflicts, we see emerging in both the ecological and economic crisis, is a sign that we need to re-evaluate the global economy that has been built on short-term gain and erroneous decisions of greedy politicians and their corporate partners, with no acknowledgement or regard for nature’s capital, invisible goods, services and production that everyone takes for granted. This completely disregards nature’s capital value. Our view of nature is to see ourselves as separate and above it, a western view that is so engrained in our perception of the world, we don’t think twice about our wasteful consumerist culture. We could start exploring new ways of seeing nature as a valuable investment we need to protect, to preserve biodiversity and the natural balance of ecosystems for the future of humanity.

By Carlita Shaw

References

Financial Collapse and Natural Capital

Chakanaka News.com

BBC news 

Margoth, Amparo and Amada, three brave women that defend the Pueblos Indígenas and the Amazon Rainforest.

Learn the story of Margoth, Amparo and Amada, three brave women that defend the Pueblos Indígenas and the Amazon Rainforest.

Please sign the petition for better protection of these brave environmental defenders  https://bit.ly/2ZPLvDh

Ecuador: In the absence of protection from the State, Amazónian women risk their lives to defend the Rainforest

The lack of capacity and political will of the Ecuadorian authorities to guarantee protection and adequately and effectively investigate attacks and threats against Amazonian Women defenders of the environment which puts their lives at risk, and those of other people who protect the Amazon against political and economic interests linked to large-scale extractive projects in indigenous territories, said Amnesty International in a new report published today.

“They will not stop us” : The Ecuadorian government fails justice and protection for Amazonian women defenders of land, territory and environment, which exposes the failures of the Ecuadorian Attorney General’s Office in response to a series of attacks and death threats registered in 2018 against Patricia Gualinga, Nema Grefa, Salomé Aranda and Margoth Escobar. The four women are members of the Mujeres Amazónicas collective, made up of dozens of indigenous women from Ecuador who defend the environment in the Amazon and the rights of indigenous peoples.

The work of people who defend the environment, such as the Amazonian Women and other organizations of the indigenous peoples, is urgent and necessary in Ecuador and in the whole world, before the increasingly evident impacts of the global environmental crisis.

“Despite the promises made by the government of President Moreno, the lack of political will to seriously investigate the attacks against human rights defenders and to give them adequate protection sends a clear message to society: that these crimes are tolerated in Ecuador. This is unacceptable, “said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas director for Amnesty International.

The lines of investigation and the protection measures that the Ecuadorian authorities have offered to the victims seem to ignore possible motives of the attacks linked to their challenge to large-scale economic interests and to traditional gender roles, through their role as indigenous leaders. and human rights defenders.

“This attack is retaliation for my struggle to defend life and our territories against the threat of oil exploitation,” said Salome Aranda, after several strangers threatened and attacked her and her family with stones while they were at home in May 2018.

The Amazonian Women point out that the authorities in charge of investigating do not collect or analyze critical evidence in time, which could even help identify those responsible for the attacks against them. Faced with these failures, the defenders end up in practice assuming the burden of the investigation.

”We are united and we will continue in our fight for the defense of Mother Earth.”-
Patricia Gualinga, Amazonian Woman defender.

The Amazonian Women also criticize that the protection measures that they have offered are inadequate and insufficient in the face of the particular needs and the exceptional risks they face every day.

Regardless of the possible causes of these failures, their consequences on the lives of human rights and environmental defenders in Ecuador are clear and concrete. In a country where attacks against them are not punished and authorities do not assume their responsibility to guarantee their safety, many people face the permanent dilemma of risking their lives and that of their families to defend human rights and nature. .

“President Lenin Moreno and the new Attorney General, Diana Salazar, have in their hands the opportunity to put an end to this grave situation and guarantee justice and protection for the Amazonian Women and any person who defends human rights in Ecuador. For this, they must implement a national protection policy and a protocol to investigate crimes against them, “said Erika Guevara Rosas.

Despite impunity and lack of protection, Patricia Gualinga says they will not surrender: “We are united and we will continue in our fight for the defense of Mother Earth.”

by Carlita Shaw

The Silent Ecocide

#SaveTheAmazon #Valiente 👉 https://t.co/QFk98tuGcYExige a la Fiscal de Ecuador que actúe para la protección de las Mujeres Defensoras de la Amazonía firmando está petición: https://bit.ly/2ZPLvDh

Surviving the Loss of Your Pet

rainbo pets

Some people may be surprised to read that losing a pet such as a dog or a cat or even a bird or a hamster, can put someone into a state of severe grief, just as devastating if not more so than losing a person. This is because the bond with an animal and the unconditional love and joy that they show you and their dependence upon you, when in your company is a greater loss in many ways, compared to that of our partners, friends or family, who we don’t always agree with. There may be possible unresolved issues, people are more complicated, animals are not, they are pure hearted and show us the most unflawed form of unconditional love and joy that light up our hearts and souls.

Fortunately, animal sentience is becoming a part of new developments in animal rights laws, as scientists and  human consciousness is recognizing that sentience and consciousness is not limited to the human being. Science is showing us that all living creatures and even plants,  share sentience and consciousness. We are beginning to acknowledge that animals have just as much right as we do, to be identified as persons in the court of law, a recent record breaking, animal neglect case was won in the US state of Oregon, for a dog who was abused, dogs are sentient beings and should be classes as persons.

The same with Dolphins, nine years ago I interviewed Dr. Thomas White about his groundbreaking research and book ”In Defense of Dolphins, the new moral frontier’‘.

twfin001-300x213

Dr Thomas White’s book and interview with me, discussed  the implications that  his research has uncovered, of how we currently treat dolphins; while his work focuses on ethics and how we need to re-evaluate our perception of dolphin intelligence. Humans continue to apply speciesism when observing other animals, negating the intelligence and emotions of other creatures, when we do not necessarily demonstrate balanced consciousness ourselves,  since we are exploiting  the planet and other species to ecocidal levels and we have yet to learn to live in harmony with other species and with Planet Earth, within the means of the Earth’s sustainable carrying capacity.

We are slowly changing our perception of dolphins due to the work of people such as Dr Thomas White and Ed Elsworth, we are beginning to acknowledge dolphins share similar traits of self awareness, complex social structures, complex language and thinking abilities in terms of past and future, the ability to choose to act in response to a situation and their reasoning abilities. This re-evaluation means we need to set new frontiers for the status of dolphins in terms of dolphins being ‘non-human persons’. A step forward to expanding our own consciousness and how we can learn from dolphins and how they live with one another.

Dr. White and other scientists and animal activists are making the case to recognize dolphins and other animal species as sentient creatures who deserve the same rights as people and after over 2500 scientific studies on this subject, more is being done to improve how we treat, class and recognize all animals as sentient beings and persons in their own right.

Yet, some people are still embarrassed by the overwhelming grief they feel for the loss of their pet, especially if others don’t react or treat their feelings as important which leads to disenfranchised grief. One of the best articles I read about losing a dog, was by Joe Yonan in The Washington Post- ´´ The fact that our pets are so dependent on us makes it all too easy to second-guess our decisions and descend into a pit of guilt. Shouldn’t I have known? Did I do everything I could? If I had just . . . what? Taken him to the vet sooner? Insisted he be hospitalized? What if I had been home? I might not have been able to save him, but at least in his last moments he would have known I was with him, and maybe that would have made it a little easier for him if not for me. Simply stated, many people (including pet owners) feel that grief over the death of a pet is not worthy of as much acknowledgement as the death of a person,”

A 2002 article in the journal Society & Animals that reviewed multiple studies on pet owners grief  stated that “ it is just as devastating as the loss of a human significant other”.

I went  through this after loosing my ten year old dog Poppy who died due to heart failure in 2015. When I expressed my grief though, I was very surprised by the very open expressive sympathy that friends showed me. Unlike my other dogs, Poppy and I had a deeply profound bond. Many of my friends have said how devastated they were after loosing their furry family members and how long it took them to get over the loss. I have friends that went into the pits of despair with grief and to the edge of a breakdown just as one would with loosing a dearly loved spouse, close friend or family member and  they were struggling to move forward. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, feeling this way about the loss of a dog or a cat or your closest best friend,  who spent more time sharing moments of unconditional love and joy with you than any human friend or family member has.

A dog or a cat or any animal you deeply bond with, whatever it may be, is there for you and loves you unconditionally, you have a daily routine with that animal, you do everything together and they end up being more of a part of your life than some people could ever be and you get a sense they know exactly how you feel most of the time too. It is especially hard for a person living alone to lose such a valuable companion.

When you love something or someone deeply, you have an equal amount of fear in losing the object of your love. My biggest fear in the world was losing my dog Poppy, she brought me so much happiness and joy over the last ten years, more than any amount of fortune or relationship could have given me. We had so many treasured adventures and moments together travelling and our connection was so profound we could read one another’s thoughts, I would just think ‘walkies’ and she would appear ready for me to put her harness on, she read my mind very clearly, all of the time. My only real deep fear was her dying, this I was afraid of for a few years before she actually passed over the rainbow bridge, on the positive side it made me cherish our moments together and live completely in the moment with her. Poppy to me, was the closest I have ever been to having a true soul mate in the body of an animal. She was a person and stood greater in her energy, spirit and wisdom than any human person I have met in my life. She gave me the best reason to be alive every day. Losing her has been the worst and most tragic experience of my entire life until I lost my husband a few years later, I’d still give anything to just feel her body in my arms and her big beating heart and be able to gaze into her soulful eyes.

Though, since having lived the reality of my greatest fear and going through this deep emotional loss, something surprisingly strange has happened after loosing Poppy, she has somehow helped return a fragment of myself, I lost after my early youth, an old emotional  and spiritual part of myself that was always able to laugh in the face of adversity, but after sometime I lost that part of me, and got worn down. Maybe, her angelic presence in the other realms allows her to bring gifts of healing for me, she is a very powerful being for me, somehow a lost part of my prior self, when I was very young, returned only after her passing and she has also been a reason for me to rescue other abandoned cats and dogs or to  discover some information that could help other homeless or abandoned pets in need.

After the lengthy and fragile initial stages of processing grief and loss, it helps a little to change ones perspective, I know this as someone that has lived with severe depression, you learn how to manage it via practising different perspectives, if possible. Despite being isolated physically, I am drawing towards a feeling of something intangible on a soulful level, the soul somehow grows stronger when baring so much pain and loss, it is not easy to put into words.

There are moments where I feel that everything for my spirit will be okay because Poppy’s soul is quite powerful and she has shown me that our deepest fears when lived out, end up providing us with gifts afterwards as they dissolve after surviving them somehow, on different levels. I just cannot put into words how in awe I am of the incredible number of insights my Poppy still teaches me each day from across the realms beyond life and death. I grieve for the loss of her abundant love, joyful spirit and physical presence while her soul is just so strong and bright. it permeates by illuminating my life in so many subtle ways with the ultimate gift of true unconditional love, she is still with me in spirit.

The best thing we can do while we are grieving the loss of our furry or feathered friends, is to realize they found us and taught us unconditional love and to be grateful for the time we had with them. There is a proverb about a boy who lost his dog and apparently after his dog died, he said that the reason dogs have shorter lives than people, is because they already know how to love unconditionally and be joyful all the time, so they don’t need to spend much time here in this realm, whereas people are still learning how to love so that is why we live a while longer.

by Carlita Shaw -this article has been updated since 2015
Ecologist, Author

Dr Thomas White’s Website In Defense of Dolphins:

www.indefenseofdolphins.com

More recently The Times acknowledges the work of Dr Thomas White and other scientists research that dolphins are ‘non-human persons’. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article6973994.ece

Deforestation and genocide in the Amazon reaches accelerated levels

map of all industrial activity and genocideThe above map shows the amount of industrial activity in the Amazon and the red crosses show the amount of indigenous people assassinated due to conflicts over rainforest that they are fighting to protect.

Between August 2017 and July 2018 some 7,900 square kilometres of forest were logged in the Brazilian Amazon, the worst annual rate of deforestation in a decade, according to official government data. This represents an increase of 13.7% over the same period last year.

Greenpeace Brazil pointed out, approximately 1,185 million trees were felled in an area equivalent to the size of 987,500 football fields.

This worrying news comes amid fears that the new far right president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, may worsen the situation due to his promise to open more the Amazon to the development of the timber industry, in addition to his public hatred of indigenous people, specifically the  Kawahivas people who are on the edge of extinction. 

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The above graph from Global Witness report ”At What Cost” shows Brazil has the highest rate of environmental defenders being killed than any other country in the world.

The Amazon rain forest is deadlier than ever for land and environmental defenders, with mining and oil industries and agribusiness, these industries are the most linked to genocides of environmentalists and indigenous rainforest activists.

Global Witness’s latest annual data into violence against land and environmental defenders shows a rise in the number of women and men killed over the last few years to 207 in Brazil especially. What’s more, Global Witness’s research has highlighted agribusiness including coffee, palm oil and banana plantations as the industry most associated with these attacks.

4-captura de pantalla completa 16012019 161740.bmpBetween 2005 and 2011 deforestation  decreased in Brazil by an encouraging 70%, mainly due to the increase in government protection in response to a growing awareness to protect the rainforest. Even between 2011 and 2017, when Brazil entered a more chaotic political period, the decline in deforestation stopped, but did not reverse. Bolsonaro’s leadership plans, unfortunately, will undo some of that progress.

However, not only is the rate of deforestation increasing in Brazil,  it is also accelerating in Ecuador and the Peruvian Amazon and many indigenous natives are not given legal prior consultation to enter their territories for oil drilling or logging, therefore it is often done brutally with the help of military force, illegally violating indigenous people’s rights. The Amazon rainforest is a boundless region that spans across eight developing countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. Colombia has done more in the past years to step up to conserving large areas of rain forest, they set aside over 28.4 Million hectares of rain forest for conservation purposes.
deforestacion-amazoniaImage: Rich Carey Shutterstock

In a statement, Brazil’s environment minister, Edson Duarte, blamed illegal logging for increased deforestation in the Amazon and called on the government to step up surveillance in the forests, Reuters reported.

Greenpeace claims that the Brazilian government is not doing enough to stop deforestation. In addition, with Bolsonaro in command, “the predictions for the Amazon (and for the fight against climate change) are not good”.

The loss of forests creates an unpleasant feedback loop in climate change. Forests and forest soils are a major carbon sink, and deforestation adds more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

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In the new report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, regarding the limitation of global warming to 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels, it is pointed out that the planting of more trees and the maintenance of existing trees are essential to achieve that goal.

Moreover, in the Amazon, biodiversity loss is devastating and irreversible when deforestation occurs, it is not a matter of planting more trees. It is impossible to replace the biodiversity and species lost which have evolved through millions of years in the biodiversity rich Amazon. Half of the world’s entire animal, amphibians, reptiles, birds, plants, and insect species are found in the Amazon rainforest which is the world’s largest biodiversity hotspot.

The Amazon rain forest contains:

One in ten known species on Earth
1.4 billion acres of dense forests, half of the planet’s remaining tropical forests
4,100 miles of winding rivers
2.6 million square miles in the Amazon basin, about 40 percent of South America
There is a clear link between the health of the Amazon and the health of the planet. The rain forests, which contain 90-140 billion metric tons of carbon, help stabilize local and global climate. Deforestation may release significant amounts of this carbon, which could have catastrophic consequences around the world.

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by Carlita Shaw

 The Silent Ecocide