Bridges to Amazonia
Climate Alliance’s work was founded on the recognition that fighting climate change requires a global perspective and local solutions. This is demonstrated in our long tradition of promoting climate action amongst European municipalities as well as the indigenous peoples of the Amazon River basin.
Representing over half of the remaining rainforest worldwide, the forests of Amazonia are critical in the fight against climate change. Indigenous peoples have been practicing sustainable forestry in the region for millennia. Equipped with an intimate knowledge of their environment and a direct connection to realities on the ground, they are, much like local governments the world over, best positioned to put climate action into practice within their territories. For European municipalities, such action may come in the form of initiatives for renewable energies, energy efficiency or energy conservation. For indigenous communities, climate action typically revolves around safeguarding their forests and territorial rights.
Partnerships are one way for local authorities to embrace the big picture and fight for climate justice.
One prominent example is that of Climate Alliance Austria, which has entered into an exemplary partnership with FOIRN, the Federation of Indigenous Organisations of the Rio Negro River Basin in Brazil. Via this cooperation, Climate Alliance members in Austria have provided indigenous communities of the Rio Negro with political and financial support for the preservation of their rainforests since 1993.
For well over the last decade, Climate Alliance member Munich has cultivated active collaboration with the Asháninka people of Peru – Amazonia’s largest indigenous group. Asháninka representatives regularly hold talks at various events and educational facilities in Munich on topics such as the effects of climate change on their ways of life and the challenges posed by extractive industries as well as sustainable projects that they are carrying out. In turn, the City of Munich supports the Asháninka with PR and lobby work, a variety of small sustainability projects as well as strong support for their rights to land and culture.
These examples feature just some of the important work Climate Alliance is doing via direct partnerships with indigenous peoples.
"For many, the Amazon rainforest is simply a cash cow. For us it means far more. Its protection helps not only us, but the entire world. We are protecting our territories for the gobal community!"
by Eriberto Gualinga, representative of the Kichwa community Sarayaku, Ecuador