She could save the Amazon

Dear friends, it sounds crazy, but this young mother from the Waorani Nation in Ecuador might just be key to saving the Amazon. Ecuador’s government is set to sell millions of acres of pristine rainforest to Big Oil -- so Nemonte’s leading her people out of the forest to fight for their ancestral land. She’s going toe-to-toe with the government in a landmark case that could stop the sale of her homeland and set a precedent for forest guardians across the Amazon. And she’s asking for our urgent help.

Her small tribe is working on a shoestring budget -- but if we all chip in, our global movement can supercharge their fight, funding the best lawyers, bringing tribespeople from the forest to the courts, and helping indigenous communities protect their land all over the Amazon.

The case has already begun, and only our movement can raise enough to make a difference in time. Donate whatever you can -- let’s stand with Nemonte, and defend the Amazon before it’s too late: Please donate whatever you can. We cannot protect the climate or stop the extinction crisis if we don’t protect this forest. The Amazon is home to 10% of the species on the planet, produces 20% of our oxygen, and sucks in and stores more carbon pollution than any other place on Earth. This magical forest is literally keeping us all alive!

And the Waorani’s legal case could be one key to saving it. Ecuador’s constitution and international law give indigenous peoples the right to have a say before their land can be sold, but too often it's ignored. Until now.

Nemonte is refusing to play the government’s corrupt game – in the first court hearing she and her sisters wouldn’t stop singing until the judge agreed to provide a translator who spoke their native language!! Now that court is about to issue a ruling on the case, triggering the next crucial phase in the Waorani’s legal fight for their future.  

And it's not just Ecuador. Across the region, governments are sacrificing the Amazon to logging, oil, and mining destruction. But a season of resistance is spreading! Let's unleash the magic of our movement behind these brave forest defenders -- and then power campaigns and actions to protect the Amazon and support indigenous peoples across the whole forest. 

Our community has stood hand-in-hand with indigenous rainforest defenders time and again. We’ve helped them block the Brazilian government from destroying an Amazon reserve the size of Denmark and fought for a rainforest corridor across eight countries. We know this forest is their home AND a key to our whole planet’s survival. To win, we need to rise together.

With hope and determination,

Marigona, Bert, Nell, Joseph, Camille, Rosa, Risalat and the rest of the Avaaz team

More information:

A Message of Indigenous Resistance and Inspiration From the Amazon (Common Dreams)

Ecuador's hunter-gatherers in court over oil drilling in Amazon (Reuters)

The Amazonian tribe defending their land with technology (Al Jazeera)

Indigenous peoples go to court to save the Amazon from oil company greed (Salon)

Our Rainforest Is not for Sale - The Waorani People in Resistance to Oil Block 22 (WaoResist)

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