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Environment

Choose Earth to give indigenous communities power to save Amazon and planet

Choose Love and Earthrise have launched an Earth Day campaign to raise £150,000 for social and environmental justice in Brazil

The Amazon rainforest is known as the lungs of the world, and now a campaign is aiming to breathe new life into efforts to help indigenous communities save it from President Jair Bolsonaro’s clutches.

Bolsonaro has faced criticism over soaring deforestation throughout his two-year tenure, and has been locked in talks with US counterpart Joe Biden over support for the Amazon.

But a campaign launched on Earth Day is aiming to put the power to replant the Amazon in the hands of 64 indigenous communities across Brazil.

Choose Earth, driven by refugee charity Choose Love and media company Earthrise, is seeking to raise £150,000 with 100 per cent of all donations going to support the communities in their frontline fight for social and environmental justice.

Indigenous leaders, activists, storytellers, artists and academics have all teamed up to join the Choose Earth campaign, including Daiara Tukano, Sônia Guajajara, Narubia Werreria and Gliceria Tupinamba. The group has joined forces to stand against deforestation which threatens the home of indigenous groups and the future of the planet. 

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Josie Naughton, co-founder of Choose Love, the charity previously known as Help Refugees, said UN forecasts that estimate there could be between 25 million and one billion environmental migrants by 2050

She told The Big Issue: “By safeguarding these guardians of our planet, we are not only preventing their displacement, we are also safeguarding the environments in which they live and our collective future.”

Indigenous communities also have the expertise needed to replant the trees and plants lost to deforestation in the Amazon, according to Earthrise studio founder Alice Aedy.

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She added: “How can we expect to solve the climate crisis when violent racism is uprooting indigenous communities around the world and ignoring their knowledge? 

“In Brazil, it is the indigenous people who hold the scientific knowledge of how to protect the most biodiverse environments on our planet. To get out of this climate crisis, they need to lead the way.”

Donations can be made and artwork and merchandise can be bought at chooseearth.co to support the campaign.

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