Some of the Amazon’s most prominent indigenous leaders have handed a letter to 10 Downing Street calling on the prime minister Boris Johnson’s government to “stand with us to defend the Amazon".
Davi Yanomami, known as “the Dalai Lama of the Rainforest”, the Kayapo leader Raoni Metuktire, and three others made an urgent appeal to Johnson to “ensure that no gold, other minerals or agricultural products from our lands come to the UK".
Yanomami was recently awarded the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, known as the alternative Nobel Prize. He is a highly respected shaman and co-author of The Falling Sky.
Two weeks ago Raoni hosted a major indigenous gathering in Brazil. Its final declaration was a call to protect the Amazon and its indigenous people from the “genocide, ethnocide and ecocide” being carried out by the country’s president Jair Bolsonaro.
In the leaders’ joint letter they call on the UK government to use its hosting of COP26, the UN climate conference, in November to “put tribal peoples centre stage and recognise our key role in conserving some of the most biodiverse and threatened regions of the world for the benefit of humanity".
They also denounce president Bolsonaro’s plan to open up indigenous territories to mining.
This article is based on a press release from Survival International.
Image: Survival International.