Church and civil society organisations launch awareness and care campaign for the Amazon
CIDSE supports the “Amazoniza-te” campaign officially launched yesterday, an initiative of the Episcopal Commission for the Amazon of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) in partnership with other ecclesial and civil society organisations to sensitize the Brazilian and international public opinion about the dangers threatening life in the Amazon, its territories and populations.
This campaign takes place at a time when the situation is aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic: deforestation and land grabbing, fires, legal and illegal mining are being intensified, becoming agents of proliferation of coronavirus in the Amazon region communities. The dismantling of public environmental protection agencies, the continuous disregard for legislation, as well as the absence of civil society participation in the areas of regulation and control of public policies also motivated the creation of the campaign.
The campaign raises the call “Amazonize yourself”, in an invitation for actions that articulate the leadership of traditional peoples and communities, the Catholic Church and different ecclesial bodies in the Amazon, artists and opinion makers, researchers and scientists. The call proposes the active participation of all people in the defense of the Amazon, its biome and its peoples and joins in the stream of activities implemented over the past few years in view of the Synod for the Amazon, held in October 2019.
The campaign was introduced by Mgr. Erwin Krautler, Bishop Emeritus of Xingú (Brazil) and Vice President of REPAM Brazil at a webinar during which the official site of the campaign was released. Other participants included notably Mgr. Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo, Archbishop of Belo Horizonte and President of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil; Joenia Wapichana, a member of the National Congress; Dira Paes, an actress representing the human rights movement, Fr. Dário Bossi, Advisor for REPAM-Brasil and Manuela Castro CNBB Press Officer.
The campaign’s site contains supporting materials, political manifestos and a compilation of studies on the reality of the Amazon to support actions and positions. Among which, one can find:
- A note on the situation of peoples and the forest in times of the Covid-19 pandemic”, signed by the 67 Catholic bishops working in the Amazon region, calling upon the Church and the whole Society to demand urgent measures from the Brazilian Federal Government, the National Congress, State Governments and Legislative Assemblies.
- A series of three videos with testimonies from the traditional populations of the Amazon in dialogue with the voices of national and international artists.
We all have a responsibility to care for the Amazon region, to preserve its vital ecosystems and its people. The current crisis is the result of the prevailing colonialist economic model that hurts, exploits, and uses the resources and peoples of the Amazon to serve interests in Europe and other regions of the world.
This is why all actors and individuals in Europe and across the world are invited to support the campaign and answer the call “Amazonize yourself”. You can contribute by helping disseminating the press release below or spreading the activities of the campaign.