It's not only the start of a new year but potentially a new era for the Amazon and the Indigenous Peoples of this region because of several shifts in policy and priorities under Brazil’s new president, Lula da Silva.
We did want to take a minute to highlight a few points from the package of seven executive orders that are aimed at Amazon region. These orders, announced in early January, included the reinstatement of the Amazon Fund, a $1.2 billion fund to protect this region, after a three-year period of inactivity. Donor countries Germany and Norway suspended transfers to the fund four years ago but with this announcement, Norway's environment minister, Mr. Espen Barth Eide, said it “allows for an immediate reactivation of the fund”. The UK’s environment minister, Ms. Therese Coffey, said the UK was “seriously looking at” joining the fund. How does this impact the Indigenous People? The fund supports 102 conservation projects in the Amazon, among them forests managed by Indigenous People and small-scale farms. The orders also saw the creation of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples, complying with da Silva’s promise to those who supported his candidacy “to combat 500 years of inequality.”
Ms. Celine Cousteau, The Javari Project co-founder, said following the announcement that “It may feel like a long road. It may be a bumpy road. But this is a big step in the way forward and I am hopeful that measures to protect the Amazon and the Indigenous Peoples that safeguard that ecosystem will be successful!”
As for the work with The Javari Project that our GlobalGiving page supports, we are progressing towards establishing the first tangible impact within Pillar 1 - Indigenous Health. In the coming months, we aim to deliver antivenom supplies and new solar fridges for the Marubo community in the village of Maronal, a central location to five other Marubo communities. We are also aiming to bring a couple of solar fridges to stock anti-venom and other cold chain vaccines.
The solar fridges will provide the ability to store antivenom, vaccines and other medicines needed for the community. It enables us to provide off-grid renewable solutions without needing to implement any form of large infrastructure within these remote areas. The solar fridges themselves:
The antivenom and fridges are key items that donors have funded through this page, and we want to thank everyone for their support of this truly life-saving initiative.
Simultaneously, we are aiming to build the first 'Living Pharmacy' in the village of Maronal, which had been delayed to political tensions and insecurity in the region. This concept we’ve had several questions on and Mr. Tadzio Mac Gregor, the other co-founder of The Javari Project, shared the following to further explain this deliverable:
In other news, we are very pleased to announce the first advocate of The Javari Project and it is a name many will recognise… Ms. Bianca Jagger.
As always, we want to end with a special thank you to our community for their ongoing support. We’re very excited to share soon photos of the delivery of the solar fridges and the antivenom supplies!
In this quick update we’re delighted to introduce Mr. Manoel Chorimpa on behalf of The Javari Project.
Mr. Chorimpa is President of ASDEC (Community Development Association of the Marubo People of the Upper Curucá River), The Javari Project partner, indigenous leader from the Marubo tribe, and a key on-the-ground liaison in the Vale do Javari. His insights and leadership play an important role in the Javari Project and moving forward the key pillars that we’ve shared in previous updates. The hope is that for future speaking engagements he’ll be able to participate in person and provide an important voice, and link, on behalf of the Indigenous People of the Vale do Javari.
On the topic of speaking engagements, Céline Cousteau and Tadzio Mac Gregor Schneider, co-founders of The Javari Project, have undertaken several key engagements during the month of September.
First, Mr. Mac Gregor participated in Climate Week New York City (September 19 – 25, 2022) where he presented the Javari Project and its vision. Climate Week NYC covers a range of topics and many of the presentations can be watched on demand by signing up through their official website.
Also, at the end of September Ms. Cousteau spoke in London, UK at the prestigious The Travellers Club who hosted an evening to share and raise awareness to the Javari Indigenous People’s story and of course the work of The Javari Project itself.
Unfortunately for these events Mr. Chorimpa couldn’t attend in person but spoke instead by video conference link.
Several activities, reflective the three pillars of The Javari Project, are either underway or will shortly begin and include:
As with any work, the above items were identified and prioritised by the leaders in the Vale do Javari and The Javari Project is supporting as requested.
When we receive status updates on any of the above, we’ll continue to share the news with all of our supporters of The Javari Project in the form of additional project reports.
In closing, we wish to again extend a special thank you, and our gratitude, for your continued support of the Indigenous People that call the region home and play such a vital role in protecting the Amazon.
With so much happening globally and in the news today, keeping the Amazon crisis and the Vale do Javari indigenous people on the world stage is a prioirty for the Javari indigenous leaders, Ms. Cousteau and The Javari Project.
On May 22nd, Ms. Cousteau met at the Cannes Film Festival with Vera and Yuri Sanada, partners in the award-winning film production company Aventuras Producões, and where Mr. Sanada announced "the participation of Celine in the first part of the Amazon River Expedition from Ice to Sea. She will add a lot to the team as a socio-environmental advocate, filmmaker and explorer". This film will highlight the Amazon region of Peru and will push the shared general message of this region.
Only nine days later, on May 31st, Ms. Cousteau participated in the National Georgraphic's Summit in Portgual. This Summit, hosted in Lisbon, was an opportunity to discuss her collaboration the Marúbo tribe, our fragile relationship with Nature and the Javari indigenous people's role as guardian of the Amazon ecosystem. While the National Geographic's Summit is currently unavailable as a recording, Ms. Cousteau discussed this topic with Christine Irick of Soul of Travel and that recording, from last November, is available on YouTube by clicking here.
Over the course of previous reports, we've mentioned the name Beto Marubo, a leader from the Vale do Javari, who was the individual that originally asked Celine Cousteau to share with the world the story of Vale do Javari region. Beto has visited and spoken at the United Nations in New York numerous times and most recently at the 21st UN Permanent Forum of Indigenous Peoples this past April. He works tirelessly for his people and the Amazon and if you wish to put "a name and face together" as well as keep updated on his messages, you can via his Instagram page where he shares his work as well as his Twitter account. His Instagram account you can follow by clicking here and his Twitter account by clicking here.
The Javari Project is now officially registered in The Netherlands. Along with Celine Cousteau the other co-founder is Mr. Tadzio Mac Gregor. Born in Mexico City to a French mother and Mexican father, he is involved with several social and environmental organisations. As a journalist, he specialises in foreign affairs, environmental conservation and human development. As a supplement, in the next couple weeks we'll provide additional specifics that will be courtesy of Mr. Mac Gregor from The Javari Project. For now, we wanted to share this awareness building update and introduce properly Mr. Mac Gregor and Mr. Marubo.
In closing, we wish to take a minute to address the loss of Indigenous ally and expert Bruno Arajújo Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips. Firstly, the Indigenous Peoples of the Vale do Javari were instrumental in the search for them when they disappeared on June 5th. When their deaths were sadly confirmed, Celine shared via her social media pages that "this is the region we filmed Tribes on the Edge and where we're doing our work for The Javari Project. Bruno had been very helpful in our work. He and Dom fought to tell stories of injustice.... My heart goes out to their families."
“Youth are not only future leaders, but they are also the hope of today.” Céline Cousteau
Much of Celine Cousteau's work to protect the Indigenous tribes and the Vale do Javari region of the Amazon focuses on our youth and in this report we wish to share several of the youth-centric initiatives currently underway.
In a previous report we introduced the education program that Celine and her team were developing in conjunction with William & Mary's Institute of Integrative Conservation. Undertaking the creation of a curriculum for students aged 9 - 12 and for our global student body is a significant and timely process. However, this spring the program will be launched! The hands-on learning program will allow students to explore their interconnectedness with the environment and global community through an exploration of the perspectives, culture, and knowledge of the Marúbo tribe of the Brazilian Amazon. The program is founded on project-based learning, visual storytelling, and empathy to bridge cultural and learning gaps, and to deepen students’ understanding of the interconnectedness of people and the environment.
For any educators that wish to learn about the program's pedagogy and how it could be brought to your school, BBS is pleased to connect you directly with the team responsible for the program any time.
Bohemia Euphoria is an additional streaming service that is now making Tribes on the Edge available to the UK audience. They launched their streaming with a special event on March 1 that included a Q&A with Celine and for every ticket that was sold two trees were planted. With the addition of this platform, the film is now available on Amazon, Apple and Bohemia Euphoria.
Your donations continue to be used for the operations of the Javari Impact Campaign and items such as development of the cultural preservation youth initiatives in the Vale do Javari. One of the five pillars of support that the tribe elders identified was ensuring that the culture and language was passed down to the next generation to ensure its survival. In a fascinating article by Ms. Beverly Brown, Implications of Loss of Language, she writes that "the social effect of language loss can eventually lead to extinction of culture and tradition. In the event that a native group no longer participates in cultural traditions that it had previously held on. The cultural rituals of a people are carried out in the native language. Linguistic form of language loss is the first step towards cultural language loss."
It is for this reason why the culture and language programs are a top priority and in our next update we'll share with you the details that were approved by the various stakeholders in the region to support their youth.
While not related to the Javari campaign, we want to take a minute to share the details of another youth-driven program. It is a collaboration between Inner Voice Artists, Celine Cousteau and Lilly Platt on a docuseries that will explore topics including climate change, mental health and social justice. The 8×30 series YouthMundus: Investigations with Lilly Platt and Céline Cousteau follows 13-year-old Platt who will team up with activists and influencers as they discuss possible solutions to the problems the Earth is facing, with each episode pinned to a specific industry and how it impacts the environment, such as the restaurant industry and the film business. The end of the season will see Lilly reunite with Cousteau to present her findings. This series will be available for streaming and when it is ready we'll make the announcement on our FaceBook page.
Our youth have demonstrated they are not going to wait for solutions but instead are taking the lead. The Javari Impact global education program and the programming in development for the Vale do Javari region will help ensure that there's the awareness, empathy and knowledge in place for our youth leadership.
For those of you who may not have seen Tribes on the Edge yet, we highly recommend this engaging film which was the catalyst for all of the work now being done in the region.
Thank you again for your support and we look forward to sharing more news shortly!
As we wrap up 2021 with this update for all our supporters, we want to begin with a quick summary of the Vale do Javari region for our new donors to provide more context to this unique region of the world.
Spanning more than 85,000 square km (an area the size of Portugal), the Vale do Javari is home to 7,000 Indigenous People, including the largest population of uncontacted people in the entire Amazon and some say the world (estimated at approximately 2,000 individuals).
Not only is the Javari an area of tremendous environmental value, but it is also of incomparable cultural importance. To this point, Science Magazine and The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently stated that the region is “one of the irreplaceable areas of our planet” because of its exceptional value in terms of biodiversity.
Céline Cousteau’s impact film “Tribes on the Edge” was the catalyst for the creation of The Javari Project and we’re delighted to share that on Tuesday December 7th, the film will be available for rent and viewing in the United Kingdom on Bohemia Euphoria, “a film and livestream platform and integrated social community, dedicated to amplifying the voices and stories of under-represented people.”
For our UK network, more information on renting and viewing the film is available by clicking here.
Since our last update The Javari Project has completed all the paperwork and processes and is now a registered international non-profit organisation, co-founded by Celine Cousteau and Tadzio MacGregor, with the objective to continue and expand the work initiated by Tribes on the Edge.
The formalised mission of The Javari Project is to “understand and identify the current threats to the environmental and cultural assets of the Vale do Javari and implement the best methods to support the preservation of the region’s cultural and environmental value.”
The Javari Project team will continue to work closely with the Indigenous leadership of the Vale do Javari to support their request for help, seeking collaboration and existing initiatives to ensure a long-lasting impact. With the Indigenous leaderships’ guidance and sign-off the three pillars, introduced in an earlier report, were further fine tuned:
Pillar One is safeguarding indigenous and ecological health which has several clearly defined objectives including deployment of medical assistance to villages in greatest needs.
Pillar Two is dedicated to raising awareness and understanding for this environmentally fragile region.
Pillar Three focuses on cultural preservation through support of the existing Vale do Javari community center in the town of Atalaia-do-Norte, with cultural, educational, and capacity building workshops plus an outreach program for those unable to visit the centre. In addition, a survey will be undertaken with local and international anthropologists, linguists, and others to create a snapshot of the diverse Javari culture and languages to reinforce local identity.
While the current pandemic created barriers throughout this year to safely enter this region, 2022 will be defined by a ramp up of work under the three pillars.
On behalf of The Javari Project and Business for Better Society, I want to end this update with our thanks for the generous support we've received to launch The Javari Project. Under the leadership of the Indigenous tribes, Ms. Cousteau, and Mr. MacGregor we look forward to sharing with all of you the initiatives underway in 2022 under the three pillars.
As we approach the end of the year, we send our best wishes to all of you for a new year that is filled with peace, joy and health.
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