Protect the Amazon Rainforest and its Guardians

by Business for Better Society
Protect the Amazon Rainforest and its Guardians
Protect the Amazon Rainforest and its Guardians
Protect the Amazon Rainforest and its Guardians
Protect the Amazon Rainforest and its Guardians
Protect the Amazon Rainforest and its Guardians
Protect the Amazon Rainforest and its Guardians
Protect the Amazon Rainforest and its Guardians
Protect the Amazon Rainforest and its Guardians
Protect the Amazon Rainforest and its Guardians
Protect the Amazon Rainforest and its Guardians
Protect the Amazon Rainforest and its Guardians
Protect the Amazon Rainforest and its Guardians
Filming Tribes on the Edge (Photo is Pre-COVID)
Filming Tribes on the Edge (Photo is Pre-COVID)

“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!


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Photo With Ms. Cousteau Before The Pandemic
Photo With Ms. Cousteau Before The Pandemic

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.

Courtesy The Javari Project
Courtesy The Javari Project
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Ms. Cousteau at Musee oceanographique de Monaco
Ms. Cousteau at Musee oceanographique de Monaco

In this update we wish to share a few of the actions and updates for the Javari Project, which continues to be spearheaded by Ms. Céline Cousteau.

Education is central and the next step in this pillar, which was introduced in our last update, was the partnership with the College of William & Mary’s Institute for Integrative Conservation to create a program inspired by the documentary "Tribes on the Edge".  The launch date for this program is set for early 2022 and its' designed for ages 9 through 12, which reflects the high percentage of student grades that participated in earlier sessions of the Tribes on the Edge education program which where 48% in Grades 3 to 5 and 28% in Grades 6 to 8. 

The Javari Project has grown up! It is now a separate formal entity with completion of its non-profit registration process in The Netherlands and is a “for purpose organisation created to support the Indigenous People of the Vale do Javari”. Collaboration will continue to be a core principle at The Javari Project as it will work side-by-side other NGO’s and the Indigenous leaders from the Vale do Javari to create tangible actions to support their livelihoods and well-being.  It has been incredible to see how this initiative has evolved to where it is today and that is because of the support of donors around the world.

While in-person visits into this fragile part of the world remains prohibitive, one of the key priorities for Ms. Cousteau is to share with as broad an audience as possible what is happening in the Amazon, status of the Indigenous tribes and the implications for the rest of the world.  Over the last few months there have been multiple print interviews such as the one in Elle Argentina, in-person event at Musée océanographique de Monaco and on-line participation as a speaker at conferences including Amazonia Rising.

For Céline storytelling remains a priority.  It allows her to share with others how the health crises, legal challenges and environmental degradation in the Brazilian Amazon are not only threatening the survival of Indigenous communities, but the protection of vital ecosystems that ensure our planet's resilience to climate change.

In a year that has been characterised by extreme environmental events, we are grateful for all of the support to The Javari Project and protecting this vital part of our earth and the people that call it home.


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Pre COVID photo of Ms. Cousteau in the Amazon
Pre COVID photo of Ms. Cousteau in the Amazon

As many of you may know, this project is led by world renowned environmentalist and filmmaker Ms. Céline Cousteau and we are pleased to share in this report the achievements made around two strategic objectives.

One of the key pillars for the Javari Impact Campaign that we introduced in our last update is education not only in the Vale do Javari but globally.  An important step forward with this pillar occurred earlier this year when Tribes on the Edge partnered with The College of William and Mary's Institute for Integrative Conservation (IIC) to create an educational curriculum inspired and informed by the film.

The curriculum is founded on project-based learning, visual storytelling, empathy to bridge cultural and learning gaps and deepening students' understanding of the interconnectedness of people and the environment.  One of the other key curriculum characteristics is that it is adaptable to different school grades and relevant to all age groups.

As part of this partnership on April 20 Ms. Cousteau will participate in William & Mary's Sustainability Symposium Event: Understanding our Interconnectedness. Here she will discuss her collaboration with Beto of the Marúbo tribe to share the story of the Indigenous communities of the Vale do Javari region of the Brazilian Amazon. Céline will share how she is using storytelling to document how health crises, human rights issues, and environmental degradation in the Brazilian Amazon are not only threatening the survival of Indigenous communities, but also the protection of the irreplaceable ecosystems that ensure our planet's resilience to climate change.

A second key milestone was achieved on February 2 when Tribes on the Edge was released on streaming platforms in the U.S. with the distributor Gravitas Ventures. Having the film available through iTunesAmazon, and other VOD platforms we believe will support awareness building to the current situation of the indigendous tribes in the Vale do Javari region and what it means for all of us.

As a final note, please know that the April 20th on-line event is open to the public to attend and you can learn more about the program and how to register by clicking here.

We are truly grateful for the continued support we receive for this project and we want to again say thank you for all of the encouragement.


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Village in the Vale do Javari
Village in the Vale do Javari

As of November 25 Brazil was fully reopened to tourism and the country had officially removed all Corona virus related restrictions.  However, to protect the Indigenous People of Vale do Javari travel into this region will need to wait until 2021.

In our last update, we shared about the creation of the Javari Project, lead by Céline Cousteau, which grew out of her documentary Tribes on the Edge. One of the key pillars of action in the Javari Project is now more clearly defined under the headline "Alternative Livelihoods". Following consultations with local Indigenous leaders, and guided by the wishes and needs of the community, the Alternative Livelihoods pillar will structure and implement the following actions in 2021 and beyond:

  1. Cultural Workshops;
  2. Self-Economic Determination;
  3. Community Outreach.

Any of the actions taken as part of the Javari Project will be done only after consultation and agreement by the local leaders and Javari communities at large. In a recent interview Ms. Cousteau shared that "at the Javari Project, we’re not saying that we think the future of the Javari should look a certain way – we want to help its people preserve their cultures and achieve the future they’re looking to build."

Provided with this update is a link to her December 17 interview with Forest Trends entitled "The Long View: A Conversation with Céline Cousteau".

When the return to the Vale do Javari is finally possible in the new year, implementation of the three actions will begin as well as further planning for the other key priorities of the Javari Project.  While COVID-19 has been a set back in-terms of timing for implementation of the work and delivery of key supplies, as Céline shared in her interview, " [we're] here for a marathon....change is going to take a really long time, and we need to pace ourselves".


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Business for Better Society

Location: Hong Kong - Hong Kong SAR
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Project Leader:
Kelly Brantner
Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
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