Over 1,000 indigenous rights activists formed human banners across a stretch of deforested Amazon rain forest this week at the World Social Forum in Brazil.
“We are the guardians of the forest,” said Marco Apurina, vice-coordinator of Coordenação das Organizações Indígenas da Amazônia Brasileira. “This is a critical moment for indigenous peoples to unite with non-indigenous, activists, teachers, environmentalists, unions, government. The Amazon rainforest needs everyone to work together now to defend it before it’s too late.”
“The symbol of the bow and arrow has three meanings,” COIAB explained. “The first, our aim that every man, woman, and child will decide to care for our planet; the second, the position of defending the rights of indigenous peoples, of nature, of the planet, and of our home the Amazon; the third, to send a message to the world so that each of us helps to protect our home, our air, our water, our food.”
According to Amazon Watch, a non-profit group representing the interests of indigenous tribes in the Amazon, if development in the area continues, the ecosystem will suffer a complete collapse within 10 or 20 years.
Photos Courtesy of Amazon Watch