Indigenous peoples representatives travelled to Europe to raise awareness and call on stakeholders to take action. We had the chance to meet with Nara Baré, General Coordinator of COIAB – Coordenacao das Organizacoes Indigenas da Amazonia Brasileira and Dinaman Tuxa Legal Advisor of APOINME the Articulacao dos Povos e Organizacoes Indigenas, from the Northeast, Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo, both part of APIB - Brasil’s Indigenous People Articulation who shared their experience and called on investors to take action and engage with investee companies so that they respect indigenous peoples’ rights, improve product traceability and conduct meaningful stakeholder engagement with indigenous peoples.
Since this video was filmed, the COVID-19 pandemic has spread through Brazil at an alarming rate. At more than 40,000 the death toll from coronavirus in Brazil is now the largest in emerging markets and the rapid spread of COVID-19 is harshly felt throughout the Amazon region: affected communities have been left with limited access to healthcare and there are fears that, without any intervention, vulnerable indigenous populations will be decimated. The COVID-19 crisis has also seen a drastic increase in deforestation – 51% higher in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the same period last year. When the dry season starts in the Amazon, the felled trees will become the fuel for what will be a repeat of last year’s fires. The fires will fill the air with smoke and critically worsen any respiratory problems of local people infected with the virus. The scale of environmental and human devastation is expected to be unprecedented. Therefore investor action is needed, now more than ever.