Nature is a vital resource that faces constant adversity in the modern world. As is the case with Costa Rica’s rainforest revival, the protection and livelihood of these natural wonders come from those who have the deepest connection to the land. Recently, we saw the Esselen Tribe in California regain their ancestral lands for future conservation, and indigenous groups south of the equator are trying to do the same.
As reported in The Independent, the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau are staunch defenders of the environment. They see that the landscape has a special interconnectedness, wherein if one aspect of nature is threatened, then all others are in danger as well. Though they have only been in contact with larger society for several decades and number just a few hundred, they are quickly adapting modern methods to meet these threats.
With the help of organizations such as the WWF and the Association of Ethno-Environmental Protection Kanindé, the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people have access to new equipment to protect their lands. Equipment such as remote-controlled drones allows them to identify new areas of illegal land seizures and take photos of poachers for evidence of wrongdoing in court.
Make no mistake, while the tribe is putting its best foot forward, the odds are stacked against them. Brazil’s government continues to lax enforcement of environmental laws, which is further compounded in fear of the coronavirus outbreak. In order to help tribes like the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau, we need to continue using our platforms to amplify their voices and other indigenous cultures.