10 Things you can Do to Save the Amazon

10 Things you can Do to Save the Amazon

This is a view of fires burning in the Brazilian state of Para on August 20, 2019. Image courtesy of Planet Labs Inc. and the Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science.

1. Fund Forest Protection

Let’s start with the most direct route. One of the most effective organisations to contribute to is the Rainforest Trust. Their project in the Peruvian Amazon supports the local indigenous communities to getting recognised as having land rights and is seeking to give the title for more than 6 million acres to 220 communities. An acre of rainforest can be protected for a donation of $0.76 and 100% of your project gift directly funds vital conservation action. 

Making sure that forest protection happens where it is currently possible, is the lowest hanging fruit. Yet, often, this isn’t happening to scale that it could be. Donate your money now and make a direct difference. 

2.  Support Indigenous Peoples

The Indigenous peoples of Amazonia have lived in a symbiotic way with the rainforest for Millenia. They are the keepers of deep knowledge about the eco-systems they live within and are indispensable to its effective protection. Protecting the rights of indigenous people and their land claims in the Amazon can be one of the most effective ways of halting deforestation.

Amazon Watch is a pioneer in this area and has been working to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin for the last twenty years. It partners with indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability, and the preservation of the Amazon’s ecological systems.

The Guardians of the Forest, a volunteer monitoring force of the Guajajara tribe, are one of the last lines of defense for the rainforest in the heart of an industrialized Amazon. The Guardians, led by international activist Sônia Guajajara, struggle to leverage what few resources they have to fight for the life of the planet. You can watch the film about their work here.

Traditional fire management practices may also hold many answers. Controlled fires, which were widely banned by colonialist authorities, had long been used by indigenous peoples to maintain their land and forests and to protect their peoples from large-scale wildfires. Watch the film from If Not Us, Then Who here.

3. Fund this Independent Fire Service in the Amazon

The Brigada de Alter, or Forest Fire Brigade, are an independent group of firefighters operating in the Alter do Chão region of Pará state in the East Amazon. They are dedicated to fighting fires in the forest, which they call ‘our only and one boss’ and are in the process of training another 30 people to become fire fighters. The website is in Portuguese, but contributions can be made online by Paypal to contato.marupiara@gmail.com

4. Stop Eating Beef

No product creates more deforestation than Beef. It has been responsible for 75% of the deforestation in South America between 1990 and 2005. Brasil is now the world’s largest exporter of beef and its cattle herd has grown from 158 million heads in 1996, to 219 million in 2016.  Cattle ranches require big open spaces and the fires used to clear land often get out of control and destroy areas much bigger than were intended. Indeed, 80% of the deforestation happening in the Amazon is illegal, with 80% of that land used for cattle ranches.

5. Boycott Burger King and Support the Soy Moratorium

The problem with beef is not just in the deforestation that is required for grazing, but also the land use and deforestation that is motivated by soybean production for livestock. 

80% of the world’s soybean crop goes to feed cattle, so making sure that the supply chain that is used for any beef that you are eating, even if it is not from Brazil, is essential. Some organisations are doing better than others at this, but none are doing worse than Burger King. 

The organisation Mighty Earth have used to identify Burger King’s biggest soy suppliers as the culprits: Cargill, the largest privately owned company in the United States, and Bunge, one of the biggest players in South America. Collectively, they are responsible for over a million acres of deforestation between them. 

If soybean agriculture was redirected away from deforestation towards degraded land in South America (of which there is 500 million acres), it could completely change this dynamic. The Soy Moratorium, a voluntary zero-deforestation agreement enacted in 2006 and renewed indefinitely last year, brought clearcutting in the Amazon to historically low levels, until last year. But while deforestation in the Amazon plunged, agricultural production expanded.

6. Support Rainforest Alliance and Rainforest Action Network

Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization working at the intersection of business, agriculture, and forests. They are directing 100% of the funds donated in August via their Instagram to frontline groups in the Brazilian Amazon, including the Brazil chapter of their Indigenous federation partner COICA and their longtime sustainable agriculture partner IMAFLORA. Rainforest Action Network are directly supporting communities effected by the Amazon Fires and have a campaign to contribute to here.

7. Join the Global Climate Strike

To really address the issues behind deforestation and climate change, we need comprehensive action from all the World’s governments and peoples to effectively organise for the reality of a world with a disrupted climate. This is what Global Climate Strike, led by young people from around the world, is calling for. On September 20th, millions of people will walk out of their workplaces and homes to support the youth movement, who have been organising school strikes every Friday.

It’s an act that can really help to show the scale of the movement and to underline the magnitude of the urgency that is called for to deal with global situation.

8. Join an Extinction Rebellion action

If you want to act even more directly to protest the slowness of the global response to the threat of climate change, Extinction Rebellion (XR) have been organising highly effective actions of non-violent civil disobedience. XR began in London on October 31st 2018 and then organised an action in which six thousand people participated in shutting down five bridges over the River Thames in London. The movement has now spread internationally, co-ordinating itself around a statement of 10 shared principles and values.

XR are focused on actions that, in their own words are ‘more likely to take risks (e.g. arrest / jail time)’ than traditional campaigns, but if you are ok with a risk of being arrested and passionate about these forms of civil action, XR could be for you.

9. Join the Regenerative Culture Movement

To combat deforestation and extractive industrial agriculture, we don’t just need better legislation and a political will to do more. A fundamental shift in worldview is required that moves beyond ‘sustainability’ and into regenerating the planet we live on. This may seem obvious, but regenerative design, meaning the design and building of whole systems that support life and respect and rebuild the environment that sustains them, are in their infancy. 

One great starting place to learn about this is Daniel Wahl’s book ‘Designing Regenerative Cultures’. The book covers the finance system, agriculture, design, ecology, economy, sustainability, organizations and society at large, not just regenerative agriculture.

The Bloom Network is an international network of people who are committed to building new models of regenerative culture. From preventing food waste, to creating new forms of collaboration that incentivize and reward regenerative actions, Bloom is connecting initiatives around the world. You can join here. 

10. Sign the Petition

It’s not much. You can barely call it an action at all, but here’s at least a click that you can use to sign the Avaaz petition. Maybe if you’ve read this far, do it anyway, but please don’t stop there!

Pollination 2019 Workshop: Buckminster Fuller Institute Reportback on Ocean Health Think Tank Research

With Amanda Ravenhill, executive director, Buckminster Full Institute

This workshop will present Buckminster Fuller Institute’s think tank research on ocean health indicators and initiatives that are well-positioned to repair ocean ecosystems. Followed by an invitation to participants to contribute to the Cooperative Manual for Spaceship Earth.

Comprising 1.3 billion km3 of water, the ocean is the world’s single largest ecosystem and plays a central role in supporting all life on Earth.  Our present moment finds us at a point of current suffering and loss and impending peril. Never before have we had the quality and diversity of tools for sense-making and understanding the declining state of the one world ocean and the potential approaches, strategies and techniques to restore and regenerate its health and fecundity.

There is a tremendous body of literature, science, indigenous wisdom and other ways of knowing, describing, categorizing and picturing the ocean and informing humanity of the states, processes and functions of the ocean and its impacts on all life.  Whereas none claim to be fully comprehensive, some stand out examples that are worthy of review as efforts to repair the “Seascape”

Pollination 2019 Workshop: What Could Migration Also Be?

By Tom Atlee, Co-Intelligence Institute

3 20-minute rounds of World Cafe dialogue. We’ll explore the question ‘What are the most creative, life-affirming things you can imagine being done regarding the growing migration crisis?’ When thinking about this, keep in mind migration’s many causes, its many impacts, and any positive possibilities you can imagine, as well as the experience of the migrants themselves.”

After these rounds, we will do a special process to quickly and easily find the best prioritization of action, given the knowledge we gathered together during our dialogues. This process is called “35.” Participants will have 5 minutes in silence to write on a 3×5 card their short answer to the question ”What could be done with the with the challenge of mass migration that would advance the development of regenerative culture?” That is followed by five rounds of rapid card-trading and one-minute deliberations in pairs (two people divide up 7 voting points between their two cards), and then finally we publicly harvest the top vote-getting actions.

We have the possibility to publish everything that is written on the cards, and to share this process to more people to do in short or as a much deeper 2-day deliberative process, to help humanity through this transition as well as to help those of us in stable places to filter through how to make a difference. If you know of resources with great research about migration and what communities and institutions are gathering best practices and possible plans, please send those to production@bloomnetwork.org and we will add them to Pollination’s research and outcomes that will be published after the event.

Pollination 2019 Workshop: Tech Animism and Decolonizing Emerging Technology

by Anthony Sirios West


In this talk and the following discussion, I will discuss the potential of emerging technology from a decolonized and pre-imperialist perspective.

– What happens when the desire for power, prestige, and the pursuit of capitalism is removed and these technologies can be truly used for their natural and inevitable purpose?

– The spirit in the machine is inevitability moving us towards a decentralized and sovereign
existence…will we resist it? Or can we set aside our culturally embedded ideology of extraction and use the knowledge of our sovereign ancestors to push humanity towards a golden age of cultural and technological advancement?

To do this we must listen to the internal remnants of our ancestral voices and awaken the knowledge that lays dormant inside all of us. We all crave to be the creators of our own destiny. It is time now for us to work with the technology that creation and spirit is offering us and build a better future for ourselves and the next seven generations.

I will present in depth, the potentials for truly decentralized social media and value exchange systems. As well as the potential of XR technologies to share and transfer information in a truly holographic mode – closer to humanities native cognition. I will explain how these technologies can be used to enhance learning and understanding as well as expand the bandwidth with which information can be shared with one another.

The Objectives of this presentation are to:

● Present an alternative viewpoint on the use of emerging tech for crafting cultural mythology
● Explain the concept of Tech Animism and the importance of maintaining a spiritual relationship with technology
● Bring awareness to the cultural viewpoints underlying indigenous information and governance systems
● Explain how we can merge the realms of indigenous culture and emerging technology to
empower individual and cultural sovereignty
● Raise awareness around the systematic destruction of indigenous cultures and why it is so
important to empower them before they are lost

Pollination 2019 Workshop: The Layered Architecture of Resilience

by Lorenzo Kristov

A framework for exploring strategies for building resilient communities.

Complex living organisms and natural ecosystems embody layered architecture. We live in human-made ecosystems that also embody layered architecture. Resilience is the ability of a complex system to maintain essential functions and system integrity when a severe disruption occurs. Disruptions always have local impacts and require local responses, even when they affect large geographic areas. Resilience must therefore be local and everywhere, and must permeate all the layers. This session offers a system-architecture approach to build community-level resilience in concentric layers. The first or central layer of the human-earth system is me, the individual person. Next is my household, then my block, my neighborhood, my city, my bioregion, my state, and so on. Each layer has its own resilience strategies, and what happens in one layer affects the other layers more or less, especially adjacent layers. All layers involve human interactions and thrive on social and economic interdependence.

Pollination Labs – Governance Hackathon

The Governance Hackathon at Pollination 2019 explores the questions: How do regenerative collectives work? How do we make wise decisions across multiple organizations and communities? And finally, how does the regenerative collective of Bloom Network function as a cooperative?

We will publish the outcomes of this lab, so that anyone working on incorporating or governing a regenerative collective can reference what we’ve collected and created here.

Session 1: Finance across organizations :: Saturday 11am-12:30pm

Blended finance, multistakeholder cooperatives, bonds, stable currencies on the blockchain, and more. This group will research finance innovations that could be more widely deployed to support regenerative movements.

Session 2: Legal hybrids for regenerative cooperatives :: Saturday 2-4pm

Bloom Network’s collaborations span different types of organizations, including for profit, nonprofit, benefit corporation, cooperative, and non-financial types of organizations.

a) 3 use-cases that are emerging through Bloom Network, as examples of why this discussion is necessary. A hardware product, our webcasts program, and our governance structure itself

b) A DAO can do hybrids. A DAO expert, or as close to it that we can find, will teach people in this session how this works

c) Coalitions do this. Local food movements, community-owned power campaigns, Boston’s Ujima ProjectARMI, a regenerative medicine manufacturing “ecosystem” does this. Co-operative federations do this.

Session 3 :: Sunday 10:30am-12:30pm :: 3 Breakout groups focusing on specific problems

Team A: IP

Project 1) Working on non-fungible token concepts that could help develop P2P markets for designers, fabricators, and artists.

Project 2) Talking through the different IP structures that are needed soon for Bloom Network projects and connected collaborations

Team B: Configuring the Shares Distribution Model for Bloom Network

We would like to allow multiple forms of capital for buying in, and we would like help determining how to configure the percentage of total ownership each member gets, for example if it is weighted according to amount of buy-in and/or other ethical concerns.

Session 4: Setting the agenda for the coming year of the governance hackathon :: Sunday 2-4pm

a) Set dates and scope of each hacking session (virtual and distributed)
b) Determine who we’ll invite and what teams are needed 

For deeper background on what’s going on here, you can check out this blog post.

The Governance Hackathon is sponsored by AragonAragon empowers you to freely organize and collaborate without borders or intermediaries. Create global, bureaucracy-free organizations, companies, and communities.