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The Amazon Sacred Headwaters Alliance

Uyunkar Domingo Peas, Achuar leader and president of the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Alliance, reveals the ‘beacon of hope for our planet’s future’
Amazon Sacred Headwaters Alliance

This article first appeared in our COP28 issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published 30 November 2023. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

Main image: Uyunkar Domingo Peas with Manari Ushigua, Sápara spiritual leader and his son. Credit Atossa Soltani

In a world grappling with climate, deforestation and mass extinction crises, the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Alliance (ASHA) stands as a beacon of hope.

Founded in 2017, our alliance comprises 30 Indigenous nations and peoples from the lands now known as Ecuador and Peru.

Our goal? To permanently protect 35 million hectares of sacred tropical rainforest in the headwaters of the mighty Amazon River.

This is more than a mission; it is a calling from our ancestors, a responsibility to future generations and a gift to all life on Earth.

Reaching a tipping point

‘Our relationship with our forests and rivers spans more than 10,000 years’, our brother José Gregorio Díaz Mirabal said. We do not merely aim to ‘conserve’ – we aim to respect and to honour, as one honours a mother, a family, a home.

Our forests and rivers are not just resources; they are sources of life, wisdom and identity.

The time for urgent action is now. Our sacred headwaters are nearing a tipping point, under siege from mining, oil drilling and deforestation.

The devastation does not just affect us; it jeopardises the Earth’s climate system, its hydrological cycles and the richness of the life it hosts.

We have spent 3.5 years consulting our elders, speaking with our youth and collaborating with partners to shape our Bioregional Plan 2030.

It is our vision for a world where we transition from a ‘life-blind’ economy to a regenerative standing forest bioeconomy.

We intend to declare our sacred headwaters off limits to further industrial-scale mining and oil drilling.

Our plan seeks to advance Indigenous rights, halt deforestation and degradation, conserve and restore our lands and challenge the advance of extractive industries.

A world worth living in

We invite you to watch our video, Amazonia: 2041 A Vision from the Future. This nine-minute illustrated journey takes you through the eyes of future generations looking back at the crucial decisions we must make today.

By joining us, you are contributing to a global movement that respects Mother Earth, honours the wisdom of Indigenous stewardship and ensures that the rainforests will keep standing, the rivers will keep flowing and our children will inherit a world worth living in.

The Amazon is life, and its headwaters are sacred. Stand with us. The time is now.

STAND WITH US

Our ancestors teach us that every individual’s actions ripple through the community. Here’s how you can make waves of change:

Donate: Your financial contributions directly empower our communities to govern our territories, sustain our livelihoods and protect our forests.

Sign our Declaration: Raise your voice alongside ours. Let governments and corporations know that the protection of our lands is non-negotiable.

Amplify our message: The more our stories are shared, the louder our collective voice becomes. Share our mission on social media and within your communities.

Engage in advocacy: Stand with us in campaigns that deter extractive industries and lobby for legal recognition of our sacred lands.

Support The Amazon Sacred Headwaters Alliance by making a donation or signing its Declaration at sacredheadwaters.org

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