Posted on 22 June 2022
Today, all around the world, people celebrate World Rainforest Day.
For mother and daughter environmental warriors - Neidinha and Txai Suruí - it’s just another day of fighting to protect the Amazon. Hear them out in a new video story released today as part of the #Together4Forests campaign and join them to protect rainforests.
Deforestation in the Amazon has hit its highest level in 15 years. And the EU plays an important part in this. The average European consumes 60.6 kg of soy per year, since this is the main animal feed used to produce dairy, fish, pork, beef and chicken products. In 2018, at least 11% of soy imported in Europe came from the Amazon.
“The current situation in Rondônia regarding environmental crimes is extremely serious” says Neidinha Suruí, co-founder of the Ethno-environmental Defense Association - Kanindé. Despite living in a reserve there, indigenous peoples such as the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau still have to fight land grabbers who come to turn tropical forests into agricultural land.
Once home to over 200,000 km2 of rainforest, Rondônia is now one of the most deforested places in the Amazon. “Soy consumption is one of the main drivers of agricultural expansion across the Amazon. Which means more deforestation to produce more soybeans, to export more soybeans, more deforestation in the Amazon and more impact on the climate”, adds Suruí. Considering the fact that the Amazon’s trees are responsible for storing over 75 billion tonnes of carbon, their role in fighting the global climate crisis cannot be overlooked.
But with almost 20% of the Amazon rainforest already gone, scientists estimate that losing just 5% more will trigger irreversible changes: the Amazon will no longer be able to sustain itself, nor the 30 million people depending on it.
“It is important to show that we, indiginous peoples, are putting pressure and that we will not let this happen. We are going through a very difficult time, but we can’t give up hope. Because talking about a standing forest is talking about a living planet. It’s talking about life”, says Txai Suruí, indigenous activist of the Paiter Suruí people.
WWF and nearly 200 other NGOs have long advocated for EU legislation on deforestation through the #Together4Forests. As the final details of the EU deforestation law are being discussed by EU governments and the European Parliament, you too can join the movement so that only nature destruction free products find their way to our supermarkets and stores.
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For more information, please contact:
Anke Schulmeister – Oldenhove
Senior Forest Policy Officer
+32 485 84 31 44
Communications Officer, Deforestation
+40 728 27 87 37
Notes for editors
The video testimonial has been filmed in 2021
Walelasoetxeige Paiter Bandeira Suruí (Txai Suruí), lives in Rondônia, Brazil, and is part of the Deliberative Council of the Kanindé Ethno-Environmental Defense Association. Daughter of the chief Almir Suruí and the indigenist Ivaneide Bandeira Cardozo, Txai Suruí is an youth activist who came to represent her people at the UN Climate Conference - COP25, in Madrid. She is also a young representative of the Guardians of the Forest, an alliance of communities that protects tropical forests around the world.
Ivaneide Bandeira Cardozo (Neidinha) co-founded in 1992 the Kanindé Ethno-Environmental Defense Association whose work today extends to 21 indigenous ethnic groups. Because of the nature of her work around illegal deforestation and land grabbing she has received multiple death threats. She has a master's degree in Geography.