Tag Archives: communities initiative

Surui and Yawanawa Etch Their Past into the Future

Across the Americas, indigenous and traditional communities have long struggled to assert their stories into a history written largely by foreign newcomers – one which continues to drown out pre-colonial voices. But in the Brazilian Amazon, the Yawanawa and Paiter Surui indigenous tribes are doing their part to set the record straight – in two newly released books that document their histories in their own words.

For the Yawanawa and Surui, who are currently experiencing a renaissance after reclaiming their …

A Path for Forests and the Planet

On November 19, the 22nd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 22) ended in Marrakesh. It was at COP 21, just last December, in Paris that 195 countries came together to adopt the historic agreement to mobilize global action against climate change. Many called it the most important treaty ever. Working at the front lines, Forest Trends fought to ensure that forests were at the center of the Paris Agreement, and …

Yawanawa Indigenous Leaders Tell Their Comeback Story at TEDWomen 2016

Laura Soriano and her husband, Chief Tashka Yawanawa, will be recounting the powerful story of how their tribal community rebounded from near extinction during a talk at the TEDWomen 2016 conference in San Francisco on Thursday, October 27, at 11 am PDT.

When Laura Soriano arrived in her new husband’s native community 16 years ago, the Yawanawa people were in danger of becoming a lost culture of the Amazon rainforest, like other indigenous cultures gone extinct in the region.

Intercambio Jovens6

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Saving Traditions, Saving Lives, One Plant at a Time

His fever had spiked overnight, and in the early morning hours, his breathing had become labored and his pulse irregular. Within hours, the patient who had sought help for severe stomach pains had died. Naraiamat Surui, a nurse technician at the hospital and member of the same small Paiter Surui tribe as the patient, had watched in frustration as his friend slid toward death after doctors administered drugs for his agonizing stomach pain.

Naraiamat Surui had witnessed similar cases at …

Indigenous Cultures Trade Insights Deep in the Brazilian Amazon

Ashaninka-surui exchange (11)

Photo by Sergio Polignano

On a recent April day, the dense rainforest landscape of Acre, Brazil teemed with the dizzying diversity of wildlife that usually inhabits it. One could hear birds chirping, frogs croaking, and monkeys howling. But in addition, on this morning the sounds of traditional melodious chanting echoed through this small corner of the Amazon, adding to the colorful symphony that fills the rainforest on any given day.

The reason for the occasion was that the Surui, the

Forest Trends Helps Brazil’s Yawanawá People Build Common Ground

Photo by Beto Borges

Nestled deep in the Brazilian Amazon along the Peruvian border, the state of Acre contains about 15 million hectares – most of which remains pristine virgin rainforest – within a space roughly the size of Florida. It’s also home to thousands of indigenous people, who serve an invaluable role as stewards of the so-called Earth’s Lungs, the Amazon rainforest. Supporting these communities is critical to both preserving their cultural heritage and achieving our global climate goals, …