Every now and again you do something that feels just spot on.
Something you feel compelled to do. Something you were always meant to do.
Today is one of those days.
We are super excited to announce our support for Choose Earth.
An initiative from our good friends at Choose Love. Those of you who know Choose Love will know about the good work they do. But, in short, they support groups and individuals working with refugees.
Although a slight departure from their core mission, the Choose Earth campaign marks an important and exciting broadening of their work. By supporting indigenous peoples who are working tirelessly to protect their forests, lands and livelihoods. Specifically in the Brazilian Amazon.
Somewhere very close to ånd’s heart.
So, to support Choose Earth, ånd will be selling 100 x 10ml bottles of Beån to help raise hard cash.
If you didn’t already know, Beån is hand-made using Tonka Beans sourced from hardwood trees in the beautiful but fragile and threatened Amazonian lands of the Kayapō.
For those who have been with us from the start, you may remember that this was one of our opening campaigns last May.
Blimey, nearly a year ago. And what a weird year it’s been for us all.
Anyway, between now and our Birthday we’d love to raise at least the same as we managed last time to support the people of the Amazon.
Thanks to your incredible support we were able to donate over £3,000 to the Raoni Institute to buy PPE and suplies to offer protection against dreaded COVID-19 which even reached the largely isolated and vulnerable Kayapo. Since then, however, indigenous communities throughout Brazil have been ravaged by the pandemic given many of their specific vulnerability to repiratory conditions.
And many are calling the government’s response to the crisis a form of genocide reminiscent of that carried out by the first settlers of the Americas. On top the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we mustn’t forget that there is another even more deadly pandemic at work: deforestation.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Land right issues regularly see communities displaced from their homelands which are cleared of forest destroying biodiversity.
For what? Well large scale agriculture, mining of precious metals and drilling for oil are among the worst culprits.
And, of course all this big business accelerates climate change and threatens the extinction of rich and diverse flora, fauna and even the people themselves.
And this makes us angry and sad.
So, to help, albeit in a tiny way to start with, Choose Earth will give the funds we raise directly to leaders and groups who are standing up to these evil and deadly threats. Sadly, unlike our previous giving we will not be able to show the exact leaders who benefit from this. But rest assured, it’s for a very good reason.
Indigenous and environmental leaders in the Brazilian Amazon face the very real threat of death.
In 2019 Amazonian Brazil shamefully topped the charts as the most dangerous place in the world for environmental activists, with the blood from 212 deaths of those standing up to the mining and logging greed and destruction on their hands.
Therefore, as I hope you can see, it feels much safer to distribute funds quietly and efficiently without mentioning specifics. Although, of course, we can keep you updated on activities broadly within the region.
One of the most saddening and maddening things about this is the fact that pretty much our very best chance of saving and maintaining a healthy planet lies in the hands of our indigenous brothers and sisters.
And, as a so-called progressive society, we continue to treat these people with almost a disgusting disdain.
They have such a huge amount to teach us about living as a part of the natural world. By not being separate from it.
It’s been proven that land legally protected and held by indigenous people harbors more life and soaks up more carbon than any other land that humans manage on the planet.
As Chris Packham bluntly puts it “they get paid hardly anything for it”.
At ånd, we know there’s just so much shit that needs sorting, but it feels, right now, that like if there is one thing we need to focus on, it’s supporting indigenous peoples all over our fragile planet so they can help support us all for the future.
And being able to work alongside Choose Earth to fight this cause, seems like the very least we can do.
So please help share the love and let’s continue to unstink the world, together.