Since July 27, the campaign has been running at a global level the "Amazoniza-te" (Amazonize yourself)Campaign, organized by the Episcopal Commission for the Amazon of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB), in collaboration with other ecclesial and civil society organizations, the initiative was born out of the context of violence against traditional peoples, aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are facing a situation in which deforestation and land grabbing, fires and mining are intensifying, becoming agents of coronavirus proliferation in the communities of the Amazon region.
The campaign urges us to 'become Amazons'. , proposing a series of actions that unite in a unified action the leaders of traditional populations and communities, the Church in the Amazon, the different ecclesial bodies, various artists and opinion makers, researchers and scientists.
The call "Amazoniza-te" (Amazonize yourself)proposes the active participation of all people in the defense of the Amazon, its biome and the threatened peoples in their territories. These are voices that add up, because of so much injustice, to many people expelled from their lands, tortured and murdered in agricultural and socio-environmental conflicts, victims of a policy driven by agribusiness and major economic development projects that do not respect the limits of nature, nor its preservation.
The initiative joins the path taken in recent years in view of the Synod for the Amazon, held in October 2019 in Rome. With Pope Francis, the Amazon region and the lives of the people who live there have reached the centre of debate in the Church. "In the Amazon there are all kinds of injustice, destruction, exploitation of people at all levels. And destruction of cultural identity," the Pope pondered at the end of the Synod of Bishops on Amazonia.
According to the president of the CNBB, Dom Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo, the campaign "Amazoniza-te" (Amazonize yourself)is an invitation, an appeal and an opportunity to experience solidarity with the forest and the peoples of the region. "In this call to 'Amazonize', we want to overcome the systematic violation of environmental protection legislation and the dismantling of public bodies due to government actions to deregulate and illegally expand the activities of mining companies, agribusinesses, the wood industry and livestock farmers in the region," Dom Walmor stressed.
Listening to the cries and hopes, the campaign is the culmination of various actions and mobilizations carried out by ecclesial and social organizations working in the Amazon or in its defense, such as the Indigenist Missionary Council (CIMI), the Pastoral Commission of the Earth (CPT), the Panamanian Ecclesial Network (REPAM), Mídia Ninja and the Humanos Direitos Movement (MHuD).
The campaign presents a series of videos with testimonies of the traditional populations of the Amazon, which dialogue with the warning also taken by artists of national and international fame. The group of organizations will propose a list of concrete actions to be taken personally or collectively in order to "Amazonize".
The "Amazoniza-te" (Amazonize yourself)campaign was born from a dialogue between ecclesial organizations and the need to raise awareness among Brazilian and international public opinion about the danger to which life is exposed in the Amazon, with its territories and populations. The dismantling of public environmental protection agencies, the continuing lack of respect for the law and the lack of civil society participation in the areas of regulation and control of public policies have encouraged the creation of the campaign.
For this reason, the "Amazoniza-te" (Amazonize yourself)campaign is structured around three lines of action: 1. Vulnerability of indigenous peoples and traditional communities to contamination by Covid-19, with particular attention to the fragility of public health structures in the states and municipalities of the region, much more precarious than conditions in other regions of the country; 2. Acceleration of the destruction of Biome due to the uncontrolled increase in deforestation, fires, invasion of indigenous territories and traditional communities by land invaders, mining companies, livestock farmers, monocultures and the effects of hydroelectric dams on river populations; 3. Systematic violation of environmental protection legislation and dismantling of public bodies, with deliberate actions by the government to deregulate and expand - illegally - the activities of mining companies, agrobusiness, wood industry and livestock farmers in the region.
"Amazoniza-te" (Amazonize yourself)
The neologism "Amazonizate" (to Amazonize yourself) was used for the first time in 1986 in a pastoral letter of the then bishop of the diocese of Rio Branco (Acre) Dom Moacyr Grechi. At that time, the bishop invited people to take up the cause of the Amazon and defend its peoples. The verb is widely used when it comes to defending the Amazon. During the process of the Synod for the Amazon, the expression "Amazonize" was widely used and made popular. This is the meaning that the campaign proposes: rather than conjugating the verb "to Amazonize" itself, make it a personal expression, an appeal for all people to Amazonize themselves.
See here below YOUTUBE PLAYLIST of the campaign, made in PORTUGUESE but with ENGLISH and SPANISH subtitles