Despite horrific violence, invasion, and destruction of their ancestral homeland by multiple industries, the Ashaninka and Guarani share how their love for the forest and their culture has fuelled their resilience and commitment to ‘fight back’ – by educating loggers and engaging them to help replant two million trees.
Their wisdom inspires ‘modern’ cultures who have lost their roots, and with this, a true understanding of wealth.
Benki and Moises Piyako are leaders and shamans from the Ashaninka community of Apiwtxa (State of Acre, Brazil). World-renowned for their work through Apiwtxa to regenerate, restore and protect Amazon forest ecosystems, and in support of forest people’s struggles for their rights, they have been recognised by many prizes, including the United Nations Equator Prize in 2017 and the Newton Prize 2018.
The Guarani inhabit the last remaining forest galleries of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. Their indigenous territories are on the frontline of defence against the rapacious expansion of industrial agricultural monocultures. Brazil’s Atlantic Forest has lost 92% of its forest cover, but through partnerships with other Guarani, the Ashaninka, and local organisations, the Guarani of Brazil are regenerating forests, replanting lost species, and defending biodiverse land from industrial expansion. In 2018 they won the Newton Prize for this work.
In September 2019 Flourishing Diversity held six Listening Sessions in a diverse range of poignant London venues, representing the urgent need for the world to start listening to Indigenous representatives and their sophisticated approaches to living in community structures that coexist with and support harmony and abundance with the rest of Life. You can find out more here.