Hello IFSA’s fellas!

Global Landscape Forum (GLF) Amazonia Digital Conference: The Tipping Point – Solution from The Inside Out was held by GLF. It started from Tuesday – Thursday, 21st – 23rd September 2021. The Amazonian has been facing abundant barriers such as deforestation, forest fires, land degradation, shortage of water, and climate change for the biggest challenge, which affected the natives and contributed to increasing the global temperature. For three days sequentially, we, Mirza Nur’aini and Muhammad Zuhair attended this conference virtually and here are the results of this conference.


(DAY 1)

Figure 1. LandScale integrated a model system in collaboration with stakeholders, in Peru.

On Tuesday, 21st September 2021 we attended 4 sessions. The first session was “Collaborative actions for rural prosperity and biodiversity conservation in Peru” which discussed integrated performance between indigenous communities and producers in Amazonian land. In order to meet the demand for agricultural products and preserve nature and its ecosystem, there must be collaboration across sectors. Therefore, the Rainforest Alliance established a tool called LandScale. This tool will discover and provide information with trusted landscape-level insights, therefore indigenous communities and producers can measure and monitor the sustainability performance and intervention at the landscape level.

Figure 2. The Amazon tipping point process is illustrated like the game of Jenga, it will become more unstable and fall over time.

Then we watched a video about how deforestation in the Amazon could lead us to a critical condition or the tipping point. Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest tropical rainforest that stores up to 200 billion tons of carbon, which is roughly five years’ worth of global carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. However, due to human activities like agriculture, industry, and housing, it lost 18% of its tree cover and is decreasing by 1% roughly every three years. Based on research, Amazon will no longer withstand this situation and slowly reach its tipping point. It could be represented as a Jenga game. As we move the block one by one to the top, it prioritizes human greed and not sustainability, sooner or later they will fall down and leave some pieces left standing. Bear in mind that rebuilding the balance of life is not as easy as Jenga blocks.

Figure 3. Deforestation, precipitation, and temperature data in four representative regions in Amazonia eastern part

Later, we joined a session presented by Luciana Gatti, a Researcher of Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE). This session was interconnected with the previous video since it elaborated the Amazonian tipping point from the perspective of science. There were 4 representative regions; southwestern site (RBA), northwestern site (TABTEF), northeastern site (SAN), and southeastern site (ALF). Deforestation in those regions influenced the rising temperature – particularly eastern part – with approximately 1.9℃. Correspondingly, a number of forest fires (represented by the red bar in figure 3) also have arisen and one of the worst parts is the precipitation of those parts that has fallen off. This condition will worsen the natural regeneration of the forest itself.

Figure 4. Nohora Quiguantar (upper left) from UN Women shared her thought about the importance of women role in preserving nature and among indigenous peoples with Estefanìa Cortez (upper right) from Peruvian JPCC, and Alexandra Narvaez (bottom) from Shamecco Women’s Association.

The last session of that day was a discussion among women activists in Brazil. Discrimination against women are present in the form of educational inequality, limitation of speech, etc. The reason is women are afraid to show their capabilities because some individuals, especially from men, do not allow them to speak. There are individuals who believe women will perform much more than their boundaries if they have the same rights as men. The example is women will preserve and maintain the sustainable resources in Amazon. Hopefully, women can have the same rights as men in their communities, including indigenous communities.


(DAY 2)

Figure 5. Presentation with Paulo Pianez from Marfrig Global Foods.

The following day, we attended four sessions. The first session that we attended was “The Realities of Meat Production: from Smallholder Producers to Consumers”. This session focused on Brazilian food companies, namely Marfrig. Marfrig is a global leader in the production of hamburgers and one of the largest beef protein companies on this planet, in terms of capacity. In this session, Marfrig representatives demonstrated integrated territorial management as a way to address the conservation challenges of the Amazon. This management uses grouping of areas in order to organize it by their function. These practical actions have been implemented in Brazil as well as other countries and have contributed to common livestock chain management there. In 2020, Marfrig established a few commitments regarding sustainability use that started from a promise which was essential for them which made progress from the practices of private sectors and attain sustainable producing development practices.

Figure 6. Yovita Ivanova (upper right) explanation about zero deforestation from producer countries perspective especially from Peru, and Erin D. Matson (upper left), Marcello Brito (bottom left), Efrén Nango (bottom right).

Then we attended a plenary discussion session titled “The Geopolitics of Zero Deforestation: Connecting The Demand and Supply Sides of The Story”. This session discusses the impact of global commitments and trade agreements, especially the impact of zero-deforestation by hand in Amazon producer countries. According to the New York Declaration of Forests (NYDF) assessment report, most countries are ambitious in utilizing the first mitigation tool to prevent the impact of climate change and end deforestation by 2020, however the targets were not met. This session represented speakers from producer countries especially from Latin America and the demand perspectives from the European region. Many consumer countries are looking at what they can do to address their deforestation footprint from imported commodities and the producer countries are having challenges due to lack of system development and technical assistance. Both the consumer and producer countries must take responsibility to reach the goal of zero deforestation production in the Amazon region.

Figure 7. Illustration of indigenous territorial management (one of the toolbox sets).

Thereafter, we joined another session with the theme “A New Toolkit for Indigenous Territorial Management”. This session talked about the collaboration between the Wildlife Conservation Society and the indigenous peoples and local communities in Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador in supporting territorial and natural resource management in the Amazon region for more than 20 years. This collaboration was carried out with a sense of integrality, including actions to strengthen cultural values, conserve natural ecosystems and improve local livelihoods. As a result of this experience, a toolbox was developed consisting of a set of technical resources to support territorial management processes like booklets, manuals, questionnaires, databases, report formats, and training modules. One of the forms of these toolkits is an illustration that shows how indigenous organizations strengthen their territorial management capacities within local management.

Figure 8. Gabrielle Lipton (left) and Mark J. Plotkin (right) talked about the uncontacted tribes of the Amazon.

The last session we attended on the second day was a GLF Live “How Will The Uncontacted Tribes of The Amazon Survive?” session. This session discusses how the Amazon natives survive as the Amazon rainforest shrinks. The natives refer to uncontacted tribes of Amazonian indigenous peoples who were in voluntary isolation for a long time and lived without sustained contact with neighbouring communities and the world. Mr. Mark J. Plotkin, who spent around 30 years living with the Amazonian indigenous peoples and studying their traditional plant uses, told about what the future could hold for some of the most ancient cultures on Earth. He figured out that they have to be facilitated correspondingly with their needs. They also need to be protected from anyone who wants to do bad things, whether it is exploiting natural resources or abusing innocent natives.


(DAY 3)

Figure 9. Live video about religions in action for the Amazon.

The last day of GLF Amazonia was on 23rd September, 2021 and we joined three sessions with different topics. A discussion among religion’s interference in preserving the Amazonian forest was the opening session. This session was aimed to reveal the influence of religious leaders in protecting the Amazon. Rainforest is a sacred trust where all the needs are provided freely. Religious communities have been largely missing from the movement to protect forests, in actuality they have an influence in managing their surroundings including natural resources. At the same time, religious leaders will guide their communities easier as they have access to regulating political policy at both local, regional, and national levels.

Figure 10. The coffee session with Felipe Villela (right) and Vania Olmos (left).

Later, there was a session with Felipe Villela, founder of reNature. This start-up supports farmers and corporations toward regenerative agriculture. This idea started when he went to the Amazon and got some inspiration to preserve nature by regenerating farmers’ land. With his family background in agriculture, he thought about integrating nature, forest, and agriculture. At that time, there was an agroforestry concept that Brazilians had not implemented due to the lack of knowledge, this is why Felipe established the reNature.

Figure 11. Paloma Costa (bottom right) shared her experience being a youth climate activist in Brazil with Gaby Baesse (Top), Amanda Costa (bottom left).

Afterward, it was the Youth Climate Activism in Brazil 101 session. We were glad to know that in Brazil there are several youth activists who put their effort in order to raise the dignity of the Amazonian forest. They have done a number of campaigns such as protesting on the streets, engaging on social media, and negotiating at global events. Their spirit in voicing the rights of Brazilian indigenous communities should be appreciated since they have been facing many obstacles along their way. Financial aid would be the first challenge. Even though most of them were willing to back a campaign, the activists still need to reach more individuals and broaden the news to gain sufficient funds. Next, Brazilian activists believe that they are currently in an area where their government doesn’t take into account the climate crisis and problems faced by the Amazonian rainforest. Therefore, Amanda Costa, a youth activist, emphasized the word ‘survival’ in a matter of climate activism.

Lastly, we would like to express our gratitude for giving us a chance to join GLF Amazonia. This event was clearly an unforgettable moment for both of us. As youth, we definitely realize that our thoughts, movements, and actions are all needed in order to solve global problems, certainly environmental issues. So, let’s take any positive part of your surroundings and help communities as much as we can!