The Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative
The Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative
Monday September 23, 2019

Stand is honored to be joining indigenous nationalities and federations and allies as a formal member of Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative. We join this effort to call for the governments of Ecuador and Peru to stop expanding new fossil fuel and mining development in one of the birthplaces of the Amazon River. 

The Indigenous peoples from this region have been and are actively resisting and defending their ancestral territories from massive threats from resource extraction that will expand oil spills and toxicity and result in new roads that are a gateway to large-scale deforestation.

The Vision:

Permanent protection 74 million acres of tropical rainforests in the headwaters the mighty Amazon River–the Napo, Pastaza, and Marañon River Basins of Ecuador and Peru. 

This area, referred to as the Sacred Headwaters of the Amazon: Territories for Life, is the ancestral territory of nearly half a million Indigenous peoples from 20 nationalities and groups; some living in voluntary isolation and is one of the most biodiverse terrestrial ecosystems on the planet. It also represents nearly 6 billion tons of carbon in standing forests and undeveloped oil and gas reserves.

A Global Model for a New Paradigm in the Amazon
The Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative is the first macro-level initiative in Ecuador and Peru to unify disparate conflicts over rights and resource extraction in seeking alternatives and long term solutions to the commodity-based economies of each country, which have traditionally sought, unsuccessfully, to drill their way to prosperity one oil well or mine at a time. 

The majority of the 74 million acres of the Initiative is remote, roadless rainforest territories of Indigenous peoples, who have effectively protected the region for millennia. The Initiative is led by the regional Amazonian Indigenous confederations of each country--CONFENIAE in Ecuador, and AIDESEP in Peru, along with their respective grassroots organizations, representing 20 different nationalities. The Initiative is the first major binational collaboration between these two organizations. It has long been a vision of the Indigenous nationalities in this region to unite with their relatives across borders and recover the ancestral management of their territories. 

Stand is focused working with partners to create an international advocacy platform, develop new strategies to build and amplify power and solidarity, connect the dots between crude oil expansion in the Amazon and US and global markets, and develop markets strategies that create risk and uncertainty for big brands and finance institutions that may be connected to supporting expanded industrial extraction in this critical region.