Corona Relief

Supporting indigenous communities in fighting Covid-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the Amazon Basin, it threatens the lives and futures of indigenous peoples and traditional forest communities. These "Guardians of the Forest" are disproportionately vulnerable to contracting the illness due to both the lack of access to adequate public services such as housing and health care as well as to the consequences of centuries of colonisation and racism.Unfortunately in some countries, this is just the tip of the iceberg. In Brazil, for example, the government is using this crisis to disrupt democratic structures and has shown itself willing to sacrifice the rainforest for economic profit (see webinar on the topic).

Climate Alliance is thus supporting its indigenous partners both directly as well as in partnership with other organisations. We are a founding member of the international Amazon Emergency Fund, which supports rapid response for urgent prevention and care, food and medical supplies, emergency evacuation, protection for forest guardians, food sovereignty and community resilience.

For direct support, donations with the reference "Covid-19 in Amazonia" can be transferred to Climate Alliance at the following bank account:

  • GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG
  • IBAN:  DE 73 4306 0967 8038 4090 01
  • BIC: GENODEM1GLS

As a non-profit association, Climate Alliance can issue donation receipts for tax purposes. Please contact Thomas Brose for further information at t.brose(at)climatealliance.org.

Direct support made possible via the fund

AIDESEP umbrella organisation (Peru)

Climate Alliance has supported this organisation with communications activities aimed at indigenous communities in the midst of the Corona pandemic as well as campaigns to organise support. Seven-minute radio programmes on the realities currently faced in Amazonia have helped communicate the situation to both the indigenous population and international organisations. Communications materials for advocacy and communication on the "Indigenous Plight" have been produced and social media work supported.

COICA umbrella organisation (across Amazonia)

Climate Alliance has recently provided support to its longest-standing partner for the declaration of a state of emergency in Amazonia due to rising numbers of Corona infections in indigenous communities as well as for the development of an action plan. The plan includes short-term action such as inter-institutional and intercultural dialogue on effective health care, emergency care and  prevention as well as medium and long-term action, dealing with present and future impacts through social, cultural, economic, organisational and political recovery.

COPIDECT umbrella organisation (Putumayo River, Peru)

Climate Alliance has helped this organisation uniting indigenous communities of the Putomayo River Basin to purchase  masks, disinfectants and soap as well as fuel for boat transport. In the region, COPIDECT works to defend human rights and as well as the rights Yagua, Ticuna, Witoto and Ocaina peoples to access and manage their traditional lands. These rights are currently under threat both by governmental actions and COVID-19.

OPIAC umbrella organisation (Colombia)

Climate Alliance has provided support for the OPIAC work team to lead emergency humanitarian and other work in the fight against Corona in the Colombian Amazon. The main priorities are to collect data and population statistics for emergency humanitarian aid and  to develop projects and campaigns for allied NGOs, the Colombian government, cooperation and international organisations as well as to monitor the success of these measures.

SITOAKORE indigenous women's organisation (Apurina area, Brazil)

Climate Alliance has helped support the construction of a House of Horticulture where the seeds of traditional plants and fruit trees will be collected and distributed, supporting traditional medicine to fight the effects of Corona and increasing food security. The expansion of a “living pharmacy” near the centre will make it easier for healers, shamans and midwives to carry out their work. The centre itself will serve as a place for meetings to pass on traditional knowledge and skills to younger generations.

Town of Marechal Thaumaturgo (Acre, Brazil)

The indigenous mayor of Marechal Thaumaturgo, Isaac Piyãko, of the Ashaninka people asked Climate Alliance for aid by voice mail.  His town of 18,000 has only two hospital beds for COVID patients and a single doctor. Calls to the Brazilian government as well as the provincial government of Acre have fallen on deaf ears. Climate Alliance has answered his plea with funding for protective gear.