A Journey of Hope Amidst Crisis
In the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, thousands of people are unlawfully encroaching upon protected lands, devastating centuries-old trees for export and exploiting rare resources. It's a critical issue that impacts us all. Enter Indigenous Brazilian forest guardian Marçal Guajajara and impassioned activist Puyr Tembé. They stand as unwavering sentinels, fighting tirelessly to shield their home from the relentless march of deforestation. Alongside them, we encounter an illegal logger, trapped in a desperate struggle to make ends meet, who sees no alternative means of survival, and a determined landowner, committed to preserving the rich ecosystem within his property, relentlessly seeking answers from local authorities, yet met with silence. Through this tapestry of perspectives, we see the economic connections to markets that link goods derived in the Amazon region to consumers around the world.
This is the powerful narrative at the heart of We Are Guardians — a story of hope and resilience amidst an unfolding crisis. Directed by Indigenous activist Edivan Guajajara, and environmental filmmakers Chelsea Greene, and Rob Grobman, and produced by Academy Award winner Fisher Stevens with Leonardo DiCaprio serving as Executive Producer, the film is an exploration of the human spirit and our collective responsibility to protect the fragile balance of our world. Ultimately it illuminates the path forward, where hope and unity can guide us toward a brighter future for the Amazon and our planet.
A Global Treasure Worth Protecting
The Amazon Rainforest holds a profound significance for all of humanity. Although tropical rainforests account for less than 3 percent of Earth's surface, they play an essential role in ensuring climate stability and regulating global rainfall patterns. In 2022, deforestation and wildfires in the Brazilian Amazon soared to a staggering 15-year high, casting a shadow of urgency over this vital ecosystem. In 2023 the problem remains.
For millennia, Indigenous communities have nurtured and cherished the Amazon as their ancestral home. Astoundingly, 45 percent of the Amazon's forests lies within Indigenous territories. These lands are the lifeline for nearly 400 unique Indigenous peoples, relying on the Rainforest for their cultural survival and way of life. Remarkably, over 70 groups of uncontacted Indigenous peoples continue to thrive in the heart of the Amazon, hidden from the modern world.
The Amazon Rainforest, stands as an unparalleled force of biodiversity. When it is healthy, one-fifth of the world's flowing freshwater courses through its veins. One-third of Earth's diverse species call this land home, and a quarter of modern medicines trace their origins to the rich biodiversity of Amazonian flora.
Yet, a looming crisis shadows this natural wonder. Over the past half-century, we have witnessed the devastation of over 20 percent of the Amazon's forests, with up to 60 percent suffering degradation. Alarming predictions from scientists suggest that we stand perilously close to an irreversible tipping point. In this dangerous scenario, the forest's water system is disrupted, starting a risky cycle that eventually turns the land into a dry savannah.
However, it's not a tale of despair but a call to action that we must consider. The Amazon's plight is the world's concern, a shared responsibility that transcends borders. Together, we can rewrite this narrative, fortifying the rainforest's resilience and ensuring a harmonious coexistence. Our choices today determine the fate of this precious global treasure, and in protecting the Amazon, we safeguard our planet's very lifeblood.