In early September, we were devastated to hear from our partners, Aquaverde, that the area surrounding the Ashaninka community project in the Amazon rainforest was experiencing forest fires. We received videos of members of the Yorenka Tasorentsi Institute, including Ashaninka spiritual and political leader, Benki Piyãko, near the institute while fires raged around.
Thanks to the incredible hands-on effort of the community, together with firefighters from the region, this specific fire is now under control. However, Benki and the Ashaninka people have asked us to come together as a global community and call for rain to replenish the forest and reduce the risk of further fires and deforestation.
We are still determining if the trees planted with your donations have been affected. However, they are at risk, and following a long and intense drought that has dried the forest floor and drained much of the river, these areas are increasingly vulnerable to both climate-related and economic fires (e.g. illegal logging or cattle ranching) in the region.
The fires have caused devastation to the forest, trees, and wildlife and put people’s lives at risk. The community is now starting the work to recover the area, and we are in conversations with Aquaverde to find out how we can best support the community and the forests under these tragic circumstances. We will, of course, keep you updated on how this progresses.
In the meantime, we would like to invite you to contribute to this collective call and intention to recover the forests. We ask you to call for rain in any way that feels appropriate to you and to keep the Ashaninka people, the rainforest, and all that call it home in your hearts and minds as we continue to restore and reforest our planet.
If you would like to learn more about this project, you can visit our Amazon Rainforest project page.
All photo credits and rights reserved by Benki Piyako and the Yorenka Tasorentsi Institute