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Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Honors Amazon Frontlines and Ceibo Alliance with Environmental Activist Award

Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is proud to honor Amazon Frontlines and Ceibo Alliance with the first annual Environmental Activist Award. This award celebrates environmental groups or individual activists whose work has created significant, positive impact in their field of focus. Winners of the Environmental Activist Award demonstrate courage, leadership and innovation in their efforts to protect the natural world and its inhabitants. 

"It is rare to meet people who lead with humility, grace and fierceness all at once and the result has been a profound alliance of indigenous tribes and their allies in the western Amazon in Ecuador. I can honestly say that this project – well actually movement - to protect the peoples and forests in the Amazon is the project that has inspired me the most and gives me a profound sense of both hope and belief that we can turn the tide of destruction and create a world where human and nature are back in balance" said the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Executive Director Justin Winters

Together, Amazon Frontlines and the indigenous led Ceibo Alliance are pioneering innovative and holistic approaches to indigenous empowerment and rainforest conservation that are safeguarding millions of acres of roadless primary forest in the Upper Amazon from the mounting threats of industrial expansion, deforestation, and species loss. By building indigenous capacity to defend their forests from real-time threats through monitoring and legal advocacy, securing tenure over large swaths of ancestral territories, developing land-use plans that deploy cutting-edge mapping technologies, and equipping roadless communities with access to solar energy, Amazon Frontlines and the Ceibo Alliance are demonstrating that partnering with the Amazon’s natural and most experienced protectors is vital to ensuring the survival of our planet’s greatest tropical rainforest. 
Flor Tangoy, one of the founders of the Ceibo Alliance, whose people have lived downriver from oil operations in the Amazon for decades, said: “For me, this award is a recognition of our efforts to unite indigenous nations to confront the threats we all face to our territories and ways of life and build our own alternatives to the destruction of our lands.” 

In this year alone, their partnership has galvanized resistance against proposed oil expansion and mining projects in ancestral rainforest territories, secured significant legal victories at the national and international level for the protection of environmental and human rights defenders and their lands, and brought global attention to cultural survival and forest conservation through indigenous driven media and storytelling. 

“Indigenous peoples are putting their lives on the line to protect their forests and their way of life - but the threats are too great, too unrelenting.  They can’t go it alone.  Hopefully this award can bring global attention to the struggles of indigenous peoples in the Amazon and the role of standing tropical forests in the battle against climate change." - Mitch Anderson, Executive Director of Amazon Frontlines

Indigenous stewardship of rainforests will prove to be one of the greatest defenses against climate chaos in the decades to come – and Amazon Frontlines and the Ceibo Alliance are showing us the potential of indigenous activism on the frontlines. 


Published byLeonardo DiCaprio Foundation
Date: September 23, 2018