In May 2023, Digital Democracy convened the “Earth Defenders Toolkit Gathering” in Tena in the Ecuadorian Amazon, where 40 participants from 11 countries came together to share strategies and build connections. We first dreamed of this event as one in which our partners would meet each other and share experiences using our co-designed tools to protect their territories. However, the days together exceeded any expectations and seeded what we now acknowledge to be a network of kinship.
We did know how powerful it was going to be to share four days with Earth Defenders from territories across the world, in regions like the Solomon Islands, Suriname, Australia, New Zealand, Ecuador, Brazil, Canada, Peru, Guyana, and Thailand. And how nourishing it would be to take the time to listen to each other’s stories, experiences, challenges, and strategies for protecting territories from diverse (yet shared) threats like oil drilling, mining, palm oil plantations, logging, and land invasions.
We found it important to document and share a glimpse of this Gathering, recognizing the urgency of listening to the testimonies and experiences of Indigenous Peoples and communities that are at the frontlines of the fight against climate change.
This is the first of five videos that we will be releasing in the next months, hoping to amplify Earth Defenders’ voices and work, while extending the network of relationships that supports their work protecting the world’s biodiversity.
Watch, share, and stay tuned for more!