Help create a new Kamaiura village to combat the effects of climate change!

Geographic Focus
Xingu Indigenous Park, Mato Grosso, BRAZIL
To help the Kamayura open a new village in order to reduce the stress on their environment which is directly affecting their livelihoods.
Have the Kamayura people continuously live on their ancestral land, preserving their culture, their nature and their way of life for generations to come.
Background Information
The Kamayura live in Upper Xingu, in Xingu Indigenous Park (XIP), the largest indigenous park in the world. The area is of a unique beauty and richness in cultural and ecological diversity. Xingu is also on the arc of deforestation in Brazil. Because of intensive soy cultivation and cattle farming around the park there is little forest left outside its borders. This caused changes in microclimate which became really obvious in the past couple of years: the raining season shifted (both its start date and amount of precipitation).
You can see the effects of climate change on this indigenous territory in a beautiful film by Instituto Socioambiental and Instituto Catitu, Where Did the Swallows Go:
The butterflies that embellish by hundreds the river banks in the dry months are gone, the cicadas do not announce rain anymore, nor do swallows fly to announce the start of the rain. Because the rain delays its arrival. River and lake waters levels stay low affecting fish, the main food for the XIP inhabitants. Cassava crops die, just like it happened three times this year in the Kamayura village, leaving the Kamayura people on the verge of famine, with little more than water to eat for days at a time.
Because of the extreme dryness of the air and vegetation, wild fires burned out of control this year, engulfing swaths of forest and savannah, killing animals, destroying their habitat for years to come and reducing even more the chance of future rains. I witnessed this devastation in August when I visited the Kamayura village and Xingu.
On top of these factors that put stress on the environment, the Kamayura population starts to become a problem. The village counts almost 300 souls, which is big for Xingu standards. The manioc gardens and intensive cultivation around the village have left the soil tired and less productive, in an already changing environment.
The chief of the Kamayura, Kotok, has been reaching out for help. Here is what he wrote in a letter to whoever wants to help:
“In the past few years the changes in climate affected our livelihoods and our natural resources. These are diminishing in our region and every time it is more difficult to obtain them including fish is every time harder to find, and fish is the base of our daily food, with fish and manioc we feed our families. The earth itself is every time more degraded also due to our repeated planting for years. On top of this, changes in climate (lack of rain) is making the soil less fertile than in the past.
Given this situation I have decided to migrate together with a few other families to a new place, on the other side of the lake. The name of the place e Yywatyp, where my ancestors lived. The plan of this migration process will start with re-opening the access path (closed due to years of us not travelling to that place anymore), hopefully in November this year. Once we have access to Yywatyp, we will start building 10 houses.
I am kindly asking you to support our migration process.“

Leave a Reply