Our Theory Of Change
What's At Stake
An estimated 18 million acres of forest, which is roughly the size of the country of Panama, are lost each year. Indigenous communities are the first people to experience changing climates ranging from extreme droughts to long-lasting rainfall causing floods and havoc. Indigenous forests are cleared for commercial purposes, releasing carbon into the atmosphere to drive global warming while leaving Indigenous communities landless. Those communities are left with no avenues to resist unsustainable land grabbing or address it on a local and global level.
Social Activism Through Storytelling
We use the powerful tool of video to strengthen the rights of Indigenous communities. We empower young Indigenous community members (with a strong focus on women) to tell their own stories through films and express the hardships they are facing to secure ancestral forests, wisdom and cultural heritage. We combine film, geospatial data and Indigenous rights advocacy through a network of environmental lawyers in order to achieve sustainable policy change on Indigenous customary law and the preservation of tropical forests.
Most stories about Indigenous communities are portrayed through the eyes of a filmmaker. We are challenging this status quo of storytelling by providing young Indigenous community members with the opportunity to tell their own stories and give them the power of expression and therefore self-determination. We go beyond the realm of filmmaking by putting a new generation of Indigenous leaders in the director’s seat to tell their own stories and to capture the human rights abuses and deforestation that is taking place.
Image: Kamikia Kisedje
We combine storytelling with geospatial data. We train Indigenous communities to tell their stories and build their capacity to map Indigenous lands to secure tenure, manage natural resources, and strengthen Indigenous culture and wisdom. We use geographic information systems (GIS) to ensure that the introduction of spatial technologies into rural communities unfolds in a truly participatory manner. We train Indigenous communities to develop and store detailed maps of ancestral rainforests into geographic information systems. This will allow communities to define their territories and monitor environmental change.
Map data © Google, INEGI
Our ultimate goal is to empower Indigenous communities to protect forest territories and its biodiversity through powerful videos and geospatial data that could be used as proof of evidence against deforestation. We track our impact to determine how much of the video content and spatial data is used as proof of evidence in court and how many hectares of Indigenous forest areas are reclaimed after our intervention.
We work together with environmental lawyers involved in groundbreaking environmental and human rights issues globally. These strategic partnerships, our storytelling approach and the geospatial data will enable Indigenous communities to secure ancestral land and take on land tenure and legal battles to prevent commercial land grabbing and deforestation.