Indigenous cultures across the globe have known for millennia the common origin of all life and therefore the interconnectedness and interdependence of people with the natural World.
Since the dawn of our species, we have lived wholly immersed in the wonder of a living universe, intuitively guided and supported by the patterns and processes of nature.
Indigenous cultures have lived sustainably since the beginning of humankind and have passed on from generation to generation their sustainable ways of living.
However with the advent of globalization, the continuous attacks on their traditional way of life, the loss of indigenous lands, deforestation and pollution, their knowledge is rapidly being lost or invalidated.
The Amazon is home to an astounding diversity of indigenous cultures (nearly 400 different groups). This is changing before our very own eyes.
Modernization and the influence of extractive industries have resulted in ecological devastation, poverty, corruption and cultural homogenization throughout the whole Amazon bioregion.
The expansion of the agro-industrial frontier, driven by the market forces of globalization, has profoundly altered the resilience of the Amazon – an eco-social system that has functioned in harmony for over 11,000 years.
Those pressuring this expansion include industrial agriculture (cattle, soy, oil-palm, etc), extractive industries (oil, gas, minerals and timber), large-scale infrastructure projects (roads and hydroelectric dams) and Western culture’s homogenizing effects upon indigenous societies.
The Amazon, aside from its vital regulatory capacities, is also the source of huge quantities of natural resources. For the indigeous cultures, the rainforest is a grocery, pharmacy, hardware store, lumberyard and department store all rolled into one.
Food, fuel, fiber, clothing, construction materials and medicine are all abundant in this carefully managed and mapped environment. With the loss of indigenous lands, deforestation and pollution, the traditional practices that maintain balance are struggling to meet the rising challenges.
Now Human beings across the planet, amidst the pressure and pace of the modern industrial-informational age, have lost contact with our instinctive knowing and deeper sense of belonging.
Alienated from the natural World, our true identity and deepest nature is obscured.
However, people of all walks of life are waking up to the fact that we are not, in fact, separate from nature at all. Rather, we are beings in process, evolving in tandem with the rhythms and cycles of all life.