Project February 15, 2021

Flares From the Amazon in Times of COVID-19


The FLARES FROM THE AMAZON project seeks to warn of the increased dangers of deforestation and extractive activities in the Ecuadorian, Brazilian, and Colombian Amazon brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. With an environmental and human rights approach, and through strategic alliances on the ground, a collaborative news project that sheds light on communities that are being impacted by deforestation and COVID-19 will be set up through the most important defense weapon they had before their isolation: their voice.

Three lessons have been learned: i) deforestation facilitates the spread of pandemics, ii) extractive industries—whether legal or illegal—take advantage of smoke screens like the one lifted by COVID-19 to grow and fast-track their activities, and iii) the most powerful tool that communities have to stop these industries is their voice, a voice that has been completely silenced by the isolation they went into because of the coronavirus emergency.

These three scenarios have come together under the current crisis, and with democraciaAbierta (dA) as the coordination entity, journalists and Indigenous voices on the ground will be reached through strategic alliances with CONFENIAE (Ecuador), Engajamundo (Brazil), and Agenda Propia (Colombia). Articles and videos will be put together by communicators and journalists based in Indigenous territories, and a map of the hot spots (flares) will be produced with fresh information from local allies, as well as with investigations carried out by dA’s editorial team.