The mission of Gaia Amazonas is to promote processes for autonomy and environmental governance, to guarantee the conservation of the northwest Amazon, from a cultural perspective and based on the indigenous vision of conservation. We seek to influence public policies for the region, to consolidate the effective use of indigenous peoples’ rights, to strengthen the capacity of indigenous people in constructing their own territorial ordering, to strengthen their articulation with national government, to recover their traditional knowledge and contribute to the global system of life through conservation strategies for biological and cultural diversity and climate change adaptation.
Our vision is to consolidate a mosaic of protected areas and indigenous territories for the conservation of more than 100 million hectares of forest in the Northwest Amazon, through environmental governance practices and from a cultural perspective, as a joint initiative of indigenous peoples, organized civil society and government entities.
What does ‘Gaia’ mean?
The Gaia hypothesis was first presented, in 1970, by James Lovelock and published in 1979 by the University of Oxford under the title: Gaia, a new look at life on Earth. According to this theory, the Earth is a living is a living being that creates its own habitat through controlling temperature, atmospheric composition and ocean salinity. The instability of chemical elements that exist in the atmosphere, compared to atmospheres of other planets, are the response for the Earth having this dynamic, as in other planets the temperatures vary due to the stability of the atmospheric elements. In the words of Lovelock:
“The physical and chemical condition of the surface of the Earth, of the atmosphere, and of the oceans has been and is actively made fit and comfortable by the presence of life itself. This is in contrast to the conventional wisdom which held that life adapted to the planetary conditions as it and they evolved their separate ways.’’
Lovelock chose the ancient Greek Goddess of the Earth as the name for his hypothesis, inspired by a time when science and technology were the same thing and when science had a soul. Gaia was the first to emerge from chaos, the mother of all, the oldest, the most important.
Later on, Gaia became the name preferred by geography and geology disciplines. For Lovelock it ceased to be only a prefix and became the thesis that climate and the Earth’s composition are always close to the optimum necessary for life.
In Gaia Amazonas we believe that the Earth is a living being of which we are part. This hypothesis inspired us to work for the indigenous people who still believe that our Earth should be revered as sacred.