Guardians of the Forest

To this day, indigenous communities around the world are being criminalized, expelled from their native lands, and not being consulted on projects that impact the rainforests and lands that they have historically protected and called home. Purpose worked with the Ford Foundation, the Mesoamerican Alliance for People and Forests (AMPB), and the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin (COICA), to elevate the profile of indigenous people as partners in protecting forests and mitigating climate change while highlighting longstanding indigenous rights issues.

Challenge

While environmental preservation has often been equated with limiting human interference with nature, research shows that when indigenous land rights are secure, indigenous communities can be effective partners in maintaining biodiversity and fighting global climate change.

Opportunity

In the wake of the historic Paris Agreement and protests at Standing Rock, international attention to environmental justice and indigenous rights issues were at an all-time high. Purpose worked with the Ford Foundation, the Mesoamerican Alliance for People and Forests (AMPB), and the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin (COICA), to elevate the profile of indigenous people as partners in protecting forests and mitigating climate change while highlighting longstanding indigenous rights issues.

Theory of Change

Create a brand and narrative that highlights the role of indigenous communities as preservation allies.

Equip indigenous communities with the tools to tell their own stories and elevate the voices of the people who are most affected by climate change.

Raise the profile of global indigenous communities as partners in the fight against climate change.

Action

In partnership with the Ford Foundation, Purpose developed the brand, content and organizing strategy for the Mesoamerican Alliance of People and Forests and the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin, with the goal of connecting the work of indigenous partner organizations through one global brand.

Digital Campaign Training

Created campaign execution manual in three languages and trained indigenous activists in digital organizing.

Campaign Content Creation

Aided activists in the development of local campaigns and content.

Brand Strategy and Visual Identity

Produced a multilingual brand along with brand guidelines.

Campaign Execution

Supported with coordination of the Global Canoe action at 2016 UN Biodiversity Conference in Cancun, Mexico.

Impact

For the first time ever, indigenous allies from across the world united behind a single online identity to make their voices heard. Through this work, we increased organizational capacity of indigenous communities to leverage digital technologies and insert their narratives into national and international debates on indigenous land rights and environmental protection.