We, the people in the Amazon, would like you to stop talking about us without hearing us first
This is a response about the latest decision in the delegation process of the .amazon new gTLD domain by the Independent Review Panel at ICANN to Amazon
The context of this dispute is summarised in this article
In light of the twists in the process of the new gTLD .amazon, many parties have come forward speaking “for the benefit of the people of the Amazon” and staking their claim that they were doing what is best for the region development.
Not once, during all this time, anyone cared to ask what our thoughts are or what we think the best for our region is.
Well, we would like to ask all parties to stop talking about us as if we can’t speak for ourselves. It must not be forgotten that the Amazon region involves the population of nine South American nation-states. For us, this is a time of challenges over the Amazon such as illegal mining, deforestation, water pollution among others. Any policy decision about the region or its name (in any language) is a matter of great interest for all of us, and we cannot be left aside.
Let’s start with the view of .amazon being a brand as well as a region and a river. We were never asked, again, when the name was used in the first place. The consequences of this can be seen now, when we are mistaken as a faceless, plain, uncharacteristic area in a world map without content or people, an exoticly empty part of the world to be conquered and debated abstractly by trademark lobbyists, private companies and governments.
We have faces, names, content, history. Using our name to tell another story, a company’s history, would de-characterize us? Likely not. We will not disappear. Instead the Amazon is a vibrant region, home of a great cultural diversity, committed to sustainable development and becomes increasingly more involved with internet governance, alongside with Northeast Brazil, which hosted IGF2015.
However, using our name without acknowledging our importance is certainly a mistake. Using our name refers directly to a vast land of rich diversity, with much to uncover and with many cultural gems already discovered. So if using our name, at least acknowledge us, respect us. Give back to the “lung of the Earth,” to a river which hosts hundreds of communities by its riverbanks. Invest on us. We want the same you do, more education, a thriving internet market and respect to sustainable development for a better future.
It is also important to note that ICANN’s Independent Review Panel comes at a moment when the discussion about the use of geographical names is very controversial, as it was seen in meetings in Johannesburg. And it is surprising, given there is no consensus yet about this theme in the community.
Governments of nine nations also speak our name. With such ownership and familiarity that you could sometimes forget that we do not belong only to one of them. The Wikipedia, which also does not belong to only one company or government, can enlighten that:
“This region includes territory belonging to nine nations. The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil, with 60% of the rainforest, followed by Peru with 13%, Colombia with 10%, and with minor amounts in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. States or departments in four nations contain “Amazonas” in their names. The Amazon represents over half of the planet’s remaining rainforests, and comprises the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world, with an estimated 390 billion individual trees divided into 16,000 species.”
This means that even if you agree with nine governments on whatever decision they take on the Amazon, you could still be in disagreement to half of the planet, and their thoughts on the importance of our region. Governments representational crisis is real and does not belong to one country or another. Governments should listen to their citizens. Yet, none of our major political powers are located in the Amazon and have not spoken to us about any aspect of the recent process.
This becomes much more complicated when the Amazon is referred to as an area of indigenous population. Our indigenous population was not asked when colonized, the majority did not elect the government of the nine nation-states which comprise the Amazon. Likely, the majority of our indigenous population suffers from abandonment, land conflicts, health crisis and lack of an education system. More importantly, our indigenous population wants, just as companies or governments, an internet market which provides jobs and enables development. Indigenous population may not speak only Portuguese or Spanish but they can speak too.
So why does everyone insists on talking about us without listening to us?
The rainforest is disappearing fast. This process is not going to slow down unless there is responsibility from all stakeholders in a dialogue about our region and how to respect it. When referring to the new gTLDs or any issue of public policy, public and private sector need to address us, we are all part of a cross border region and an strategic navigation channel and this dialogue has to take this unique situation in account. It must not be forgotten that, after all, the multistakeholder model that we all support to have a free and open Internet, involves multiple parties. This is not only an issue of the private sector and governments, the population is a key participant, that in this particular matter was never consulted.
So please, consult us.
Don’t take our name without talking to us.
Stop talking about us as if we can’t speak.
Lilian Ivete Deluque Bruges – Colombia
Lives in Barranquilla, Colombia. Works in local government with indigenous population and vulnerable groups. Mixed ethnicity. Alumni from the South School of Internet Governance 2016. LACNIC27 fellow.
Bertnell Auclene Malisa Richards – Guyana
Lives in Georgetown, Guyana. Works with education and technology. Plans on creating IGF Guyana. ICANN58 fellow. NCUC ICANN member. LACRALO ICANN Member, ISOC Guyana.
Renata Aquino Ribeiro – Brasil
Worked with Amazon region researchers and maintains an independent research group with collaborators in the region. Mixed ethnicity with relatives and friends in the region. Lives in NE Brazil. NCUC ICANN LAC representative. IGF MAG Civil Society 2016-2017.
Patricia Vargas – Peru
Researcher, PhD Candidate, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University. .
Lia Solis – Bolivia
LACNOG Program Committee member, LACNIC member, ICANN Fellow, LACRALO ICANN participant, ISOC Bolivia Board.
Maureen Hernandez – Venezuela.
ISOC Venezuela board of directors. Systems Engineer working with community networks in Central and Latin America. Born and raised in Venezuela and has been meeting indigenous communities for connectivity development for the last 2 years.
Jessica Botelho – Brazil
Journalist. Researcher at the Federal University of Amazonas / CNPq. Member of the ISOC Youth Observatory and the Center for Studies and Practices in Cyberculture (Manaus, Amazonas, Northern Brazil). Student of the Brazil Internet Governance School 2016 and the InternetLab School 2017.
Maritza Y. Aguero Miñano – Peru
Lives in Lima. Lawyer. LLM in Politics and Management of Science, Technology and Innovation. Scholarship holder from World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Ministry of Culture of Spain and University of California, Davis. Intellectual Property Professor at San Martin de Porres University and ESAN University. ICANN Alumni.
Maurília Gomes – Brazil
Public Relations. Master in Communication Sciences. Researcher of cyberculture and social activism. Member of ISOC Brazil. Lives in Manaus, Amazon. Member of the Popular Audiovisual Center (CPA), an organization that works on human rights, indigenous population, land conflicts and climate change. Is also a member of the Center for Studies and Practices in Ciberculture (NepCiber). Mixed ethnicity with indigenous descent. Alumni from the Brazilian School of Internet Governance 2015.
Hemanuel Veras – Brazil
Journalist. Master in Communication Sciences. Researcher of cyberculture and democracy. Lives in Manaus, Amazon. Member of the Popular Audiovisual Center and the Center for Studies and Practices in Ciberculture (CPA/NepCiber). Alumni from the Brazilian School of Internet Governance 2016.
Allan Gomes – Brazil
Journalist. Researcher of cyberculture. Lives in Manaus, Amazon. Coordinator of the Popular Audiovisual Center (CPA) and member of the Center for Studies and Practices in Ciberculture (NepCiber). Approved to the Brazilian School of Internet Governance 2017.
Sebastian Roa – Brazil
Currently lives in the state of Amazonas. Journalism student and researcher of the study group of urban anthropology. Also research adolescents indigenous in the urban context and TICS. Currently work with UN with the Venezuelan emergency. Member of the Center for Studies and Practices in Ciberculture (NepCiber). Approved to the Brazilian School of Internet Governance 2017.
Sinuhe Nascimento e Cruz – Brasil
Born and raised in the State of Acre, the most werstern state in the brazilian amazon. Currently lives in São Paulo, where is developing a bachelor’s degree in Law at the University of São Paulo. Founder member of the Nucleum of Studies on Technology and Society of the University of São Paulo and also a member of the Environmental Law Clinic Paulo Nogueira Neto at the Law School of the University of São Paulo.
Paola Perez – Venezuela
Vice – president ISOC Venezuela and co- Chair LACNIC Public Policy Forum, OEA Cybersecurity Bootcamp fellow 2017, South School internet Governance 2016 alumni, ICANN LACRALO and NCUC member.
Researcher, born and raised in the Amazon region, Law student at Fluminense Federal University. Member of the Youth SIG – ISOC. Alumni from the Brazilian School of Internet Governance 2016.
Flávia Lefèvre Guimarães
Representative of Civil Society in Internet Steering Comittee in Brazil
Member of PROTESTE – Consumers Association
Endorse this statement if you are supportive of these regional voicesRead the petition
|8||Journalist - Master in Professional Journalism - Internet history researcher. Working in an association that participates in .amazon resistance since 2013, the National Association for Digital Inclusion - Anid.||Brazil||Aug 06, 2017|
|7||Just Net Coalition||Jul 27, 2017|
|6||GreenNet||UK||Jul 25, 2017|
|5||IT for Change||India||Jul 24, 2017|
|4||CCAOI||India||Jul 24, 2017|
|3||Intervozes - Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social||Brazil||Jul 22, 2017|
|2||Founder of Grupo de Estudos de Direito da Internet (GEDI/UFRN)||Brazil||Jul 22, 2017|
|1||AGEIA DENSI Colombia /Cluster Orinoco TIC||Colombia||Jul 22, 2017|
|10||Maria Claveriaz||Brazil||Jul 31, 2017|
|9||Guilherme Alves||Brazil||Jul 25, 2017|
|8||Alessandro Zelesco||Brazil||Jul 25, 2017|
|7||Satish Babu||India||Jul 24, 2017|
|6||Joao Carlos Caribe||Brazil||Jul 22, 2017|
|5||Monalisa Souza||Brazil||Jul 22, 2017|
|4||Norbert Bollow||Switzerland||Jul 22, 2017|
|3||Luisa Lobato||Brazil||Jul 21, 2017|
|2||Jacqueline Morris||Trinidad and Tobago||Jul 21, 2017|
|1||Ana Diaz||Colombia||Jul 21, 2017|