For decades, river communities have suffered from a top-down, profit-driven development model that exploits them without input or accountability. The profits flow outwards and away – to urban centers, elites and foreign investors – while local people and ecosystems suffer the adverse impacts.

An Indigenous warrior in traditional dress points to a map of a river, while a woman to his left watches.
Indigenous Juruna warrior from a village in the Brazilian Amazon reviewing his territory | Photo by Todd Southgate

Our Work to Elevate Grassroot Power

We believe that communities must have a say in how their river systems are governed, managed, developed and protected. In supporting local movements, we prioritize guidance from indigenous and ethnic minorities and develop inclusive strategies to ensure gender equity. We support indigenous and local communities’ rights to FPIC with lawsuits and public actions.

As a result, our regional and international networks have become some of the most effective, sustained civil society movements in the world. Our most notable river protection victories have been collective achievements, strengthened by these vibrant and interconnected movements.

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