Last year, we organised a webinar to explain why delivering no-strings cash to people in the rainforest would become the smartest, most scalable and most cost-effective climate action this coming decade.
It’s not rocket science, if people need time, creativity, flexibility and energy to solve the greatest problems – be it the climate crisis, economic downturns, wars, mental health – their financial security is of crucial importance.
In 2023, the ‘let’s-give-cash-to-everyone-and-with-no-strings-attached’ eureka moment is actually not the most remarkable feat of this story.
What’s remarkable is the behind-the-scenes, which you’ve made possible.
“Our biggest challenge is how quickly everything changes. There is never a day that feels the same or goes as planned. We’re guided by local realities that are so dynamic and by what our partner organisations tell us. This project has a pace and a mind of its own.” – Patricia Quiñones – Cash Transfer Manager, Peru
Welcoming Ingrid to the cash team
In May, Patricia Quiñones, the Cool Earth lead on this project, recruited none other than Ingrid Arotoma Rojas. In our field, she’s a big name! Not only because she’ll soon be awarded a PhD from the University of Leeds but also because she was born in the Amazon and comes with an incredible Indigenous network, such as the Organización Nacional de Mujeres Indígenas Andinas y Amazónicas del PerúThe National Organisation of Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Women of Peru or ONAMIAP, and its regional branch, OMIAASECThe Organisation of Asháninka Indigenous Women of the Central Amazon., which focuses on Peru’s Central Amazon.
“I am so proud to be starting this one of a kind project with the sisters of OMIAASEC and ONAMIAP because we believe it can be a game changer in our response to the climate crisis, promoting justice and Indigenous autonomy.” – Ingrid Arotoma Rojas, Cash Transfer Regional Coordinator, Peru
ONAMIAP and OMIAASEC spearheading radical climate action
Universal basic income isn’t a big thing in Latin America, even less so in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. Partnering with the right people became our hardest challenge.
Thanks to Patricia and Ingrid’s commitments to gender and Indigenous rights, and after dozens of meetings in Lima and rainforest villages (see our story on FPIC here), they succeeded in gaining the trust of one of the most avant-garde Indigenous organisations out there. ONAMIAP and OMIAASEC are renowned for their uncompromising quest for justice and autonomy for Indigenous peoples, in particular Indigenous women.
Working with them to dismantle power dynamics is absolutely vital. Building the relationship with ONAMIAP and gaining their trust is, by far, our biggest win.
The first ever basic income pilot for Indigenous peoples in the Amazon rainforest
Our partners on the ground understand every subtlety of the local context: the challenges, the culture, people’s needs and fears. These are impossible to grasp for NGO staff.
We’re very proud to announce that ONAMIAP, OMIAASEC and Cool Earth have signed an agreement with three Amazonian villages (for security reasons, we cannot share the names) to launch the first ever basic income pilot in the heart of the Amazon. Every adult in these villages will receive USD 2.15/day for the next two years. This is the fairest and most effective way to tackle a crisis that keeps adding fuel to the inequality gap.
Your support is for people and planet, not one or the other. We can’t thank you enough for this. Make sure to keep checking in with us because we’re only just getting started.