IR Global & Sinchi: working to make a difference
IR Global founding philosophy is based on making a positive difference in the business world and to instigate meaningful social impact.
For this purpose, in 2015, the founder of IR, Tom Wheeler created a charity called the Sinchi Foundation that focuses on Indigenous rights, the preservation of cultural and the protection of nature.
Over the years, IR has been proud to sponsor and collaborate with members through multiple initiatives to achieve tangible results. Addressing human rights violations, illegal actions in the Amazon and providing the tools / resources to those on the frontlines of protecting the environment.
The network in action
Our global network supports Sinchi in reaching its objectives via;
- Our ‘One Billable Hour’ program. Contributing members donate the equivalent financial value of one hour of advice per year. Funds raised distributed to indigenous-led projects.
- Access to Justice; Creation of Forest Guardians sponsorship model. IR member firms directly supporting Indigenous communities with the tools and resources needed to defend their territories.
- Sharing indigenous people’s stories and the important role they play in protecting biodiversity. Raising exposure and amplifying the voices of those who need it most.
- Engaging / Connecting clients with our initiatives; creating a community of likeminded individuals and businesses around the world for collaboration purposes.
If you would like to learn more, please contact [email protected].
There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. They make up less than 5 percent of the world’s population, represent 15% of the poorest but protect over 80% of the world’s biodiversity.
They speak an overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures. To this day they retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live.
They have sought recognition of their identities, way of life and their right to traditional lands and natural resources for centuries, but throughout history their rights have been repeatedly violated by colonial powers, extractive industries and other forms of exploitation.
Their resistance movements and cries for help have too often been ignored, which is why we need to stand united. Both for the protection of these marginalised cultures, the heritage they represent and for the protection of the environment, for all of humanity!
Treesistance was launched in 2023 as a new platform for the foundations work in the Amazon.
Treesistance is a movement and an impact blueprint centered on the protection of the Amazon and other tropical forests of the world. Working at the intersection where Indigenous knowledge and science meet. We create disruptive models that have long lasting tangible impact. The mission to revolutionise forest crime prevention, the protection of global biodiversity and how the world interacts with nature.
Treesistance distributes resources directly to the Indigenous people on the frontlines of the climate battle. All activities are Indigenous-Led and ran in consultation with the relevant Indigenous representative bodies in the region. Our mission is to stop the destruction of primary rainforest, protect biodiversity and uphold human rights.
Read More Via the Website.
Access to Justice and the Forest Guardians Model
The access for justice model was created by Dr. Tim Boekhout van Solinge, the Head of Forest Crime Prevention for the Treesistance. Tim is a criminologist specialised in forest and wildlife crime, illegal markets, and rule of law. He is a UN consultant and a research fellow at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and UFOPA University in Brazil. He has been active in the Brazilian Amazon since 2003. It comprising of 3 parts;
Demarcating lands / Land Rights
Depending on the situation/land rights status of the community, they may first need to demarcate and make the necessary land right claims through the courts. This can be a long process, however the good news is when a land claim is processed in the court, it automatically freezes the land which makes it illegal for any extractive industry to continue cutting down the forest. In most cases the claim should be accepted (the Brazilian constitution upholds Indigenous peoples rights).
This first step is essential to prove the illegality of deforestation by individuals or corporations extracting resources.
Formation of Indigenous Forest Guardians
Each group of Forest Guardians consists of many members. Both male and female and ranging from the chief to teachers to students. They are provided training by Chief Dadá and his team (Indigenous peer to peer training) in using the technical equipment, de-escalation / safe confrontational techniques and safety. The amount of people here is vital as they need to outnumber those encroaching illegally. One person will take pictures with the GPS camera to take evidence of illegal activities, the location (gps provides exact coordinators for federal police) whilst the other members are spread out and documenting the exchange with mobile cameras for security.
The emphasis here is protection through prevention. This is the best deterrent and method to stop deforestation.
Access to Justice – Relationship Development with public prosecutors and federal police.
Perhaps the most important but often overlooked part is action/implementation. Showing illegality, monitoring deforestation, and even building evidence doesn’t mean anything if the evidence is not acted upon. And this requires the backing and support of strong institutions.
Our Strategies have been developed with public prosecutors, federal police and legal collectives on the ground over the last decade and ensure that when illegal activity is documented, the necessary action will be taken. This may involve federal police for removal and arrests to the appropriate legal actions to remove permits to hold larger corporations accountable.
Accountability is essential in ensuring not just to stop current activities but to highlight that these acts will not go unpunished.
A special thanks to the headline sponsors of this initiative who have provided funding for 6 new Forest Guardian units in different territories to be created.
For more information about this initiative, please contact [email protected]
Donations can be made below: