A joint statement from all of us at Fern
Fern’s vision is a world in which environmental, social and economic justice is fully integrated at all levels. To achieve this, we work with partners to uncover and end the systemic injustices, discrimination, and acts of oppression faced by communities at the forefront of forest destruction.
While Fern focuses on forest peoples and doesn’t explicitly work on anti-racism, we are aware that our vision cannot be achieved without ending the systemic injustices faced by black and Indigenous communities around the world. These injustices are part of a far longer history of oppression, but thanks to the strength and dedication of movements like Black Lives Matter they are now at the forefront of the news agenda, most visibly and recently with the horrific murder of George Floyd.
This act took place in the United States of America, but police brutality and violence, overt violations of human rights, and attacks on people of colour and ethnic minorities are happening all over the world. In addition, air and water pollution, climate change, ecosystems destruction, and the global pandemic disproportionately harm or target black communities and Indigenous Peoples.
Opening space for these communities to be heard has always been at the heart of Fern’s work. Our campaigns start from the belief that the protection and restoration of forests cannot happen without recognising the rights of communities that live in and own the forest - rights that have been denied from the colonial to the neo-colonial era. The battle to end ecological crises is inextricable from our struggle against systemic injustice.
There is no climate justice without racial justice and there is no path to justice without the right to peaceful protest.
That is why Fern is committed to listening to, learning from, and standing with movements like Black Lives Matter.
Listening to the voices calling for justice and human rights, particularly those voices that have been side-lined by current power structures.
Reflecting on the role that the environmental movement has to play, how it can ensure efforts to protect forests don’t end up harming the very people who have been looking after them for millennia.
Standing with movements by doing more to support those facing racist oppression in our internal structures and through our campaigning.
- For a list of material Fern has found useful in guiding our understanding please visit Black Lives Matter: Listening to those on the front-line.
- If you want to know more please visit the Black Lives Matter website and sign the petitions below:
Please also let us know if there are other ways Fern should get involved.