Colin Firth today launched a major Survival International campaign to save one of the world's most threatened tribes – the Awá of the Brazilian Amazon.
In a short film (above), the Oscar-winning actor explains, "The Awá’s forest is being illegally cut for timber. When the loggers see them, they kill them. Their bows and arrows are no match for guns. And at any other time in history, that's where it would end. Another people wiped off the face of the earth, forever. But we're going to make sure the world doesn't let that happen..."
The campaign, being run by Survival International, is fighting to protect the Awá, of whom there are only approximately 360 members, a small tribe whose territory has been invaded by a vast army of illegal loggers, ranchers and settlers.
The film shows the unique aspects of this tribe - their empathy with their pets, their moonlight rituals and the beauty of their environment, while, alongside, astonishing graphics on the campaign website show the devastating destruction of the Indians’ forest – which is happening faster than any other Amazon tribe.
The situation is now so critical that several Brazilian experts have spoken of a "genocide’ and ‘extinction".
"One man has the power to stop the loggers: Brazil’s Minister of Justice. But it’s just not his priority. Let’s push it up his list." Colin Firth
Many are the survivors of brutal massacres. It is believed that 20-25% more are hiding in the rapidly-shrinking forest, desperately seeking a refuge from the constant destruction.
Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘The Awá are threatened by the armed loggers, but also by our own apathy. Yet these campaigns have been repeatedly shown to be successful. If enough people, in Brazil and around the world, show they care, Awá children will be able to grow up in peace on their own land. That’s been proved over and over again.’