[governance] Statement - Amazonians speak about .amazon

Renata Aquino Ribeiro raquino at gmail.com
Fri Jul 21 14:21:39 EDT 2017

This statement is open now for endorsements


Amazonians speak about .amazon

We, the people in the Amazon, would like you to stop talking about us
without hearing us first

This is a response about the latest decision in the delegation process
of the .amazon new gTLD domain by the Independent Review Panel at
ICANN to Amazon


The context of this dispute is summarised in this article


In light of the twists in the process of the new gTLD .amazon, many
parties have come forward speaking "for the benefit of the people of
the Amazon" and staking their claim that they were doing what is best
for the region development.

Not once, during all this time, anyone cared to ask what our thoughts
are or what we think the best for our region is.

Well, we would like to ask all parties to stop talking about us as if
we can't speak for ourselves. It must not be forgotten that the Amazon
region involves the population of nine South American nation-states.
For us, this is a time of challenges over the Amazon such as illegal
mining, deforestation, water pollution among others. Any policy
decision about the region or its name (in any language) is a matter of
great interest for all of us, and we cannot be left aside.

Let's start with the view of .amazon being a brand as well as a region
and a river. We were never asked, again, when the name was used in the
first place. The consequences of this can be seen now, when we are
mistaken as a faceless, plain, uncharacteristic area in a world map
without content or people, an exoticly empty part of the world to be
conquered and debated abstractly by trademark lobbyists, private
companies and governments.

We have faces, names, content, history. Using our name to tell another
story, a company's history, would de-characterize us? Likely not. We
will not disappear. Instead the Amazon is a vibrant region, which bets
on sustainable development and becomes increasingly more involved with
internet governance, alongside with Northeast Brazil, which hosted

However, using our name without acknowledging our importance is
certainly a mistake. Using our name refers directly to a vast land of
rich diversity, with much to uncover and with many cultural gems
already discovered. So if using our name, at least acknowledge us,
respect us. Give back to the "lung of the Earth," to a river which
hosts hundreds of communities by its riverbanks. Invest on us. We want
the same you do, more education, a thriving internet market and
respect to sustainable development for a better future.

It is also important to note that ICANN's Independent Review Panel
comes at a moment when the discussion about the use of geographical
names is very controversial, as it was seen in meetings in
Johannesburg. And it is surprising, given there is no consensus yet
about this theme in the community.

Governments of nine nations also speak our name. With such ownership
and familiarity that you could sometimes forget that we do not belong
only to one of them. The Wikipedia, which also does not belong to only
one company or government, can enlighten that:

"This region includes territory belonging to nine nations. The
majority of the forest is contained within Brazil, with 60% of the
rainforest, followed by Peru with 13%, Colombia with 10%, and with
minor amounts in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and
French Guiana. States or departments in four nations contain
"Amazonas" in their names. The Amazon represents over half of the
planet's remaining rainforests, and comprises the largest and most
biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world, with an
estimated 390 billion individual trees divided into 16,000 species."

This means that even if you agree with nine governments on whatever
decision they take on the Amazon, you could still be in disagreement
to half of the planet, and their thoughts on the importance of our
region. Governments representational crisis is real and does not
belong to one country or another. Governments should listen to their
citizens. Yet, none of our major political powers are located in the
Amazon and have not spoken to us about any aspect of the recent

This becomes much more complicated when the Amazon is referred to as
an area of indigenous population. Our indigenous population was not
asked when colonized, the majority did not elect the government of the
nine nation-states which comprise the Amazon. Likely, the majority of
our indigenous population suffers from abandonment, land conflicts,
health crisis and lack of an education system. More importantly, our
indigenous population wants, just as companies or governments, an
internet market which provides jobs and enables development.
Indigenous population may not speak only Portuguese or Spanish but
they can speak too.

So why does everyone insists on talking about us without listening to us?

The rainforest is disappearing fast. This process is not going to slow
down unless there is responsibility from all stakeholders in a
dialogue about our region and how to respect it. When referring to the
new gTLDs or any issue of public policy, public and private sector
need to address us, we are all part of a cross border region and an
strategic navigation channel and this dialogue has to take this unique
situation in account. It must not be forgotten that, after all, the
multistakeholder model that we all support to have a free and open
Internet, involves multiple parties. This is not only an issue of the
private sector and governments, the population is a key participant,
that in this particular matter was never consulted.

So please, consult us.

Don't take our name without talking to us.

Stop talking about us as if we can't speak.

Renata Aquino Ribeiro - Brasil

Worked with Amazon region researchers and maintains an independent
research group with collaborators in the region. Mixed ethnicity with
relatives and friends in the region. Lives in NE Brazil. NCUC ICANN
LAC representative. IGF MAG Civil Society 2016-2017.

Lilian Ivete Deluque Bruges - Colombia

Lives in Barranquilla, Colombia. Works in local government with
indigenous population and vulnerable groups. Mixed ethnicity. Alumni
from the South School of Internet Governance 2016. LACNIC27 fellow.

Bertnell Auclene Malisa Richards - Guyana

Lives in Georgetown, Guyana. Works with education and technology.
Plans on creating IGF Guyana. ICANN58 fellow. NCUC ICANN member.

Patricia Vargas - Peru

Researcher, PhD Candidate, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University. .

Lia Solis - Bolivia

LACNOG Program Committee member, LACNIC member, ICANN Fellow, LACRALO
ICANN participant, ISOC Bolivia Board.

Maureen Hernandez - Venezuela.

ISOC Venezuela board of directors. Systems Engineer working with
community networks in Central and Latin America. Born and raised in
Venezuela and has been meeting indigenous communities for connectivity
development for the last 2 years.

Jessica Botelho - Brazil

Journalist. Researcher at the Federal University of Amazonas / CNPq.
Member of the ISOC Youth Observatory and the Center for Studies and
Practices in Cyberculture (Manaus, Amazonas, Northern Brazil). Student
of the Brazil Internet Governance School 2016 and the InternetLab
School 2017.

Maurília Gomes - Brazil

Public Relations. Master in Communication Sciences. Researcher of
cyberculture and social activism. Member of ISOC Brazil. Lives in
Manaus, Amazon. Member of the Popular Audiovisual Center (CPA), an
organization that works on human rights, indigenous population, land
conflicts and climate change. Is also a member of the Center for
Studies and Practices in Ciberculture (NepCiber). Mixed ethnicity with
indigenous descent. Alumni from the Brazilian School of Internet
Governance 2015.

Hemanuel Veras - Brazil

Journalist. Master in Communication Sciences. Researcher of
cyberculture and democracy. Lives in Manaus, Amazon. Member of the
Popular Audiovisual Center and the Center for Studies and Practices in
Ciberculture (CPA/NepCiber). Alumni from the Brazilian School of
Internet Governance 2016.

Allan Gomes - Brazil
Journalist. Researcher of cyberculture. Lives in Manaus, Amazon.
Coordinator of the Popular Audiovisual Center (CPA) and member of the
Center for Studies and Practices in Ciberculture (NepCiber). Approved
to the Brazilian School of Internet Governance 2017.

Sebastian Roa - Brazil

Currently lives in the state of Amazonas. Journalism student and
researcher of the study group of urban anthropology. Also research
adolescents indigenous in the urban context and TICS. Currently work
with UN with the Venezuelan emergency. Member of the Center for
Studies and Practices in Ciberculture (NepCiber). Approved to the
Brazilian School of Internet Governance 2017.

Sinuhe Nascimento e Cruz - Brasil

Born and raised in the State of Acre, the most werstern state in the
brazilian amazon. Currently lives in São Paulo, where is developing a
bachelor’s degree in Law at the University of São Paulo. Founder
member of the Nucleum of Studies on Technology and Society of the
University of São Paulo and also a member of the Environmental Law
Clinic Paulo Nogueira Neto at the Law School of the University of São

Paola Perez - Venezuela

Vice - president ISOC Venezuela and co- Chair LACNIC Public Policy
Forum, OEA Cybersecurity Bootcamp fellow 2017, South School internet
Governance 2016 alumni, ICANN LACRALO and NCUC member.

Luã Fergus

Researcher, born and raised in the Amazon region, Master's degree
student in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
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