What if following your dreams could save the world? Atossa Soltani's dreams may have led her to do just that.
Atossa Soltani, founder and current Board president of Amazon Watch, evolved her restorative leadership in service to a sustainable future through 20 years as Executive Director. The Amazon Rainforest is the world’s largest rainforest, and each of the 7+ billion people on planet Earth counts on the Amazon Rainforest not just for the air we breathe, but also for how it regulates our climate by absorbing CO2 and mediating the water cycle.
Considered to be both the heart and lungs of the planet as it generates 20% of the world’s oxygen and carries 1/5 of the world’s fresh water, the Amazon basin hosts more than half of the world’s species of plants, animals and insects, and over 400 distinct indigenous peoples.
Atossa founded Amazon Watch following her dreams: she was haunted with nightly images of rainforest destruction and knew that she had to act on her leadership impulse to serve. Amazon Watch works to protect the rainforest by advancing the rights of indigenous peoples. According to the Amazon Watch,
Defending indigenous rights and territories is a demonstrably effective solution to the threat of climate change. Together with our indigenous allies, we are growing the movement to leave all fossil fuels in the ground and promote a just transition to 100% renewable energy.
With Atossa’s guidance, the organization forged cross-sector partnerships and longstanding relationships of trust to co-create outcomes that benefit the entire globe while at the same time building local indigenous capacity across Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Columbia. As a result, indigenous voices are heard in national forums and on global stages like the UN Climate Change Conference COP21, and violators of nature’s balance and indigenous rights are held accountable like with the $18 billion verdict against Chevron Oil.
I confess that I used to think of Amazon Watch as a bit radical with its frontline activism, but now I see radical compassion for those most vulnerable, including the voiceless future generations. Atossa Soltani has demonstrated restorative leadership in practice by understanding the interconnection of all life and empowering local leadership for cascading global benefit.
Learn more about the truly profound interconnection we share with the rainforests of the world and how each of us can play a role in preserving and protecting nature’s bounty on behalf of all during Atossa’s podcast On Leading. We cannot stop the threat of climate change without stopping threats to the Amazon Rainforest.