Amsterdam, 26 June 2019 – One of Europe’s most photographed tourist attractions, the giant ‘Iamsterdam’ letters which previously stood in front of the Dutch capital’s world-famous Rijksmuseum, was brought back today by Greenpeace Netherlands as ‘Iamazonia’. The 22m x 3 m high replica sign aims to draw attention to another landmark vital to our survival which is disappearing in front of our eyes: the Amazon rainforest.
Sigrid Deters, forest and biodiversity campaigner at Greenpeace Netherlands said:
“It’s only when something is gone, that we realise how much we miss it. Our capital city’s iconic ‘Iamsterdam’ sign, set in front of the Rijksmuseum, drew the admiration and camera lenses of millions of people worldwide. By bringing it back in altered state as ‘Iamazonia’, Greenpeace not only calls for the urgent protection of the largest remaining rainforest in the world, but also sends a strong message of solidarity to the Indigenous People and traditional communities who are protecting the Amazon against deforestation.”
Danicley de Aguiar, Senior forest campaign at Greenpeace Brazil said:
“Further deforestation of the Amazon rainforest will compound catastrophic impacts of climate breakdown, both in Brazil and globally. The climate crisis is the gravest emergency in human history and plans to allow further exploitation of the Amazon are not only a threat for Indigenous Peoples who live there, but a hammer blow to any hope of keeping the planet’s temperature from rising beyond 1.5ºC. Brazilians welcome the solidarity from Amsterdam and Europe: I too am Amsterdam. We are all Amazonia, and I hope people and leaders all over the world will reflect upon the possibility of losing what they hold dearest and take urgent action.”
When the original ‘Iamsterdam’ letters were removed in December 2018 an outcry went through international media. The red and white letters have been one of the most photographed, instagrammed and recognised landmarks in Europe and millions of tourists worldwide know it by heart. The touristic magnet became a victim of its own success, with city officials removing the letters from their spot in front of the Rijksmuseum after 14 years due to concerns that they were too popular. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro plans to open the Amazon for exploitation, which is becoming a real threat to the forest and the Indigenous Peoples depending on it, but contrary to the Amsterdam tourist attraction, the Amazon rainforest is a landmark that no one can afford to lose.
Greenpeace launched the Save the Amazon and stand with the guardians of the forest petition as a part of the All eyes on the Amazon project. In this program, Greenpeace works together with a coalition of organisations, such as Hivos and other human and Indigenous rights NGOs to protect the Amazon rainforest from illegal logging, mining, oil extraction and expanding industrial agriculture and livestock.
Photos of the new ‘Iamazonia’ letters can be found here from 11:30am CEST onwards
 Official INPE data, PRODES http://www.obt.inpe.br/OBT/assuntos/programas/amazonia/prodes
Christine Gebeneter, International Comms lead for the All eyes on the Amazon project at Greenpeace Netherlands: +31 6 39010982, [email protected]
Sigrid Deters, Forest and biodiversity campaigner at Greenpeace Netherlands: +31 6 25031012, [email protected]
Danicley de Aguiar, Senior forest campaigner at Greenpeace Brazil (for interviews in Portuguese): + 55 92 99468 1446, [email protected]
Greenpeace International Press Desk (available 24 hours): +31 (0)20 718 2470, [email protected]