“Defenders of the Amazon”: National Geographic article + full documentary about Belo Monte Dam

National

In the dawn of the new year, National Geographic magazine emphasizes a tremendously important theme. The Amazon rain-forest, which has been justly nicknamed The Lung of The World, is unarguably a key element for mankind’s survival in the future. While the biosphere heats up and global warming increasingly becomes an undeniable reality, the Amazon’s crucial importance to Life on this planet can’t be understimated. If its devastation continues, our future is doomed to be filled with ecological disasters of unimaginable magnitude. The problem is: deforestation continues going on at scary rates, and no sufficient efforts are being made to stop the chainsaws that day after day annihilate the greeness out of Amazon. To make matters worse, the Brazilian federal government has been engaged in the project of building, in the heart of the rain-forest, at Xingu River, a colossal hydreletric, Belo Monte Dam. Many ecologists and antropologists have been protesting against this deeply controversial project: Belo Monte is considered an attack on the rights of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon and murderous to the biodiversity of this area. Several workers’ strikes and law suits have stopped the hydreletric construction several times, but president Dilma Roussef’s administration wants it done and is paying no mind to the disagreeing voices. As the 2014 soccer World Cup gets nearer, several riots and mass demonstrations are expected to happen in Brazil. The defense of the Amazon, and the protest against those forces who are currently murdering it, isn’t a task exclusively for brazilians or south-americans to engage him; in the Global Village that was made possible by the World Wide Web, every global citizen can become a Defender of the Amazon. I invite you to read National’s Geographic article and to watch documentary Belo Monte  – Annunciation of a War; and to spread the news!

belo monte

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ARTICLE:

KAYAPO COURAGE
The Amazon tribe has beaten back ranchers and gold miners and famously stopped a dam. Now its leaders must fight again or risk losing a way of life.

2 thoughts on ““Defenders of the Amazon”: National Geographic article + full documentary about Belo Monte Dam

  1. Lung of the World? LOL. Don’t say this kind of b.s., because you guys lose any credibility you might have. Respect your readers. This lung of the world doesn’t make sense. The ocean is! Not the forest.

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    • Hey Anna, I used the expression partly because its use is wide-spread among ecologists, but also inspired by the terms used by some of the most respected media coverage worldwide, like the BBC’s. Please watch and read about this very interesting BBC programme about the Amazon as “Lungs of the World”:

      http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130226-amazon-lungs-of-the-planet

      The Amazon in South America is the largest, most diverse tropical rainforest on Earth, covering an area of five and a half million square kilometres (2.1 million sq mi).

      It accounts for more than half of the planet’s remaining rainforest and is home to more than half the world’s species of plants and animals.

      But over the last 40 years, this great verdant tract has been increasingly threatened by deforestation. Clearing of the forest began in the 1960s and reached a peak in the 90s when an area the size of Spain was cleared, primarily to make space for cattle and soybean production.

      But the soil exposed by this clearing is only productive for a short period of time, meaning that farmers must continue to clear more land to keep their businesses viable.

      Although deforestation rates have now declined – hitting an all time low in 2011 – the forest is still gradually disappearing, reducing the region’s scale and biodiversity.

      But this felling also has an impact on the planet as a whole because the forest also plays a critical role in cleaning the air we breathe.

      It does this by sucking up the global emissions of carbon dioxide from things like cars, planes and power stations to name just a few.

      Without this “carbon sink” the world’s ability to lock up carbon will be reduced, compounding the effects of global warming.

      In this film, ecological economist Dr Trista Patterson, lead scientist with The Nature Conservancy Dr M Sanjayan, sustainability advisor and author Tony Juniper and environmental economist Pavan Sukhdev reveal the richness of life supported by the Amazon and the hidden contribution this great forest makes in helping regulate the planets climate.”

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