Junho 2007


Amazônia emitirá 60 vezes mais carbono se desmatada
Redefatos – Manaus,Amazonas,Brazil
O alerta foi feito pelo cientista Antônio Manzi, do Programa LBA (Experimento de Larga Escala da Biosfera-Atmosfera da Amazônia), coordenado cientificamente

Anúncios

cyro-delgado.jpgA chama pan-americana esteve, na manhã deste sábado, em uma das atrações turísticas mais famosas de Manaus, no Amazonas: o encontro das águas escuras do rio Negro com as águas barrentas do rio Solimões. Foi neste ponto, às 6h50 (7h50 de Brasília), que o prefeito Serafim Corrêa recebeu a lanterna com a chama das mãos do Embaixador do revezamento da tocha do Pan 2007, o ex-nadador Cyro Delgado, medalhista olímpico.

Depois de embarcar no porto da Ceasa a bordo de uma lancha da Marinha do Brasil e navegar por cerca de 30 minutos, Cyro chegou até a balsa onde estavam o prefeito, autoridades e vários convidados.

Após a cerimônia de boas-vindas à chama pan-americana na balsa, Cyro voltou para a lancha e acendeu a primeira tocha pan-americana do revezamento.

O Encontro das Águas é um fenômeno natural que ocorre devido à diferença de densidade, temperatura e velocidade dos rios Negro e Solimões. Eles não se misturam por mais de 6km, até formarem juntos o rio Amazonas, um dos mais importantes do Brasil e mais extensos do mundo.

O rio Negro corre apenas cerca de 2km/h, à temperatura de 22ºC, enquanto o Solimões corre de 4 a 6km/h, com cerca de 28ºC.

(*******)

O revezamento da tocha pan-americana foi aberto neste domingo em Rio Branco, capital do Acre, por Elenira Mendes, filha do líder sindical e ambientalista Chico Mendes. O local é o 25º dos 51 pontos de passagem da chama pelo Brasil.

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Elenira Mendes percorreu os 400m iniciais do trajeto de 24km pelos principais pontos históricos e turísticos da cidade, a partir da Usina de Arte João Donato. Na saída, ela passou por um corredor formado por 200 integrantes da Liga das Quadrilhas de Festas Juninas, todos vestidos em trajes típicos.

Presidente do Instituto Chico Mendes e coordenadora da Fundação Chico Mendes, em Xapuri, Elenira desfilou muito emocionada e feliz. “É uma emoção muito grande representar a história de lutas do meu pai ao longo de tanto tempo pelo desenvolvimento do Acre”, disse.

“Foi muito importante também presenciar a homenagem que foi feita a ele, por tudo que representou não só para o Acre, mas também para todo o País”, completou Elenira Mendes, ao final do desfile.

via André Mello de O Dia

Titulo: Os Xetá da Serra de Dourados
Titulo original: Os Xetá da Serra de Dourados
Bitola original: 16mm
Direção: Wladimir Kozak
Produção: 1957/60
Duração: 43’

Os Xetá da Serra de Dourados é considerado a obra mais significativa de Wladimir Kozak, abordando aspectos da vida dos índios Xetá atualmente extintos.

Título: Heinz Forthmann
Título original: Heinz Forthmann
Bitola original: 16mm/cor/p&b
Direção e Produção: Marcos de Souza Mendes, Brasil, 1990.
Co-produção: FUNARTE/DECINE-CTAv e Associação Brasileira de Documentaristas-DF/Ceprocine
Duração: 55’

Documentário sobre o fotógrafo e cineasta Heinz Forthmann (1915-1978), nascido em Hannover, Alemanha Ocidental, brasileiro por opção. Entre 1942 e 1957, Forthmann trabalhou para o Serviço de Proteção aos Índios – SPI – onde foi fotógrafo do Marechal Rondon e realizou ao lado de Darcy Ribeiro e Orlando Villas Boas uma das mais importantes obras do cinema etnográfico nacional.
Trabalhou, nos anos 60, como cinegrafista para produtores nacionais e internacionais registrando aspectos da vida brasileira. De 1965 a 1978 foi professor da Universidade de Brasília, onde dirigiu o Centro de Recursos Audiovisuais e fotografou vários filmes de cineastas locais. A dispersa e esquecida obra do cineasta Heinz Forthmann (1915-78) tenta ser recuperada através de suas fotografias, de seus filmes e (“Os índios Urubu”, “Funeral Bororo”, “Kuarup” de depoimentos de contemporâneos entre os quais: João Domingos Lamônica, Darcy Ribeiro, Orlando Villas Boas, Rosita Forthmann, Takumã Kamayurá, Luís Humberto e Vladimir Carvalho. Prêmio de melhor média metragem no 18¹ Festival do Cinema Brasileiro de Gramado, 1990; Hors Concours, XXIII Festival de Brasília do Cinema Brasileiro, Prêmio Especial do Júri na XVIII Jornada Internacional de Cinema da Bahia, Salvador, 1991.

Título: Kuarup
Título original: Kuarup
Bitola original: 35mm/cor
Direção, Fotografia, roteiro e montagem: Heinz Forthmann
Produção: Instituto Nacional de Cinema Educativo (INCE), Brasil, 1961/62
Duração: 20’

O Kuarup está relacionado com a origem do povo xinguano, que é a história de Mavutsinim. Um grupo de índios representa os peixes; outro, as onças. Eles se defrontam amistosamente no ambiente no ambiente ritual. Enquanto o mito é relatado, os índios se movimentam representando os heróis míticos – inclusive Mavutsinim, transformando em tronco de árvore. Este tronco de árvore é que ganha vida através da ação dos xamãs que cantam e tocam chocalhos (trecho da entrevista com Roberto Cardodo de Oliveira, janeiro de 1985. Prêmio Saci do Cinema do Estado de São Paulo (melhor curta metragem), 1963. Menção Especial do festival dei Populi, Florença, 1964.

Título: Funeral Bororo
Título original: Funeral Bororo
Bitola original: U-matic e 16mm/cor
Direção: Maureen Bisilliat
Produção: Maureen Bisilliat, Brasil, 1990
Duração: 47’

Gravado e editado em 1990, tem como matéria prima original o registro documental etnográfico de um funeral de um chefe da nação Bororo, realizado em 1953 pelo fotógrafo alemão Heinz Forthman e por Darcy Ribeiro. Darcy assistiu o ritual como um representante de Rondon, que era descendente de índios desta nação. Mais de trinta anos depois, Maureen Bisilliat coloca o antropólogo numa ilha de edição para rever o material etnográfico, que sobreviveu ao tempo, telecinado a partir de um velho copião 16mm junto com mais dois rolos de som ambiente. As imagens vão reavivando sua memória e, então, presenciamos o testemunho emocionado de um dos maiores intelectuais da América Latina, ao mesmo tempo em que vemos as imagens de um ritual único.

Título: Bubula, o cara vermelha
Título original: Bubula, o cara vermelha
Bitola original: 16mm/cor/p&b
Direção: Luiz Eduardo Jorge
Produção: Instituto Goiano de Pré-História e Antropologia-IGPA, Área de Documentação, Digital Films, Brasil, 1999
Duração: 27’

Trajetória histórica de documentação do cineasta e fotógrafo Jesco von Puttkamer durante quatro décadas na Amazônia.
OCIC/Brasil, Troféu Jangada, no 1o. Festival Internacional de Cinema e Vídeo Ambiental, 1999; Prêmio do Júri Popular no 10o. Festival Internacional de Curtas Metragens de São Paulo, 1999; Prêmio Especial do Júri na XXVI Jornada Internacional de Cinema e Vídeo da Bahia, 1999; Troféu Karajá, Universidade Católica de Goiás, III Jornada Científica das Universidades Católicas do centro Oeste, 1999; Prêmio Marco Antônio Guimarães, pelo melhor uso de material de pesquisa no 32o. Festival de Brasília do Cinema Brasileiro, 1999; Prêmio Especial do Júri pela pesquisa e resgate da identidade cultural brasileira no 32o. Festival de Brasília do Cinema Brasileiro, 1999; Prêmio Especial do Júri, pelo resgate da memória nacional no 4o. Festival de Cinema do Recife, 2000.
” A única alegria é que eu sei que em boas mãos se encontram meus milhares de diários e sons gravados e imagens cinematográficas, para que o brasileiro do futuro do ano 2, 3 mil ainda se lembre que ele é descendente daqueles valorosos índios que haviam nessas matas amazônicas, destemidos…” (Jesco von Puttkamer).

Título: Tsa’amri – de alguém que partiu para se tornar índio.
Título original: Tsa’amri – von einem, der auszog, Indianer zu werden
Bitola original: Betacam/cor
Direção: Eike Schmitz
Produção: Alemanha, 1991.
Duração: 77’

Uma figura estranha. Há 35 anos o alemão Adalbert Heide vive com os
índios Xavante. O que o levou para lá? Quando criança ele lia Karl May (célebre escritor alemão de romances de viagem) e sentia-se fascinado. E assim, ele mesmo tornou-se um cacique, Tsa’amri, que acompanha os índios nas caçadas. Um filme regionalista teuto-brasileiro irônico e nostálgico.

Título: O cineasta da selva
Título original: O cineasta da selva
Bitola original: 35mm/cor
Direção: Aurélio Michiles
Produção: Superfilmes, Brasil, 1997
Co-produção: TV Cultura – Governo do Estado de São Paulo
Duração: 87’

Silvino Santos (1886, Portugal-1969, Brasil), começou sua carreira de cinematógrafo na cidade de Manaus quando esta vivia seu apogeu graças ao ciclo da borracha, tornando-se um dos pioneiros do cinema no Brasil. Adotou o Brasil como pátria aos 13 anos de idade, documentou a história de uma Amazônia com uma produção extensa e diversificada. Ao longo dos seus 84 anos realizou nove longas e 57 curtas e médias metragens no Brasil em Portugal, muitas vezes se embrenhando na floresta amazônica com uma câmera de manivela na mão e fazendo as pontas de teste do material filmado nos ocos das gigantes árvores da selva. Para documentar a vida do cineasta, Michiles optou por uma narrativa em flashbacks, intercalados por depoimentos dos filhos do cineasta e dos cinéfilos amazonenses. O ator José de Abreu interpreta Silvino contando sua própria história, refletindo sobre seu trabalho e a época em que viveu. Ele é o elo de ligação entre as imagens de arquivo, as de Michiles e os depoimentos. Prêmio HBO Brasil de Cinema 1997.

Título: No paiz das Amazonas
Título original: No paiz das Amazonas
Bitola original: 16mm/ p&b/ mudo
Direção: Silvino Santos e Agesilau de Araújo
Produção: Brasil, 1922
Duração: 106’

Percurso por alguns rios da bacia amazônica, o filme retrata diversas formas de sobrevivência e trabalho na região: a pesca do peixe-boi e do pirarucu, a extração da balata e do preparo do latex, a extração da castanha e o preparo do guaraná.
No Paiz das Amazonas é considerado o filme mais famoso de Silvino Santos que realizou enquanto funcionário da Cia J.G.Araújo. Foi sucesso de público e crítica permanecendo em cartaz cinco meses no Cine Palais no Rio de Janeiro, além de ser exibido em salas de cinema na França, Inglaterra e Lisboa. Junto de Nanook, de Flaherty (1922), La Crosière Noire (1926) de Léon Poirier, Tabu (1930) de Murnau, o filme No Paiz das Amazonas e No rastro do Eldorado (1925) de Silvino formam um conjunto de filmes de viagem que forneceram aos moradores das metrópoles a oportunidade de se aventurar e descobrir as regiões “mais selvagens do mundo”. Aqui, exibimos o trecho final do filme intitulado “Os Índios Parintintins e outros”.

Governo vai fazer mudanças no sistema de saúde indígena
Instituto Socioambiental – Brazil
Portaria deverá estabelecer controles para os repasses feitos a prefeituras que fazem o atendimento aos índios O documento deve receber os últimos retoques

Índios recebem tratamento em Rondônia
Rondo Notícias – Porto Velho,RO,Brazil
De acordo com o referido documento, 3.161 índios foram atendidos pelas equipes de saúde bucal. Em 2006 o número de atendidos subiu para 4.011.

Fazendeiros recorrem de novo à violência
Fátima Missionária – Fátima,Portugal
Obrigados a subir para um camião, os índios foram levados para a estrada principal, mais ou menos dois quilómetros. “Os homens encapuzados quebraram o

 

15th-Century Getaway A hand-colored 1911 photograph of Machu Picchu, the wintertime retreat of the Inca ruler Pachacuti Yupanqui. More Photos >

Published: June 24, 2007 in The New York Times

The stones at Machu Picchu seem almost alive. They may be alive, if you credit the religious beliefs of the ruler Pachacuti Yupanqui, whose subjects in the early 15th century constructed the granite Inca complex, high above a curling river and nestled among jagged green peaks. To honor the spirits that take form as mountains, the Inca stoneworkers carved rock outcrops to replicate their shapes. Doorways and windows of sublimely precise masonry frame exquisite views. But this extraordinary marriage of setting and architecture only partly explains the fame of Machu Picchu today. Just as important is the romantic history, both of the people who built it in this remote place and of the explorer who brought it to the attention of the world. The Inca succumbed to Spanish conquest in the 16th century; and the explorer Hiram Bingham III, whose long life lasted almost as many years as the Inca empire, died in 1956. Like the stones of Machu Picchu, however, the voices of the Inca ruler and the American explorer continue to resonate.

Imposingly tall and strong-minded, Bingham was the grandson of a famous missionary who took Christianity to the Hawaiian islanders. In his efforts to locate lost places of legend, the younger Bingham proved to be as resourceful. Bolstered by the fortune of his wife, who was a Tiffany heiress, and a faculty position at Yale University, where he taught South American history, Bingham traveled to Peru in 1911 in hopes of finding Vilcabamba, the redoubt in the Andean highlands where the last Inca resistance forces retreated from the Spanish conquerors. Instead he stumbled upon Machu Picchu. With the joint support of Yale and the National Geographic Society, Bingham returned twice to conduct archeological digs in Peru. In 1912, he and his team excavated Machu Picchu and shipped nearly 5,000 artifacts back to Yale. Two years later, he staged a final expedition to explore sites near Machu Picchu in the Sacred Valley.

If you have visited Machu Picchu, you will probably find Bingham’s excavated artifacts at the Yale Peabody Museum in New Haven to be a bit of a letdown. Mostly, the pieces are bones, in varying stages of decomposition, or pots, many of them in fragments. Unsurpassed as stonemasons, engineers and architects, the Incas thought more prosaically when it came to ceramics. Leaving aside unfair comparisons to the jaw-dropping Machu Picchu site itself, the pottery of the Inca, even when intact, lacks the drama and artistry of the ceramics of earlier civilizations of Peru like the Moche and Nazca. Everyone agrees that the Machu Picchu artifacts at Yale are modest in appearance. That has not prevented, however, a bare-knuckled disagreement from developing over their rightful ownership. Peru says the Bingham objects were sent to Yale on loan and their return is long overdue. Yale demurs.

In many ways, the dispute between Yale and Peru is unlike the headline-making investigations that have impelled the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to repatriate ancient artifacts to their countries of origin. It does not revolve around criminal allegations of surreptitious tomb-raiding and black-market antiquities deals. But if the circumstances are unique, the background sentiments are not. Other countries as well as Peru are demanding the recovery of cultural treasures removed by more powerful nations many years ago. The Greeks want the Parthenon marbles returned to Athens from the British Museum; the Egyptians want the same museum to surrender the Rosetta Stone and, on top of that, seek to spirit away the bust of Nefertiti from the Egyptian Museum in Berlin. Where might it all end? One clue comes in a sweeping request from China. As a way of combating plunder of the present as well as the past, the Chinese government has asked the United States to ban the import of all Chinese art objects made before 1911. The State Department has been reviewing the Chinese request for more than two years.

The movement for the repatriation of “cultural patrimony” by nations whose ancient past is typically more glorious than their recent history provides the framework for the dispute between Peru and Yale. To the scholars and administrators of Yale, the bones, ceramics and metalwork are best conserved at the university, where ongoing research is gleaning new knowledge of the civilization at Machu Picchu under the Inca. Outside Yale, most everyone I talked to wants the collection to go back to Peru, but many of them are far from disinterested arbiters. In the end, if the case winds up in the United States courts, its disposition may be determined by narrowly legalistic interpretations of specific Peruvian laws and proclamations. Yet the passions that ignite it are part of a broad global phenomenon. “My opinion reflects the opinion of most Peruvians,” Hilda Vidal, a curator at the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Peru in Lima, told me. “In general, anything that is patrimony of the cultures of the world, whether in museums in Asia or Europe or the United States, came to be there during the times when our governments were weak and the laws were weak, or during the Roman conquest or our conquest by the Spanish. Now that the world is more civilized, these countries should reflect on this issue. It saddens us Peruvians to go to museums abroad and see a Paracas textile. I am hopeful that in the future all the cultural patrimony of the world will return to its country of origin.” Behind her words, I could imagine a gigantic sucking whoosh, as the display cases in the British Museum, the Smithsonian, the Louvre and the other great universal museums of the world were cleansed of their contents, leaving behind the clattering of a few Wedgwood bowls and Sèvres teacups.

Richard Burger’s office at Yale is dowdily decorated with modern Peruvian handicrafts, sculptures and fabrics. Although Burger, a professor of anthropology, has devoted his professional career to Peruvian archaeology, everything he excavates remains in Peru, as required by law. With his wife, Lucy Salazar, a native of Lima whom he met while she was studying archaeology at San Marcos University there, Burger organized an exhibition, “Machu Picchu: Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas,” which, in 2003 and 2004, toured the United States and displayed many of the objects that Bingham sent back to Yale.

When Burger and Salazar came to Yale in 1981, most of the Inca artifacts were in storage. “We didn’t know if the collection would support an exhibition,” Burger told me. “It was scattered in different rooms of the Peabody. There had been fires and floods. Some of it desperately needed conservation work — it was deteriorating because it wasn’t climate-controlled.” Their notion was to create an exhibition in cooperation with the government of Peru, a prospect that the Peruvian tourist authority greeted with enthusiasm but no financing. Since Yale would provide only seed money, they had to come up with financing — slightly more than $1 million — to conserve the objects and bankroll the exhibition.

Never relinquishing hope that Peru might be a sponsor of the show, they were encouraged by a change of administration. The authoritarian Alberto Fujimori regime fell in a human rights and corruption scandal in 2000; following a brief transitional government, Alejandro Toledo was elected in 2001 as the first ethnically indigenous president of the country. Toledo has an inspiring personal story. Growing up as an impoverished shoeshine boy in a small town, he caught the eye of a Peace Corps volunteer, who arranged to have him study in California at the University of San Francisco. Toledo went on to do graduate work at Stanford University, where he met his future wife: Eliane Karp, a French-born student of anthropology and linguistics who was preparing a Ph.D. dissertation on the Latin American indigenous-culture movement and its relationship to Europe in the early 20th century. A gifted linguist, she speaks the native Andean language of Quechua. (Her husband does not.) At the suggestion of a friend who was advising the Toledo campaign, Burger and Salazar met with Karp-Toledo in her temporary office in August 2001, just after the new administration took power. The meeting went well. “We were very optimistic,” Burger told me. “This is a guy with a degree from Stanford, and his wife speaks Quechua and is interested in anthropology. We thought maybe Yale and Peru could have an educational initiative together.” Karp-Toledo told them she would like to learn more.

“She said, ‘Send me a proposal, not to my office but to my house, and I’ll show it to my husband,’ ” Salazar recalled.

“So we wrote up a proposal that involved an educational mission,” Burger said. “We sent it to them. When we went to Peru the following year, they said, ‘Why don’t we meet in the palace?’ ”

continua AQUI

Rainforests are very rich in natural resources, but they are also very fragile. For this reason, rainforest peoples have become instinctive conservationists. For them, conservation is literally a way of life. If they were to take too much food in one year, the forest would not be able to produce enough new food for them to be able to survive in the next year. Many rainforest tribes gather their food from small garden plots, which are shifted every few years. This method is less productive than western agriculture, but is also much less harmful to the rainforest environment. As they cannot produce food in large quantities, most tribes are forced to limit their numbers so their gardens and the products of hunting expeditions are able to feed them, and all tribes have a great respect for their forest and for the animals and plants they share it with.

The rainforest lifestyle may sound like a kind of paradise, a Garden of Eden for the lucky few who live there. It certainly has its advantages. There is little stress, little mental illness and little high blood pressure among rainforest dwellers. Physical fitness is generally good, and few people need to work for more than four hours a day to provide themselves and their families with adequate food and other necessities. However, life is far from perfect. One in every two children born in the rainforest dies before their second birthday, and if they make it to forty years of age they are considered tribal elders. Most rain forest dwellers who make it through childhood tend to die from a disease trivial to western medicine.

Sacrifice for Survival

Competition for good hunting grounds is fierce, and there is often warfare between neighbouring groups when disputes over territorial rights break out. New-born babies are often killed by their mothers in order to prevent a group from growing too large to be supported by its territory.

This is a major problem, as territories can be very large indeed.. It has been

 

estimated that a group of eighty-four people needs a minimum territory of 640 square kilometres in order to be fully self-sufficient. Female babies are killed more often than males. There are a number of reasons for this: men are the hunters, so by having more males a group is able to send out more hunters in order to produce more food; men are also warriors, so the more adult males there are in a group, the better protected against enemies it will be; as men are warriors, many of them are killed in battles with neighbouring groups; by limiting the number of women in a group, the group’s ability to reproduce is naturally restricted. Although these measures may seem harsh to us, they are perfectly logical and an essential feature of life in the rain forest. A group which becomes too large will starve, so selective killing of infants ensures the group’s survival.

 

Endangered Species

This way of life has gone on uninterrupted for centuries, but is now under threat because of the invasion of the rain forest by outsiders – logging companies, mining operations and ranchers looking to make a quick profit by exploiting the natural resources to be found in the rain forests around the world. When you think of endangered species, you tend to think of animals or plants.

 

It would be fair however to describe rainforest peoples as endangered species. Each tribe is unique, has its own culture, mythology, religious beliefs, art and ritual. There may be a great deal we can learn from them. We know already that there are a vast number of as yet undiscovered plants and animals in the rain forest. Tribal medicine men may hold in their heads the key to curing many of the world’s as yet incurable diseases by using undocumented chemical compounds found in species of rain forest plants.

At the moment, despite the efforts of pressure groups, little concern is being shown either for the welfare of the rain forest or of its inhabitants – animal or vegetable – by the governments in control of the vast, but shrinking, areas of rain forest still in existence.

Even more frustrating is the knowledge that rain forest soil is very poor for growing c rops and turns to virtual desert within five years of losing its protective canopy of trees. Governments know this, yet still allow logging and ranching to continue on a huge scale. It is true that in the short term, huge amounts of money can be made from exploiting the rain forest in this way. But in the longer term, and here I mean no more than ten to fifteen years, there will simply be vast areas of desert where once there was rain forest.

But I digress. Let us turn now to the fortunes of possibly the most famous of all the tribes of the rainforest, the Yanomami Indians of northern Brazil and southern Venezuela. I hope that by looking at this one example in detail it will be possible to examine the problems which face rainforest peoples all over the world.

 

Protected Species

As Amazonian Indian tribes go, the Yanomami have been lucky. Their traditional homelands were in the mountainous highlands of Brazil and Venezuela, away from the big rivers and relatively inaccessible. For this reason they were spared the ravaging effects of the previously unknown diseases brought by the Spanish conquistadors to South America during the seventeenth century, which wiped out many of the riverine tribes completely. Since then their territories have expanded into the lower valleys, but despite this, until recent times the only contact the Yanomami have had with whites had been through the occasional visits of scientists or missionaries.

In 1985, however, a gold-rush on Yanomami lands in Brazil led to the influx of tens of thousands of miners and prospectors, overwhelming the small populations of local people. So far the Yanomami have been able to maintain their traditional customs, despite outside influences. After world-wide protest at the harsh treatment of the Yanomami, the Brazilian government was forced to grant the Yanomami 94,000 square kilometres of territory, an area larger than Scotland, in 1991. As has been noted above, even small groups need very large areas of territory in order to provide for themselves. The Yanomami know that if their population density increases, they will start to overuse their resources. Villages tend to fragment naturally through political rivalry and discontent as they become larger. This means that the average village population is kept down to between 50 and 70.

Despite having the supposed protection of the Brazilian government, garimpeiros – illegal gold miners – continue to prospect on Yanomami lands. They have brought with them diseases that are either lethal or very difficult to control among the Yanomami. In 1991, a survey showed that half of all Brazil’s Yanomami suffered from malaria, a disease previously unknown to them. Other diseases like tuberculosis and hepatitis are killing large numbers of Indians, and the Brazilian national health service is not providing medicines in sufficient quantity to control the problem. It has also been found that people living downstream from the gold mines have unacceptably high levels of mercury in their bodies.

 

And in Venezuela

In Venezuela the Yanomami live in a biosphere reserve which is 83,000 square kilometres in area. The biosphere reserve was set up not only to protect the 11,000 or so Yanomami who live there, sharing the territory with the Yekuana tribe, but also to protect the rich rainforests of the region.

For the Venezuelan Yanomami, it would seem that their biggest problem is the army, which has been moved into their lands in order to protect them from the Brazilian garimpeiros (see above). The morale of the officers and men alike is poor, and they take out their frustration on the Yanomami, through abuse, including rape.

Further problems are caused by the frequent “scientific” expeditions into their lands. The Yanomami say that they learn nothing from the expeditions and that they do not believe that some of the visitors are scientists anyway. Eco-tourists are becoming more common intruders on rainforest people’s lands.

They should be reminded that in looking for that “unique jungle experience” they may bring with them diseases new to the tribes they encounter while having their “experience”. It should be remembered that medical care for the Yanomami seems to be as inadequate in Venezuela as it is in Brazil.

Left: The unique jungle experience.

 

Rainforest Peoples – The Future

In the case of the Yanomami, there is at least some cause for optimism. They now live on reserves approved by governments and seem to be maintaining their traditions. Clearly there is a need for better health care and for more sympathetic policing of their lands by the military. They are perhaps the most famous of all rain forest tribes, and are therefore protected to some extent by public opinion. There would be world-wide outcry if Yanomami lands were threatened by development or mining again.

But how many other tribes are struggling for survival in the rainforests of the world? How many people have heard of the Kayapo, the Yekuana, the Iban, the Mehinacu or the Xikru? How much popular support could be rallied in their defence?

Clearly, rain forest tribes throughout the world are in need of protection. This protection should be granted as soon as possible by the governments of their nation states, but is bound to take time. Most rain forest tribes live in poor countries. The forests are rich in natural resources and can make huge sums of money for a few years, thus making the countries involved richer. But after those few years all that remains is desert. Most former rain forest which has been exploited for other purposes will either take many years to recover, or will never recover at all. The only way to stop the destruction of the rain forests, of the animals and plants, and of the tribes which live in them is through greater public awareness of the problems we are creating for ourselves. By this I mean a world-wide realization of the importance of the rain forest and its inhabitants, and of the need for proper protection against its permanent destruction. The possibility of imposing trade sanctions upon countries which continue to destroy their rain forests is at time of writing a subject of debate at a meeting of worldwide conservation groups. Perhaps this is a hopeful sign for the future of the rain forest…

 

Useful Reading

1. The Law of the Mother
Elizabeth Kemf (Ed), Sierra Club Books (1993).
– Details of the problems facing tribal peoples all over the world, including the Yanomami.

2. The Last Rainforests
Dr Mark Collins (Ed), Guild Publishing (1990).
– This is a general reference book about rain forests, which also has some information on tribes living in them.

A world-renowned primatologist has been arrested in the Brazilian Amazon under charges that he was illegal sheltering 28 primates in his home, according to The Guardian. Supporters say Marc van Roosmalen, 60, has been framed by illegal loggers who have long been adversaries of the prominent conservationist.

Van Roosmalen, who’s worked in the Amazon for nearly 20 years and is credited with the discovery of several previously unknown species of monkeys, was named a “hero for the planet” by Time magazine in 2000 for his work to save the increasingly threatened Amazon rainforest.

Van Roosmalen’s work has put him at odds with cattle ranchers, farmers, and illegal loggers who are driving forest clearing in the region, which has lost more than 55,000 square miles (142,000 square kilometers) of forest since 2000. These development interests have been linked to a number of incidents, including the high profile killing of rubber tapper Chico Mendes in 1988 and the 2005 slaying of American nun Dorothy Stang. Following Stang’s murder, the Brazilian government sent in thousands of troops in an attempt to quell the violence and regain control over the lawless region. Conservationists, social workers, and indigenous rights groups have been at particular risk in frontier areas.

“It’s a vendetta,” John Chalmers, an English businessman who has worked with the scientist for four years, told The Guardian. “The only way to protect the Amazon is to make people aware of all these species. Marco tried to preserve the species and their natural habitat. This does not suit politicians who own large tracts of land full of logs that they want to sell.”

 
Van Roosmalen.

Van Roosmalen’s arrest is not the first time he’s been in trouble with local authorities. In 2002, the Dutch scientist turned Brazilian citizen was charged with animal trafficking and fined $1,667. At the time, Van Roosmalen told the Associated Press that the accusations were questionable since the animals were rescued from loggers who planned to eat the animals.

“I never take animals out of natural environment even for scientific purposes,” Van Roosmalen said. “You have to wonder why after 16 years they are doing this now.”

Brazil has some of the toughest environmental regulations in the world, but they are haphazardly enforced. A slow approvals process–for permits ranging from scientific research to development–has been blamed for fueling endemic corruption. Scientists often complain that the process of obtaining official permission can drag out for months to years without “special payments.”

In the 2002 case, Van Roosmalen told the Associated Press that he applied for permissions from Ibama in 1996, 1998 and 2000 but never heard back. The A.P. noted that it permissions are generally granted by default if Ibama, Brazil’s environmental enforcement agency, does not respond within 45 days.

Van Roosmalen is currently incarcerated at the public jail in Manaus, Brazil’s largest Amazon city. The Guardian reports he plans to appeal this week.

in Mongabay

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