Today we’re congratulating one of the world’s best photographers Daniel Beltrá, who has often worked with us on forest and climate campaigns. He has just won the new Prince’s Rainforests Project Award at the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards. Most of Daniel’s pictures in the competition were taken while he was working on our campaigns in the Amazon and Indonesian rainforests.

In a video message at the awards night, in Cannes, France – HRH The Prince of Wales, said:

“Photographic imagery can tell a compelling story about the truth of the situation and, the truth is, if we lose the fight against tropical deforestation, then we lose the fight against climate change.”

Daniel, a Spanish photographer now based in Seattle, beat off stiff competition from some of the world’s finest environmental photographers. Upon receiving the award he said:

“This award is a great honor and I am thankful to the Prince’s Rainforest Project, Greenpeace and the Indigenous people whose help was invaluable. The greatest reward however would be if the photos alerted world leaders to the urgent need for forest protection. Rainforest’s are being destroyed at an incredible rate and under horrible circumstances. This is a catastrophe, not only for those who call the forests home, but for the rest of civilization, which stands to lose both a natural wonder and a natural protection against dangerous climate change. It is imperative that heads of state meeting this December at the Copenhagen Climate Summit, understand the urgency of the situation; I hope my photos can help.”

As the winner of this award Daniel will receive funding to photograph the rainforests of the world, and the impacts of deforestation. The resulting images will be exhibited globally, and will form part of a book highlighting the plight of the world’s rainforests. We wish Daniel all the best of luck with this project and look forward to seeing more of his outstanding images!

* via Greenpeace


Foto:  Felipe Panfili

Lá se vão 18 anos que, através das mãos de Ruy Guerra, o livro Quarup, de Antônio Callado, chegou às telas do cinema. Recentemente foi lançado o livro Kuarup Quarup, de Paulo Marcos, que foi o fotógrafo do longa e que retrata os bastidores do período de filmagens no Xingu. Cláudia Ohana, que faz parte do elenco, ficou muito emocionada com a obra.


Ela fez questão de abraçar o autor, bem como a família de Antonio Callado, incluindo a filha Tessy Callado, também atriz, que marcou presença na noite de autógrafos, realizada na Livraria da Travessa, no Rio. Em Kuarup Quarup. O fotógrafo mostra os quatro meses que passou entre os índios xinguanos, fazendo o still (fotos de cena) e clicando os bastidores do filme.


Além do contato diário com os artistas – entre eles Fernanda Torres, Taumaturgo Ferreira e Cláudia Raia -, e toda a equipe, Paulo Marcos fez amizade com os índios. Assim, ele registrou diversos aspectos da intimidade deles e os seus afazeres do dia-a-dia. Para o autor, o livro honra o Parque do Xingu e seus fundadores, os irmãos Villas Boas.

in O Fuxico





Brazilian army engineers prepare to pave a stretch of Highway BR-163, which becomes a red dirt road about 60 miles south of the Amazonian city of Santarém. Debate rages about the possible environmental effects of plans to pave the 1,100-mile road, which turns into impassable mud much of the year.




Luciano Costa came to the jungle 34 years ago and has been waiting ever since for electricity and a paved highway.



KILOMETER 129, HIGHWAY BR-163, Brazil — When the rains come to this patch of the Amazon forest, the bright-red dirt road that passes farmer Luciano Costa’s house dissolves into a sticky mush so thick that neither cars nor people can pass.


Costa and his family often are stranded for days. In the case of emergencies, seeking help means risking getting stuck in the mud with no one but the monkeys and jaguars for company.


“We’re cut off from the rest of the world, and that’s the truth,” Costa said recently outside his house. “It’s like how people lived 50 years ago. We don’t have electricity. Sometimes, we don’t have a road. We’ve been forgotten.”


Costa and thousands of other Amazon residents would like to see the government finish paving the 1,100-mile road, known as Highway BR-163. The Brazilian government has been promising to do so for more than 30 years.


Yet others oppose paving the more than 500 miles of BR-163 that are unfinished. They fear that a reliable road would spark a land rush and lead to the destruction of more of Brazil’s environmentally sensitive rain forest.


The debate symbolizes the dilemma facing Brazilian Amazonia, as the zeal for economic development in the region butts up against worries that the world’s largest rain forest is rapidly disappearing.


The rhetoric intensified this year, when Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva earmarked about $800 million to pave the entire highway by 2010. So far, work has gone slowly, and Brazilian army engineers said they were paving only 12 miles of road a year.


Pressure is growing, however, to finish the project. Soybean production is booming in Brazil, and a paved BR-163 would connect soy growers near Cuiabá in central-western Brazil to a port that the U.S. agricultural giant Cargill opened four years ago in the northern, Amazonian city of Santarém. Already, tons of soy are loaded at the port bound for U.S. and European markets.


Many fear that paving the highway will encourage farmers to clear more forest in favor of greater soy production.


Since the country’s military government opened the Amazon for development in the 1960s, new highways have without fail brought slash-and-burn farmers, illegal wood merchants and agro-industry into previously isolated parts of the jungle.


Brazil’s government estimates that about a fifth of the Brazilian Amazon, or 227,000 square miles, has been burned or cleared, mostly after 1970. That’s a bit smaller than the state of Texas.


The Brazilian environmental group Amazon Institute of People and the Environment found that the toll is even higher, with about half of the Amazon’s ecosystem destroyed or threatened by human activity.

The institute also found that 80 percent of deforestation occurred within 19 miles of official highways.


Environmentalists argue that the cost of deforestation is global. Greenhouse gases once trapped by Amazon vegetation now are released, contributing to global warming. Gone are uncounted plant and animal species. Indigenous tribes have been pushed from their native lands.


“A lot of people are rooting for this project although they don’t understand what the consequences will be,” said Maria Rosa Almeida, head of a farmers union in Santarém. “We believe it will bring more bad things than good.”


Farmers, politicians and businesspeople in the region said they share such concerns but insisted that this time around they would prove that economic development is compatible with protecting the environment.


To that end, the federal government has released what it calls Sustainable Plan BR-163, which sets up protected forest areas along the highway and strengthens enforcement of environmental laws in the region, among other measures.


“We’re defending a model that restores biological diversity but has man at the center,” said Santarém Mayor Maria do Carmo Martins Lima. “Here, we have 20 million people in Amazonia, and they’re people with a right to be part of the country’s development project.”


Residents who have scratched out a living along the dirt road for decades have no doubt that the highway should be paved. The lack of a reliable road has blocked them from selling their crops in Santarém and forced them into a subsistence lifestyle.


“This road is a national shame!” ranted 53-year-old Jorge Luiz Calvacanti, who raises crops and cattle on 494 acres about 115 miles down the road from Santarém. “How could they be so irresponsible as to ignore the country’s main artery that connects its north to its south?”

Adding to their anger, many said the unpaved road represented a long-standing betrayal by Brazil’s government, which lured hundreds of thousands of people to the Amazon during the 1960s and 1970s with promises of land and infrastructure.


Costa, the farmer, and his family left industrial southeastern Brazil in 1973 with the belief that they were the vanguard of a new wave of development. BR-163 and other highways would help settlers reach into the heart of the Amazon and build new lives, the government had said.


But the plan was abandoned in the 1980s when Brazil’s economy collapsed, and people such as Costa were left to fend for themselves. To this day, electrical and telephone lines stop with the asphalt 60 miles outside Santarém.


Such stories make for a strong case for paving the road, even to environmental advocates such as Fernanda Ferreira, a Santarém-based activist at the nonprofit Amazon Institute for Environmental Research, who said she believed the asphalt would come sooner or later.


“It’s a historic demand of everyone who lives here,” Ferreira said. “I see it as almost certain. The money is already there, and with this Cargill port, so is the incentive. All we can do now is hope some good planning can stop the worst from happening.”


in Seattle Times

Nomadic Penan leader Along Sega and his grandchild examine a tree  stump near their village in the Sungai Nyakit area of the Sarawak  rainforest in Malaysia. He is 60, a father of nine and grandfather of  30.

Foto de Sarawak Malaysia

01 June 2002


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

Don't play with the Amazon!
© Greenpeace / Kurt Prinz

At the opening of the EU – Latin America Summit in Vienna, a Greenpeace activist dressed in the Brazilian football team’s uniform, waves a banner reading ‘Don’t play around with the Amazon!’. We’re calling on the Brazilian
President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva taking part of the meeting, to stop the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.


in Greenpeace Weblog 



© Greenpeace / Daniel Beltra

Greenpeace activist parachutes over a deforested area in Belterra, in the west region of Para state, with the message “100% Crime”, to protest against the soy expansion which is leading illegal deforestation, land grabbing and violence against local communities in the region.



More about the Amazon »
Tell McDonald’s to stop trashin’ the Amazon »

in Greenpeace Weblog 

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