The Value of the Amazon Rainforest Alive

The idea of this text is an exercise of joining available dates about different types of lives inside the Amazon rainforest and it is also a plea to people develop awareness to keep the forest alive according to indigenous view of the nature.

The idea of Amazon rainforest alive was first said by Chico Mendes who was a rubber tapper and Brazilian environmentalist who fighted together to rubber tappers since the 1970s when ranchers was devastating the forest because of livestock breading. The activism to keep the Amazon rainforest alive made him the most representative fighter and defensor against the deforestation in Brazil and although his death probably he is in the forest alive in his spirit.

Chico Mendes

Chico Mendes was murdered in Xapuri (state of Acre) in 1988 at his home by farmers in the region who were disturbed by years of his activism and the repercussions of his complaints. A rubber tapper since childhood, he was the leader of rural workers and rubber tappers in the Amazon and an internationally renowned environmentalist. To learn more about Chico Mendes history you can click on the photo beside and watch a video of 6 minutes called "The legacy of Chico Mendes".

After 32 years from the death of Chico Mendes and the visits to Acre state, the director Rafa Calil decided to make a documentary about "Povos da Floresta" launched in September of 2020 wich means Forest People with subtitles in english and there are important ideas about Amazon Rainforest as follow:

  • Nowadays environmentalists are still murdered in Amazon Rainforest, between 10 enviromentalists in Amazon, 9 are muerdered;

  • Chico Mendes and all the rubber tappers learned with the indigenous people to respect the nature;

  • The nature is a big pantry and where they hunt animals to share with the people living around.

  • There are a lot of medicine leaves to different types of malaise and illness with the shamans and pajés know, it means that cultural knowledge should be kept alive.

  • Pajés are alive library in Amazon Rainforest;

  • Castanha do Pará (Pará nuts) and Açaí are the main products extracted from the RESEX (Reservas Extrativistas that means Extractive Reserves).

  • RESEX were created to keep the forest protected to people who extract these 2 products. Deforestation, fires and settlement are forbidden.

  • Indigenous peoples know that extractive workers do not harm the forest.

This documentary of 1h30 is very didatic about the value of the forest and forest people and enphasizes the need to understand and respect indigenous people and the importance to defend the forest.

When a place is in the list of World Heritage it means the value of the forest to all the planet as follow:

World Heritage List - Complexo de Conservação da Amazônia Central

It is formed by reserves and parks in the state of Amazonas:

  • Jaú National Park (registered in 2000)

  • Anavilhanas National Park (registered in 2003)

  • Mamirauá and Amanã Sustainable Development Reserves

With more than six million hectares and it is one of the richest regions on the planet in terms of biodiversity (lowland ecosystems, igapó forests, lakes and canals). There are the greatest variety lives electric fish in the world.

One visible characteristic of the rivers in the complex is the dark color (see photo), resulting from organic acids released into the water through the decomposition of organic matter. The complex has relics from the beginning of human occupation in the Amazon region. There are 17 archaeological sites identified at the mouth of the Negro River, in addition to stone sculptures which reinforce the potential for archaeological research.

The exercise of joining available data about the biodiveristy of Amazon was really difficult and maybe this can be compared and updated in the future by others who want to do same exercise.

Indigenous view of the nature

After introducing the value of the forest it is really important to understand the time of the nature according to indigenous wich is very slow and patient. This view is the opposite to the one who see the forest with a fast monetary potential of the capitalism system.

The other important point of view according to indigenous people is that all the nature has different types of spirits. The river has a spirit, the birds have spirits, the wind has spirits, the trees have spirits. It means that according to indigenous view, all these spirits protect us and if humans do not understand that, they are killing themselves. Humans who still destroy the forest maybe has lost the conection that is so important to indigenous peoples.