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South American Leaders Gather in Brazil to Discuss Preserving Amazon Rainforest

HeadlineAug 08, 2023

The leaders of eight South American nations and thousands of Indigenous activists are gathering in the Brazilian city of Belém for a major summit on protecting the Amazon rainforest. Brazil’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Marina Silva spoke ahead of the gathering on Monday.

Marina Silva: “As we had this 14-year hiatus without a call from the summit, we arrived at it with clarity. The first point is that the Amazon is drastically threatened. The second is that we cannot allow it to enter the point of no return. The third is that it is impossible to reverse this process by working in isolation.”

Many Indigenous leaders plan to attend the summit on the Amazon. This is Chief Raoni of the Kayapo people.

Chief Raoni Metuktire: “If we continue to deforest, we will continue to have problems, not only for Indigenous people but also for all people. We must preserve it so our grandchildren and children can live well, sleep well, eat well and be happy like us. … We, the Indigenous peoples, are feeling the climate change. Many rivers are drying up. We are feeling very hot, and the village temperature is very high. The forests are dry. The rivers are drying up because there is a lot of heat and little rain. And this is perceived in the villages and the Indigenous communities.”

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