Kayak with the native peoples to see how the climate changes the Amazon

Along the shores of the world’s most powerful waters, drowning in the forest between anacondas and giant ants, there are the promise and history of an entire planet changing by the hand of man. The Rio Negro is one of the largest tributaries of the Amazon River, Francesco MagistraliNature guide and explorer, knows these areas and its people, native peoples and caboclos . He is back here to sail a new adventure and ride the great river, documented with a report for LifeGate as the inhabitants of the “lungs of the earth” watch as climate change changes their lives.

cc Luca Meola

Amazon Expedition 2022 was born to, with the collaboration of 4elements, discover and document a multimedia container to promote the ecological transition: “The idea, as in recent expeditions, was to meet local populations to gather their evidence on climate change – he sees Green & Blueduring a chat over Whatsapp from Manaus – but the first part of this adventure, about ten days, we spent alone, Paddles and Kayaks and Soup at Rio Negroa unique environment. ”He says that when the river swells, you can also navigate the forest.

cc Luca Meola

cc Luca Meola

The experience as a survival instructor in the forest helped to get by, open fire and defend yourself from an environment that could become hostile: “We were attacked in our camp by huge seamen, you have to defend yourself against many species of insects. are sailing.together with Boto, the pink freshwater dolphin.And at the most interesting moments were the meetings with the local fishermen, most of whom are illiterate but they know the river well and everyone has noticed that the water regime has changed. in recent years “. For the first part of this trip, with Magistrali, was the director Igor D’Indien, to make a trailer that serves as a starting point for returning with a larger production. Expeditions like these always need sponsors. Magistrali and India were Ambassador by Cressi, for test sup and kayaks on the wild Rio Negro.

cc Luca Meola

cc Luca Meola

In the backpack with the essentials was also a “minimanta”, a filter for collecting samples from the water of the Rio Negro, provided by the IAS (Institute for the Study of Anthropogenic Impacts on the Marine Environment) of the CNR: ” It is a small funnel net that can be attached to something fixed, such as a tree, or towed by a kayak, “Magistrali continues. “A small calculation has to be made to calculate the cubic meters of water. The filter removes the microplastics and the analysis of the Cnr laboratories tell us how many there are at each point, each sample was geo-referenced with GPS. ” . Once back in Italy, he delivers them to the researchers who they will analyze the quantity of microplastics present even in a distant place like this.

cc Luca Meola

cc Luca Meola

The second chapter of the expedition began in Manaus. Magistrali and India separated. The director returned to Italy and the discoverer was joined by the photographer Luca Meola then Giovanni Sgorbati, Drone Pilot. They went on foot and through surfing to gather material to publish the report LifeGate: “We were interested in gathering information on three topics, in particular. Nature and environment, climate change and indigenous peoples issue, which is very strong in this region, “points out the Magistrali.” We quickly left town and were greeted in a large city on Rio Negro, Novo Airão, by a local association I have known for some time, Fam, Fundacao almerinda. malaquias. And we started traveling with people, both the river and the forest, to better understand with them the theme of local life and nature. ”

cc Luca Meola

cc Luca Meola

The way to do with the machete in the vegetation, or by boat, they are at the local communities of caboclos, of “mixed” ethnicity, descendants of the first mestizos born from the gathering of native peoples with the Europeans. In the villages where the association helps families to build schools and to initiate young people into a profession: “They take care of children and adolescents, both as school and vocational training. They become artisans – says Magistrali – who help “Woodworking and high-level products are sold locally but also in Europe. They have many side projects, including one that deals with the reconstruction of schools that were flooded and destroyed by floods that we visited.”

cc Luca Meola

cc Luca Meola

Unlike indigenous peoples who, like the North American reserves, live in ‘closed’ areas, the caboclos they have no obstacles in their contacts with the industrialized world. This mixture has led to a depopulation that associations like the fam try to counter: “They have inherited the deep knowledge of the forest from the native peoples, for survival, hunting, fishing and collecting and d ‘permanent agriculture. But it’s a whole lot in danger. Culture. Very young people start to search the streets of the city, with mobile phones in hand all day. You lose the oral and practical knowledge between generations, an incredible knowledge over the forest and the river.

cc Luca Meola

cc Luca Meola

On some small expeditions, they visited the villages and lived and hunted with them in the forest. And smaller centers are the only source of energy Solar panels or diesel generators. Only in the larger settlements can a hotspot be found to connect to the internet. The Magistrali tells of a forest that “in some places looks like that of the Avatar, in the middle of the night it is lit by fluorescent mushrooms. We followed the hunters on their journey to bring the food home. Small Mammals, deer, tapirs and even monkeys. We are looking for food. Hungry, you shoot everything that moves. Waiting all day on foot or at night from huts built a few meters high, waiting for something to happen “. Where the branches open, there are the cultivated areas, close to the villages: “There are areas dedicated to tropical fruits, few vegetables – he goes on – you plant a little and then nature lets you do it. Bananas, coconut, Guarana, what it is. Vine. The forest works alone. ”

cc Luca Meola

cc Luca Meola

He says that here too the political question feels deep. There is talk of Bolsonaro and Lula, more than a diatribe it is a rejection of one of the two parties: “Everyone who asked, from the last fisherman on the river to the University Professor of Manaus, shared the opinion: They are all against Bolsonaro. For various reasons. There is the question of being logged in to make room for soybean plantations, and of the Garimpos, the gold diggers.They told me that with the apology of the war, which increased the price of raw materials, they set out on the deforestation in search of gold and diamonds.All under the name Bolsonaro “.

cc Luca Meola

cc Luca Meola

According to the stories collected by Magistrali and Meola, the inhabitants of their river are no longer recognizable. Floods become angry and unpredictable“There is no one who has not noticed strong changes in the water regime. We have met with university professors from Manaus who recognize the effects of climate change. The circulation and the water regime that are changing all social life and economics.”

cc Luca Meola

cc Luca Meola

In Novo Airão and in the villages he visits, Magistrali talks about the strength of Women, which in some cases led to de facto leadership of communities: “Maybe not officially, but in some interviews they told us that, apart from some impossible jobs due to a matter of muscle strength, the woman does everything a man does. Besides, she also has the house on her shoulders, so much so. as she can. to be a hut, without appliances and light “. It gets even more real in the city, where some of them are moving to seek better conditions.

cc Luca Meola

cc Luca Meola

One of the most interesting stories that has had a worldwide echo is that of Vanderlecia Ortega dos Santos, Vanda Ortega. Provide a reference figure for the defense of the rights of indigenous peoples. Magistrali and Meola met and interviewed her: “Lord – concludes Magistrali – is an extraordinary story. She comes from the Witoto community, one of the many scattered in the area between Colombia and Brazil. How many young People kept her in Manaus, forced by her family on financial things. She was a housekeeper for a rich family, she came from the forest without ever needing money. For years she paid a few euros a month. For a number of happy She met the right people. She was able to study and change jobs. She was the first indigenous woman to be vaccinated in this community. “In a few days, she will meet Lula. In Brasilia, she will try to become a member of the Bundesliga to give a voice to her people.”

.

Leave a Comment