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Amazon Forever
Brazilian artists demand protection of the rain forest
Antonio Carlos Rix (carlosrix)     Print Article 
  Published 2007-02-12 15:59 (KST)   
The Rede Globo artists who participate in the new soap opera "Amazonia," now shown every night from Monday through Friday in Brazilian homes, sent a letter to the Brazilian federal government entitled "carta aberta de artistas Brasileiros sobre a devastacao da Amazonia" (Brazilian artists open letter about the devastation of the Amazon).

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As the leading TV network in the country, Globo was able to call attention to the forest with its soap opera. According to Juca de Oliveira, one of main actors in the series and the writer of this manifesto, being in the region allowed him and his colleagues to witness both the beauty and the evident destruction of the rain forest, which moved the whole group.

As the crew went back and forth between Sao Paulo and Rio, they could see with their own eyes the clearings, the fires, and the dry rivers near those places, and so they decided to form a group to fight on behalf of the forest. Tonight they invited the whole population of the country to access the movement's website and sign the letter they called "a cry for the forest." This letter will then be sent to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Below is the translation of the entire letter:


Brazilian artists' open letter on the devastation of the Amazon

We are writing to condemn the deforestation of the Amazonian Forest over the last three years: 17,000 square kilometers. This is almost half the size of Holland. Of the total rain forest area, we have already deforested 16 percent, the equivalent of twice the size of Germany and three times the size of Sao Paulo State.

Sunset in the Amazon seen from inside the Black River near Manaus
©2007 Antonio Carlos Rix
The Amazon is not only the lungs of the world, but it provides the environment very important services -- to Brazil and the planet. This green vastness that extends itself for more than five million square kilometers is a thermal sheet produced by nature so that solar rays do not reach the ground, propitiating the life of the most exuberant forest of the world and assisting in the regulation of the temperature of the earth.

After tumbling from its greatness, carelessly raped by lumber companies, fire is set to its vestments of emerald, opening it to the outsiders who humiliate it by sowing grass and soy beans in the leached ashes of hundred year-old chestnut trees. Although there have been extraordinary efforts to implant units of conservation as an alternative of sustainable development, the devastation continues. Even after the blood of Chico Mendes stamped the harmony pact between man and nature, between rubber tappers and aboriginals; after the alliance of the peoples of the forest "for the right of keeping our forests underfoot, because on them we depend to live"; after innumerable sagas of heroism, death, and passion for the Amazon; the devastation continues.

As in the past, we see the forest as an obstacle to progress, as an area to be successfully conquered. We view it as an immense land supply to be turned into productive fields of grass, vegetables, soybean plantations, and plants for alternative fuels, or as an inexhaustible source of wood, fish, gold, minerals, and electric energy. We remain an irresponsible people. The deforestation and the fire are the symbol of our inability to understand the delicacy and the instability of the Amazonian ecosystem and to treat it.

A country that has 165,000 km2 of deforested area, abandoned or half-abandoned, can produce enough grain without having to knock down a single additional tree. It is urgent that we become responsible for the management of what remains of our valuable natural resources.

Therefore, as we see it, the only acceptable procedure to decelerate the almost irreversible effect of the devastation, according to law 짠 4쨘, of Article 225 of the Federal Constitution of Brazil, which reads:
"The Amazonian Forest is a national treasure, and use of it will be made, in the form of the law, under conditions that assure the preservation of the environment, and also the use of the natural resources."
Thus, the IMMEDIATE INTERRUPTION OF the DEFORESTATION OF the AMAZONIAN FOREST must be implemented at Federal, State and Municipal levels. RIGHT NOW!

It the hour to see our trees as monuments to our culture and history.

WE ARE A PEOPLE OF THE FOREST!

This is truly a simple and clear request for an immediate solution from the Brazilian government. The invitation was for Brazilians to access the Web site to sign up. But via OMNI I would like to invite the whole world to sign up together with us. I love the Amazon, and I am sure every concerned human being do too, one way or another. Thank you!!

The online petition to save the rainforest
©2007 Antonio Carlos Rix

- 'Amazon Forever' 

www.globo.com/fantastico
©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Antonio Carlos Rix

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