NDN Support Latin America

Who does the Amazon really belong to?


by Theo van Rossum


First off I would really like to express my admiration for Dutch biologist  Marc van Roosmalen (link to his website on the right of this page) for his incredible courage and determina-tion to fight for the Amazon forest in Brazil. After discovering new species of animals in the Amazon he suggested for the Brazilian government to declare the Amazon forest world he-ritage. However, Brazil had other plans because the growing of soya would yield millions for the country. He has been fal-sely accused of many different things like stealing someone's scaffolding for which evidence was never presented and kee-ping a monkey in his house, which appeared to be perfectly legal at the time but facing a prison sentence of almost 16

squirrel monkey

  years at the time. For years already the Brazilians have been saying that Amazon is theirs and won't accept any outsider to interfere. Let me see, according scientific estimations the Amazon rainforest is about years old and Brazil, inhabit by Indian tribes as first peoples, then colonized by the Dutch and after that gy Portuguese. The land that we now call Brazil was only recogni-zed by Portugal after their war of independence in 1825. Who on earth then can be so arro-gant as to claim that the Amazon forest belongs to the Brazilians and no one else? What does the average Brazilian understand about nature conservation if they say thing like this? How is
it possible that they all of the sudden turn out to be experts in the few centuries that they've been living there while an evolution took place that took millions of years? If most of the urban people in cities like Rio de Janeiro know little to nothing about the Indians who have been there so much longer then they have? How can they claim the largest tropical rainforest in the world just for themselves? Especially if so few people actually care about it? If the growing of soya is considered more important than anything else? If money is more important than conservation of a fragile eco system.

Marc van Roosmalen

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