French people

Indigenous leader of Macron in France: Save the Amazon


PARIS (AP) – Describing the “predation” of his homeland, an indigenous Brazilian leader calls on the French president to use his global influence to fight against deforestation in the Amazon.

Nineveh, a leader of the Huni Kui people who uses only one name, delivered a letter to the office of French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday. He urged the French leader to rely on the entire European Union of 27 countries to limit trade linked to deforestation. His call also called for pressure on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to end logging, agricultural and development projects that are destroying the Amazon rainforest.

In the letter, seen by the Associated Press, Ninawa said: “The current (Brazilian) administration is trying to allow or amnesty the extraction and export of timber, as forest fires are devastating flora. and wildlife, to create fields for monoculture soybeans and for raising livestock.

“This same administration is working to legalize and institutionalize the invasion of the territories of the original peoples, considered as an obstacle to agribusiness and what is wrongly called ‘development’,” he says.

Nineveh left his letter with a police officer at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris and got a receipt in return. Macron’s office did not say whether the letter would be delivered to the French president himself.

Speaking to the AP, Ninawa said that indigenous peoples “put our lives at risk every day so that we can defend nature for all of humanity. It is therefore important that each country, each citizen of each country, do their part and also become the guardians of Mother Nature.

Bolsonaro recently tried to improve his environmental credibility, but for most of his presidency he encouraged development in the Amazon region. His administration has also weakened environmental authorities and supported legislative measures to relax land protections, thereby encouraging land grabbers.

Nineveh wants European decision-makers to stop facilitating trade in products directly linked to deforestation, such as soybeans, meat and timber. He is in France to attend a peace conference in Normandy, at the invitation of the environmental group Planete Amazone.

Claiming that indigenous leaders were killed for resisting the loggers, he noted how Macron caught the world’s attention to the forest fires in the Amazon in 2019, by tweeting that “our house is on fire” and denouncing Bolsonaro’s policies. He also noted that France assumes the rotating EU presidency from January 1.

He lamented that the UN COP26 global climate talks in Glasgow, which begin on October 31, “do not solve the problem of our planet. The COP has become a big fair for multinational companies, with governments trading our biodiversity. “

“Today, we have to choose between a few decimal places of the GDP of France and of Europe, and our own lives,” he writes.

Bolsonaro has tried to demonstrate to the administration of US President Joe Biden that he is serious about tackling climate change and tackling illegal deforestation. He toned down his rhetoric celebrating the development of the Amazon and humiliating indigenous people.

There have been encouraging preliminary signs: The number of deforestation alerts has declined year-over-year for two consecutive months, and the number of forest fires in the first nine months of 2021 has declined. since last year.

But indigenous leaders and other critics question Bolsonaro’s sincerity and say it’s too early to say that recent data represents a trend.


AP journalist Nicolas Garriga contributed.


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