31 Aug 2022

The future of Amazon rainforest is on the line in Brazil election

Brazil is a month away from an election which will determine the future of the Amazon rainforest, and the world’s fight against climate change.

President Jair Bolsonaro has already unveiled plans to further exploit the Amazon’s natural resources if he wins a second term; crucial to the economy, he says – but which scientists say could permanently degrade an ecosystem that soaks up more carbon than any other on Earth.

Standing in his way are indigenous groups who’ve lived there for millenia, among them the Guajajara people of Maranhao state, who’ve been subjected to increasing threats and violence as loggers and miners close in around them.

Satellite images show how their forest home is being eaten away year by year.

One of their leaders – Olimpio Guajajara – has travelled to Europe for the first time with a very personal warning: that his people’s fight for survival is one in which we all have a stake.