'Stop destroying the Earth’s lungs', Amazon Indians plead in Europe

By agency reporter
October 9, 2014

Amazon Indian leaders Davi Yanomami and Mauricio Yekuana have completed a unique trip to Europe, where they urged the global population to “stop destroying the Earth’s lungs”.

Davi, a Yanomami shaman who has been called the 'Dalai Lama of the Rainforest', spoke of the illegal mining, ranching and deforestation which pose a serious threat to his tribe and many others across Brazil.

He warned that the destruction of the Amazon is a danger for all humanity, and that if it is not stopped urgently, “the world will die and we will all die with it”.

Davi and Mauricio’s engagements included a meeting with the King of Norway, a sold-out talk to hundreds of people in London, and a tour of the UK to engage hundreds more in their campaign.

Davi also launched his groundbreaking new book The Falling Sky in the UK, signing and selling dozens of copies.

Several major news outlets, including BBC Brasil and the BBC World Service interviewed him about his life, land and shamanism.

Davi is internationally renowned for his tireless work to protect his tribe’s forest. He is President of the Yanomami Association, Hutukara, and together with Survival International and the NGO Pro Yanomami Commission, led the international campaign for the protection of the Yanomami land after an influx of illegal miners in the 1980s decimated the tribe. The government finally recognised the Yanomami land as an indigenous territory in 1992, but illegal mining continues today.

Mauricio, spokesman of the Yekuana tribe which lives alongside the Yanomami in northern Brazil and southern Venezuela, is Vice-President of Hutukara.

Their visit was coordinated by the Rainforest Foundation Norway, CAFOD and Survival International.

* The Falling Sky, written in collaboration with anthropologist Bruce Albert, is the first ever book written by a Yanomami Indian and was listed among the top 10 science books of 2013 by New Scientist magazine. Using evocative language, it discusses Davi’s life story, and the importance of shamanism to the Yanomami’s way of life.

* Watch a film clip of Davi speaking about his tribe’s life and land, shamanism and his new book http://www.survivalinternational.org/films/yanomami

[Ekk/4]

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