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Protecting the Brazilian Amazon

The story of Rogerio Mendes

October 28, 2022

“My father and Chico Mendes fought together for the defense of the Amazon. So, now it’s our turn.”

Chico Mendes was a Brazilian rubber tapper, union leader and environmentalist who advocated for the rights of Indigenous peoples. In the 1970s and 1980s thousands of Brazilian rubber tappers resisted the violence of ranchers who stole lands in Acre Amazonian Rainforest. Led by Chico’s resistance, the world’s first extractive reserve was created: a protected forest area for collective and sustainable use of resources. In 1988, Chico was assassinated.

Rogerio Mendes is Chico’s nephew. In this video, Rogerio speaks about how climate change affected his livelihood. He stresses the importance of preserving the Acre Amazon rainforest, not only for those living in the reserve but also for future generations.

“The people who live in the forest are very important for our fight against climate change. When we care for our forest, we are taking care of the whole world. I appeal to governments to listen to us. We have ideas to prevent the end of the natural resources we have.”

Rogerio Mendes

Voices for Just Climate Action

The video was produced for the Voices for Just Climate Action program, which aims to ensure that by 2025 local civil society and underrepresented groups will have taken on a central role as creators, facilitators and advocates of innovative climate solutions. Their inclusion is crucial for effective and lasting climate responses.