Greenpeace samba campaigners in London join worldwide call to save Amazon

Last edited 29 November 2011 at 12:45pm
29 November, 2011

Greenpeace campaigners in London today joined forces with a samba band and marched to the Brazilian Embassy in a last-ditch bid to save the Amazon.

The activists paraded from Hyde Park to the embassy in Mayfair, where a banner saying ‘Save the Amazon’ was hoisted on a lamp-post and the band played for the embassy staff.

The activists were part of a worldwide effort which saw similar activities take place around the world, including Paris, Rome, Berlin, Mexico City and Washington DC. These global activities are aimed to remind Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff that almost 80 per cent of Brazilians want the Amazon protected.

Six years of falling Amazon deforestation was brought to a halt this year, when the rate of destruction increased dramatically. Experts have blamed this rise in the predicted weakening of the Forest Code – the piece of legislation designed to protect the world’s largest rainforest. It is expected that that there will be an amnesty in the revised Forest Code for illegal deforestation.

The amended Forest Code is about to face a final vote by Brazil’s politicians before receiving Presidential approval.

High Street giants including Tesco, Sainsburys, Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, MacDonalds, Asda, the Co-op, Nike, Timberland and Clarks have all voiced concerns about the recent rise in Amazon destruction and a weakened Forest Code.

Gabriela Goncalves, who grew up in the Amazon city of Belém and joined the activity in London today, said:

“The Amazon is hugely important to the people of Brazil, and that’s why around 80 per cent of us want to see it protected. President Dilma has a chance right now to save the Amazon, and I’m here today at my country’s embassy to ask her to do just that – for the people of Brazil, and for the planet.”

Sarah Shoraka, forest campaigner for Greenpeace, said:

“An overwhelming majority of Brazilian people want to see the Amazon protected, and they are supported by international companies. But right now President Dilma is the Amazon’s last hope. So we’re here in London and at embassies around the world to ask her to stop the chainsaws and save the rainforest.”

Deforestation is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Brazil. Politicians from around the world are gathering in Durban this week for the latest round of climate change talks. Next year is the 20th anniversary of the historic international conference in Rio de Janeiro that catalysed action to protect the environment. The meeting will be held in Rio in 2012, to mark the anniversary.


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