Grades 7-12, College, Adult
Directed by Adrian Cowell
Produced by Nomad Films for the BBC series "Correspondent"
DVD Purchase $250, Rent $75
VHS Purchase $250, Rent $75
US Release Date: 2004
Copyright Date: 2002
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-434-6
VHS ISBN: 1-59458-021-9
Climate Change/Global Warming
Forests and Rainforests
Latin American Studies
Awards and Festivals
The Chris Statuette, Columbus International Film & Video Festival
Runner-Up in Category, EarthVision Environmental Film Festival
Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival
The Fires of the Amazon|
Adrian Cowell reports on the situation in the Amazon more than a decade after his series THE DECADE OF DESTRUCTION.
Adrian Cowell spent the 1980s making the definitive film documentation of deforestation in Amazonia called THE DECADE OF DESTRUCTION. Amongst those featured was his friend Chico Mendes, who was assassinated in 1988 for setting up forest reserves for rubber-tappers.
In this new documentary for the BBC series "Correspondent," Cowell returns to Amazonia and finds that many of Chico's friends and colleagues are in power, including his closest associate, Mary Allegretti, who is now the federal government's Secretary for Amazonia.
There have been some notable gains for the rubber-tappers, including the establishment of the forest preserves, literacy for their children, and higher prices for their certified lumber. But year after year the fires go on burning. Less than 1/3 of Amazonia is protected in a park or preserve. Roads are being built, and agriculture is moving into southern Amazonia.
Daniel Nepstad of the Institute for Environmental Research estimates that, in the next quarter century, 40% of the forest will be replaced by agriculture, and another 40% will be lost to logging. Cargill is building a huge new grain terminal in Santarem, which is dreaming of becoming the Chicago of Brazil.
At the same time the Ministry of the Environment is trying to contain the fires using satellite photography provided by the National Institute for Space Research, and its police force, IBAMA, to enforce the regulations. Greenpeace is working to move world public opinion to refuse to buy Amazonian mahogany.
Can what's left of the Amazon forest be saved?
"FIRES OF THE AMAZON is powerfully crafted by the Amazon's premiere documentarian -- beautiful, yet disturbing. The best summary of the rainforest's problems and promise. Just what we need to motivate the final push to save the Amazon and perhaps save ourselves."
- Randy Hayes, President, Rainforest Action Network