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Trekking in a 20 million year old rai...
Madeira, Portugal
By Luis Miguel Rodrigues
15 Jun 2013

Deep V valleys rapid change from subtropical sun to intense fog and humity

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Children of the guaranà 01
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
27 Mar 2013

The SaterŽ-MawŽ tribe lives in the region of the mid Amazon River, on the border between Amazonas and Par‡ states. Inventors of the "Guaran‡ culture", the tribe domesticated this wild fruit and created its processing method, thanks to which Guaran‡ is known and consumed all over the world.

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Children of the guaranà 02
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
27 Mar 2013

Known as to locals as "the Children of Guaran‡" the Satere-Mawe indians still maintain their traditional way of planting and using guaran‡, for example as medicine or their ritual drink.

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Children of the guaranà 04
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
27 Mar 2013

Pedro, 33, a SaterŽ-MawŽ indian who patrols the forest: "Illegal logging can be hard to tackle. Logging happens deep in the forest, far from the eyes of the world but GPS tracking technology and satellite surveillance means we can find out where loggers are and what kind of timber they want. We are tracking 560 hectares of virgin forest with new technologies, hopefully we will stop illegal logging here."

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Children of the guaranà 12
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
27 Mar 2013

Kennedy, 24, defends his land from illegal timber extraction. He is part of an international project with local partners. This project in the Satere-MawŽ area was created to support the local communities and to prevent illegal timber extraction by increasing daily surveillance, mapping forest resources and through a series of initiatives to raise awareness and environmental education. Indigenous and other local forest communities have seen their land seized, their lifestyles destroyed, and their livelihoods stolen. The US is the largest market for timber exported from Brazil. While Americans buy massive quantities of wood, often taken illegally from forests, to construct floors, outdoor paths, and piers, local people and activists working to protect the Amazon are being assassinated and kept quiet through intimidation.

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Children of the guaranà 03
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
26 Mar 2013

The Andir‡ river by night. The SaterŽ-MawŽ live in the region of the mid Amazon River, on the border between Brazil's two biggest states Amazonas and Par‡.

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Children of the guaranà 05
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
26 Mar 2013

It's a long trip to reach the SaterŽ-MawŽ reserve: one hour flight from Manaus to Parintins, the closest city, then an 8 hour trip by riverboat.

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Children of the guaranà 18
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
24 Mar 2013

Every year since 1995, residents of Guaranatuba village and some communities and volunteers from NGOs gather to celebrate the harvest of guaran‡ fruit, known worldwide for its high energy value. During two days of celebration, locals enjoy small performances by folks artists and musical performances to mark the event.

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Children of the guaranà 20
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
24 Mar 2013

A MawŽ girl listens intently to a speech about indigenous rights and the fair trade economy.

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Children of the guaranà 16
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
24 Mar 2013

A MawŽ woman prepares food and a guaran‡ drink at home. Guaran‡ is the daily, ritual and religious beverage, and it is drunk in large quantities by adults and children alike.

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Children of the guaranà 15
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
23 Mar 2013

The areas where the SaterŽ-MawŽ live are called "s’tio". In this space each family unit has its residence, where a fire is lit both for cooking and for keeping the residents warm (the fire also serves to congregate the family members around it).

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Children of the guaranà 17
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
23 Mar 2013

Guaranatuba village, located alongside of the Andira riverbank. Two young SaterŽ-MawŽ are preparing a powerful sound system for a guaran‡ harvest festival that hosts music, traditional dance and speeches about indigenous culture and politics.

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Children of the guaranà 22
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
23 Mar 2013

A current project underway in the SaterŽ-MawŽ region involves the mapping of forest resources, the construction of a small nursery to produce 5,000 seedlings per year, making plans for the correct use of natural resources, training in techniques of forestry, collection of seeds and production of seedlings, Copaiba oil and Guarana powder.

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Children of the guaranà 07
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
23 Mar 2013

The SaterŽ-MawŽ's name references two animals native in the region. The first word, SaterŽ, means Òburning caterpillarÓ, a reference to their societyÕs most important clan, the one that traditionally appoints the succeeding political rulers. The second word, MawŽ, means Òintelligent and curious parrot.Ó Here, a MawŽ group from various Andir‡ villages is learning something new about the guaran‡ process.

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Children of the guaranà 13
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
23 Mar 2013

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 25% of global disease could be prevented by better management of the environment, and identifies deforestation as having a serious impact on human health.

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Children of the guaranà 21
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
22 Mar 2013

Idecidis Da Costa, 60, is the village Tuxaua (village chief). Every village has a Tuxaua, who has the power of solving internal quarrels, summon meetings, scheduling celebrations and rituals. He also plans the agricultural activities and commercial transactions, and orders the building of houses.

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Children of the guaranà 24
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
22 Mar 2013

A man washes his clothes in Guaranatuba. The SaterŽ-MawŽ language is part of the Tupi linguistic branch. But the MawŽ vocabulary contains elements that are entirely different from Tupi, and cannot be related to any other linguistic family. Today most SaterŽ-MawŽ are bilingual. They speak their own language and Portuguese.

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Children of the guaranà 25
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
22 Mar 2013

Paulo is working at Posada Vinte Quilos, a small village for sustainable tourism in Guaranatuba. The project contributes to the improvement of socioeconomic, environmental, and cultural protection of traditional Middle Amazon societies through an inclusive model that integrates institution buildings, the preservation of environmental resources, and activities promoting eco-friendly and sustainable tourism.

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Children of the guaranà 09
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
22 Mar 2013

In their "Sitios" families build their kitchen halfway between the house and the river, where the men roast guaran‡ and the women prepare meals from manioc root. They also have their dock where the family members bathe, wash clothes, soak cassava, wash guaran‡ and land their canoes.

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Children of the guaranà 10
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
22 Mar 2013

MawŽ kids drink guaran‡ in a poor village near Guaranatuba. Much of the guaran‡-based Fair Trade economy aims at battling malnutrition and its consequences for the physical and mental condition of a whole generation of children and adolescents.

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Children of the guaranà 11
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
22 Mar 2013

The SaterŽ-MawŽ of the Lower Amazon are one of the larger indigenous populations in Brazil and one of the few indigenous groups left in the immediate vicinity of the main Amazon River. Due to prolonged contact with the broader Brazilian society, the SaterŽ-MawŽ have been exposed to a variety of historical changes. As a consequence of a staggering demographic growth, the immediate surroundings of their villages have been largely depleted of game and fish, causing chronic food shortages.

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Children of the guaranà 23
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
21 Mar 2013

A man in Pira’ village is fixing his sanitation system. Pira’ is the first MawŽ community one encounters when traveling by boat from Parintins, the closest city.

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Children of the guaranà 06
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
20 Mar 2013

Since 1995 a great deal of hope rests on a fair trade project, which commercializes SaterŽ-MawŽ products such as guaran‡ and several other forest products. Although well established as an indigenous enterprise on an international market, the guaran‡ project still struggles to counter poverty in the villages on a large scale.

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Children of the guaranà 14
Andira River, State Of Amazonas, Brazil
By Francesco Pistilli
20 Mar 2013

A MawŽ moves from village to village using a traditional canoe. Guaran‡ is a plant native to the highlands of the MauŽs-Au River basin, which coincides precisely with the SaterŽ-MawŽ's traditional territory. The SaterŽ-MawŽ have transformed the "Paullinia cupana", a wild vine of the Sapindacea family, into a cultivated shrub, and mastered its planting and processing.

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Esplin120711_2385.jpg
By Mark_Esplin
11 Jul 2012

The rate of ocean acidification is expected to accelerate in the near future. Since the industrial revolution, ocean acidification has increased by 30%. Scientists believe that this rate is faster than anything previously experienced over the last 55 million years.

The problem is that even a mild change in PH levels has significant impact on animals with calcium carbonate shells or skeletons. They literally dissolve. Affected animals include krill and plankton as well as coral. This means that the bottom of the food web could potentially become extinct, and in turn so could fish, according to Zoologist Kent Carpenter: "If corals themselves are at risk of extinction and do in fact go extinct, that will most probably lead to a cascade effect where we will lose thousands and thousands of other species that depend on coral reefs.”

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By Mark_Esplin
10 Jul 2012

A fisherman wades through the shallows carrying a handful of possessions after a mornings fishing trip.

Attempts to educate fishermen have been made by the environmental community, and attitudes are slowly changing. The Coral Triangle Initiative announced that it saw a decrease in the use of destructive fishing methods in 2012. Although, they stated that other threats such as Population increase, pollution and sedimentation have increased considerably.

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By Mark_Esplin
10 Jul 2012

A fisherman on Palawan Island in the Philippines prepares for a fishing voyage out to sea.

Scientists have predicted that by 2100, global temperature rise could result in the extinction of coral in the Coral Triangle. This would lead to an 80% reduction in regional food production.

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By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

Fishers tend to target bigger fish, which act as predators in the food web. Biologists have observed a change in the Philippines' species composition, and an increase of fishing for small oceanic fish – anchovies, etc. This is a good indication of overfishing, and of gradual stock collapse, as fishers can no longer catch larger fish to support themselves.

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By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

The Philippines Government admits that all targeted species in the Philippines are showing signs of overfishing. Officials also recognise that the current approach to fishing is unsustainable. “Overall, the harvest rate of Philippine fisheries is approximately 30 percent higher than the maximum sustainable yield, which will likely trigger stock collapses in the absence of increased management.” (Department of Environment and Natural Resources)

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By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

The majority of people within the Coral Triangle are living in poverty. This increases the social and economic importance of reefs, and reduces their ability to adapt to depleting fish supplies.

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By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

The threats to the Coral Triangle are numerous, and often vary from site to site. As such there is not a single answer to the problems faced by these ecosystems. Nevertheless, wide ranges of solutions are being adopted in an attempt to curb this degradation. These include: Marine Protected areas (MPA), gear restrictions, and catch regulations.

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By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

A decline in reef biodiversity does not only affect local communities and subsistence fishermen’s food security, though they are likely the hardest hit. According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), natural capital contributes significantly to manufacturing and service economies, that in-turn helps stabilise a nations food security. In their report ‘TEEB – The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for National and International Policy Makers’ the UNEP suggest one systemic cause for a lack of local will power to preserve natural resources. “Benefits depend on local stewardship, local knowledge and, in some cases, foregoing opportunities for economic development – yet people on the ground often receive little or no payment for the services they help to generate. This can make it more economically attractive to exploit the resource rather than preserve assets of global worth.”

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By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

Government figures state that 67% of animal protein in the Philippines is comprised of fish and fish products. This makes fish the nations most important food source, next to rice.

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By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

A fisherman prepares his line in a small wooden shack as his daughter plays behind. Surrounded by sublime tropical waters, the 7,000+ island shorelines of the Philippines are home to 40 million people - 45% of its population.

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By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

Hook and line fishing techniques are seen as a solution compared to large scale commercial methods like trawler nets, that are considered dramatically unsustainable. Commercial fishing is having a drastic impact on fish stocks around the globe. Populations of targeted species such as Bluefin Tuna and Cod have reduced 90% since the 1960s, according to professors at the University of British Columbia.

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By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

Hook and line fishing techniques are seen as a solution compared to large scale commercial methods like trawler nets, that are considered dramatically unsustainable. Commercial fishing is having a drastic impact on fish stocks around the globe. Populations of targeted species such as Bluefin Tuna and Cod have reduced 90% since the 1960s, according to professors at the University of British Columbia.

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Esplin120709_2347.jpg
By Mark_Esplin
09 Jul 2012

It is not only coral reefs that are affected by global warming. Other important environments, such as mangrove forests and sea grass beds, which provide habitats for hundreds of thousands of fish species and other organisms, are also threatened. Further destruction and loss to these domains will have profound effects on the productivity of costal regions and the lives of people reliant on them.

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By Mark_Esplin
07 Jul 2012

According to the WWF, “The decreased productivity of coastal ecosystems will reduce the food resources and income available to coastal communities in the Coral Triangle. By 2050, coastal ecosystems will only be able to provide 50% of the fish protein that they do today, leading to increasing pressure on coastal agriculture and aquaculture.”

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By Mark_Esplin
05 Jul 2012

The coral triangle is located in South East Asia and supports 120 million people, across 6 countries, over an area of 1.6 billion acres. Overfishing, pollution, overpopulation and climate change are putting this essential ecosystem in danger.

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By Mark_Esplin
05 Jul 2012

The coral triangle is located in South East Asia and supports 120 million people, across 6 countries, over an area of 1.6 billion acres. Overfishing, pollution, overpopulation and climate change are putting this essential ecosystem in danger.