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.
Directed by Adrian Cowell
Produced by Nomad Films for the BBC series "Correspondent"
Co-Produced with Universidade Catolica de Goias
Executive Producer for Nomad Films: Roger James
Camera: Vicente Rios
Reporter: Adrian Cowell
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.
"FIRES OF THE AMAZON is powerfully crafted by the Amazon's premiere documentarian -- beautiful, yet disturbing." - Randy Hayes, President, Rainforest Action Network
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?
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2004
Copyright Date: 2002
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-434-6
VHS ISBN: 1-59458-021-9
"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
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Awards and Festivals
The Chris Statuette, Columbus International Film & Video Festival
Runner-Up in Category, EarthVision Environmental Film Festival
Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival
Climate Change/Global Warming
Forests and Rainforests
Latin American Studies
|The Decade of Destruction|
A unique chronicle of the destruction of the Amazonian rainforest.
Banking on Disaster
The grave consequences of building a road through the heart of Amazonia.
The Killing of Chico Mendes
The story of rainforest defender, Chico Mendes, that ended with his 1988 assassination.
The Last of the Hiding Tribes
The Amazon's last uncontacted tribes face extinction.
Was the unprecedented mass coral bleaching in 1998 proof of global warming?
Big Spuds, Little Spuds
The impact of climate change and monoculture on one of the world's staple food crops.
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Examines the media strategies, on both sides, that have resulted in the US government's failure to take decisive action on global warming.
Satirical look at the inadequacies of the concept of carbon offsetting.
Looks at the battle over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in the context of Alaska's accelerated warming.
The Harriman Alaska Expedition Retraced
Two scientific expeditions to Alaska, 100 years apart, give us an unparalleled view of environmental damage and the change in society's attitudes.