Amazon Deforestation: Why it matters to us

THU, APR 28, 2022 (1:02:49)

The Amazon Rainforest is known as the “lungs of the earth” because it draws in carbon dioxide and breathes out oxygen. But it is also the biological heart of the planet’s hydroclimate system, the planet’s rain making machine. We have lost almost 20 % of the forest and are close to reaching a tipping point where it will turn to grassland. What will that mean for us, and how can we prevent the dieback?

We can calm the weather and cool the planet within one generation by protecting and reforesting the rainforests of the planet and reshaping food production in those areas from open canopy monocultures to largely closed canopy forms of agroforestry/permaculture. This massive regeneration process restores the disrupted water cycle on a micro and macro level, restores degraded soils and dampens the destructive effects of extreme weather events.

If the world embraces this regenerative work at the scale and speed of the challenge, we can avert a climate catastrophe and the collapse of biodiversity while massively improving food-security, substantially reducing poverty and meeting most of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Jon Schull, co-founder of the EcoRestoration Alliance will moderate a discussion with panelists Rob de Laet, co-founder of the World Climate School and Atossa Soltani, founder of Amazon Watch and director Global Strategy for Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative.

Our speakers will show us how massive regeneration can restore disrupted water cycles and degraded soils and moderate the destructive effects of extreme weather events. A full holistic way to support forest economies that don’t rely on cutting down trees and paradoxically killing the forests is possible.

This program is hosted by the GBH Forum Network and its partner organization, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate.

+ BIO: Rob de Laet

Rob de Laet is an earth systems visionary who has lived and worked for many years in the Amazon bioregion. He is a climate activist, consultant, educator and an EU Climate Pact Ambassador in the Netherlands.

+ BIO: Atossa Soltani

Atossa Soltani is the Founder and President of Amazon Watch, a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin.

Atossa served as Amazon Watch’s first Executive Director for 18 years and continues to support the organization’s mission. Currently Atossa is leading the development of an Amazon Watch and Pachamama Alliance joint-initiative to secure permanent protection for the most biodiverse rainforest in the world, a vast region on the Ecuador-Peru border in the headwaters of the Amazon River.

She’s also the Director Global Strategy, Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative, which is building a shared vision among indigenous peoples, NGOs, the philanthropic community, social entrepreneurs and governments towards establishing a bi-national protected region – off-limits to industrial scale resource extraction, and governed in accordance with traditional indigenous principles of cooperation and harmony that foster a mutually enhancing human-Earth relationship.

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+ BIO: Jon Schull

A biological psychologist, entrepreneur, human-computer interaction researcher and digital community organizer, Dr. Schull is the founder of e-NABLE, an online philanthropic community that makes free open-source 3D-printed prosthetic hands and arms for children and adults with upper limb differences.

Concerned about the climate crisis and impressed by recognition that healthy ecosystems are the earth’s air conditioning system, Schull is now helping to forge an online collaborative community of ecorestoration practitioners, scientists and storytellers inspired and empowered by the insight that reversing biodiversity loss and restoring healthy ecosystems normalizes climate and protects against warming, storming, fires, floods and droughts. Their aim is to mobilize millions to reverse global warming by restoring the planetary air conditioning system.

Biodiversity for a Livable Climate
Life Saves the Planet