Love letter to the Amazon

Celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on 9 August and watch “Stories of the Amazon”. This scientific dissemination video shows the crucial role of Indigenous Peoples in safeguarding the largest standing tropical rainforest on our planet.

“The idea of this video was to raise public awareness of the outstanding contributions of Indigenous Peoples in defending the fabric of life that weaves us all together”, says Dr. Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares, postdoctoral researcher at the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) of the University of Helsinki.

The video documents the research project that Fernández-Llamazares has led during the past three years on the conservation values of Indigenous Peoples’ lands in Amazonia. The project was funded by the Academy of Finland.

“Overall, the results of this research project demonstrate and underscore the crucial role that Indigenous Peoples’ lands play in buffering against biodiversity loss across the whole Amazon Basin”, says Fernández-Llamazares.

The five-minute video takes a personal and intimate approach, building on the time-honoured art of storytelling blended with a good dose of creative filming.

“This video is ultimately a love letter to the Amazon and those who call the rainforest home”, says Fernández-Llamazares.

The video also features three long-term collaborators of Fernández-Llamazares: Dr. Pirjo K. Virtanen and Dr. Laura Siragusa from the Indigenous Studies programme at the University of Helsinki, and Dr. Aili Pyhälä from Development Studies.

“Especially now as leading scientists predict that the Amazon rainforest is close to a disastrous tipping point of no return, we hope that this video will help spark urgent action from scientists, decision-makers, activists and all those concerned”, says Pyhälä.

The video is available in English on the YouTube channel of the University of Helsinki, with subtitles in six different languages (Finnish, Swedish, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish).

Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares

Postdoctoral researcher