Princeton’s campus recently became a focal point in the effort to address the critical environmental and climate justice issues facing the Brazilian Amazon and its Indigenous peoples. On May 5-6, top thinkers and stakeholders from Brazil met at the University for the conference, “Amazonian Leapfrogging: Tackling the Climate Crisis and Social Inequality With Nature-Based Solutions.”
The conference brought together more than 80 Brazilian and international guests across academia, business, government and activist sectors. Its aim was to probe nature-based solutions that might guarantee the conservation of the Amazon basin and “leapfrog” the region into much-needed socioeconomic development.
“Safeguarding the Amazon is a generational and Earth-defining problem,” said co-organizer João Biehl, Princeton’s Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology and director of the Princeton Brazil LAB.
As one of the world’s largest carbon sinks, the Amazonian rainforest faces a crisis of deforestation and biodiversity loss that imperils the world’s chances to avert the worst effects of climate change.
“We should remember that we cannot save nature unless we save the people protecting it,” said opening speaker Txai Suruí, a Brazilian Indigenous leader and one of the conference’s speakers. “Everyone must understand the importance of the forests and of Indigenous peoples in attaining climate justice and for the future of our planet.”