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Heart of the World Amazonian Manari Sapara

Protecting the Heart of the World

26.11.2019

The Amazon River, in the heart of the world, is the largest river on the planet, with a flow greater than that of the next 6 largest rivers in the world combined. This enormous flow of water represents only 40% of all the water in the Amazon: the rest is managed by plants. A single Amazonian tree evaporates about 1,000 liters of water daily into the atmosphere, and throughout the Amazon rainforest there are believed to be about 400 billion trees.

The Heart of the World

That enormous amount of evaporated water is what forms the colossal currents of atmospheric humidity that make it rain all over the planet. The Amazon literally pumps rain so that it reaches everyone

That’s why the Amazon jungle not only does the function of the lungs of the planet. It is also its heart, pumping the water, Gaia’s blood, to all the rest of the planetary organism of which we are a part… and we are destroying it.

Atossa Soltani is the global strategy director of the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative, an Amazon Watch initiative to protect one of the most important and critical areas of the Amazon. Manari Ushigua is the spiritual leader of the Sapara, the native Ecuadorian people who have been living and protecting this part of the Amazon since ancient times.

The Sapara are in danger of disappearing. They have gone from being a nation of more than 200,000 individuals to just over 575 today. With them, their knowledge of the natural environment is disappearing: a single Sapara elder was able to identify and use about 1,500 different plant species. When one of those elders dies, all that knowledge disappears.

Manari wants that knowledge to be perpetuated, because he knows what the world lacks now: to remember how to relate in a healthy way with nature. Also, to remember that we are a part of nature, not something foreign to it. To remember the invisible part of existence. To do this he uses ayahuasca, as a way of finding in one’s own inner self that better world. It is not the only tool that Manari recommends: he also says that we need to dream again, to change our relationship with time, and to stop eating meat as ways to rediscovering our lost connection with nature.

The Living Forest

The part of the Amazon in which the Sapara live is the richest in biodiversity of the entire planet. Only 5% of all the species that live there have been documented. For this reason, the rich ensemble formed by all animal and plant organisms, water and mineral resources, and the entire ecosystem is called the Living Forest.

The Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative works so that this Living Forest and the people who live there will be protected and so that the destructive activities carried out by large multinationals (industrial mining, oil extraction, massive logging, dam construction, paving…) are stopped. Indigenous people have their own solutions for this, but they cannot do it alone. This is why this Initiative not only works with more than 20 indigenous nations, forming a great alliance in the fight against the extractive industry, but also advocates for global change in the way we relate to the world: the way we consume, how we invest our money and manage our time, how we organize ourselves to join forces, locally, nationally and internationally, until we change the current definition of the global economy from one based on profits to one based on prosperity.

We are not fighting for nature: we are nature defending itself.

Learn more about and support the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative.

Categories: Ayahuasca , AYACONFERENCE
Tags: ayahuasca , Amazon , amazon rainforest