Amazonian Tribe Leaders in Paris

Who would think that leaders of tribes from the Amazon rainforest would get in a plane and come to Paris ?

Yet it was 5 degrees in Paris yesterday night but 3 representatives from Amazon tribes lead a conference to raise awareness of their initiatives to protect biodiversity and share their culture.

The association Yogash made possible to host Matsini, leader of the Brazilian tribe Yawanawa, Haru, leader of the Brazilian tribe Kuntanawa, and Manuel, leader of the Peruvian tribe Kechua . The leaders shared their views on the controversial but often used term « discover of the America », told the audience that 1350m² of the Amazon rainforest disappears every second, and shared their local culture with songs and stories.

Parisians are senstitive to the « lungs of the world » and about 300 people attended the 4 hours event. It started with a conference and was followed by cocktails and live music.

The evening was sponsored by Foundation Chirac, Clarins, Kibio, Terraeco, Foundation Lemarchand, among others ;  and facilitated by Alter Eco, a French company that sources fruit, juices, and cocoa mainly from South America through equitable commerce and free trade, processes it in southern France, and sells organic products throughout Europe.

The winner of the evening was Alter Eco. Afterall, during those 4 hours more than 5400 m² of the Amazon forest still disappeared. The french eco-friendly company provided not only chocolates and drinks but also many fliers that showed their actions to save the amazon rainforest.

After listening to native Amerindians speaking fluent Portuguese and Spanish, I left the conference questioning the boundaries of civilization. Furthermore, seeing a French company doing a good job marketing the Amazon also made me wonder when we will see a Brazilian company selling organic products worldwide?

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About Ricardo Geromel

Ricardo was born and raised in Brazil but also has Italian citizenship. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Fairleigh Dickinson University. This erratic blogger is a master candidate in Paris at ESCP-Europe, but presently in a gap semester. He speaks five languages and has worked as project manager for Bolloré Group in Guinea Conakry, West Africa and as agricultural commodities trader for Noble Group in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil.
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