Goal 15: Life on Land
MEET THE RUBBER DOCTOR OF THE AMAZON
How making a sustainable living from the forest can help protect the Amazon
By leanne walstow
26 august 2021
The Amazon rainforest is not only a habitat for wildlife and vast carbon store, it also provides homes and livelihoods for the people who live within its precious surroundings. There are around 20 million people spread across eight countries living in the forest, and whilst it is true that practices such as deforestation and intensive agriculture are threatening the existence of the Amazon, there are also people making a living sustainably.
Meet Jose Rodrigo de Araujo aka 'The Rubber Doctor', a rubber tapper and artisan living and working in the heart of the forest. Rubber tapping is a traditional form of forest stewardship which sees generations of tappers taking care of up to 200 hectares of forest each whilst harvesting rubber in order to support their families and communities.
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The most famous rubber tapper is activist Chico Mendes who founded the organisation SOS Amazonia as a response to the large scale forest clearances that were taking place in the 1980s. Agricultural pastures were beginning to creep into rubber tapping territory and threaten the livelihoods of those who lived and worked in the settlements. SOS Amazonia now works to promote conservation of the rainforest, supporting rubber tappers in their sustainable craft and guardianship of the forest.
This mini documentary - part of our #TOGETHERBAND Voices series - sees 'The True Cost' filmmaker, Andrew Morgan venture into the Amazon's luscious greenery and discover how Jose is central to Life on Land. The soundtrack for the film was written and produced by Fink.