A diverse band of river communities, activists and academics are meeting in the heart of the rainforest to fight for the planet’s future
On the six-hour boat ride down the Iriri river to Manolito, there is almost no other traffic and only a handful of small homes. At its widest and calmest, the vast expanse of water is a flawless mirror of blue sky and green canopy. At its narrowest and roughest, the water churns around boulders eroded into the shapes of battlements and breaching whales. Parrots fly above the treetops. Fish feast on fallen blossoms. Kingfishers perch on riverside branches while herons await their prey on midstream rocks with their wings outstretched. White and yellow butterflies stumble across the river at remarkable speeds.
It is in this idyllic setting, deep inside the Amazon rainforest, that a nascent alliance of traditional communities, climate activists and academics is re-imagining what the world’s greatest forest was, what it can be and who can best defend it.