Protecting archaeological sites in the Amazon is essential for environmental wellbeing

Adriana Erthal Abdenur
2020
#Agriculture and food
#Environment and climate change
#Sustainability standards
#Latin America

Raging fires, expanding mineral extraction and land clearing for agribusiness are not only destroying Amazonian lands and biodiversity, they are also eradicating fundamental knowledge on land stewardship. Climate diplomacy has a key role to play in protecting archaeological sites that preserve lessons from the past that could help the Amazon recover in the future. The Brazilian Amazon is seeing a surge in illegal land occupations, tree clearing, forest fires, and illegal mining — among other environmental crimes. This not only degrades one of the world’s most biodiverse natural environments, but also impacts local communities, leading to the loss of traditional livelihoods, harmful health effects and spikes in crime and violence. One often overlooked aspect of this destruction entails the growing risks to, and destruction of, archaeological sites — not just known ones, but also those that have yet to be found and studied.

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