Film Screening: "River of Gold" & Panel on Illegal Gold Mining in Amazonia


Wednesday, October 19, 2022, 5:00pm to 8:00pm


Tsai Auditorium, CGIS South

To register, click here. This event will be held in both English and Portuguese with simultaneous interpretation.

Speakers: Sarah Dupont, Founder & President, Amazon Aid Foundation; César Diniz, Technical Coordinator, Coastal Zone and Mining Team, MapBiomas; Raoni Rajão, Associate Professor of Environmental Management and Social Studies of Science and Technology, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and 2022-2023 Fellow, Wilson Center; Luiz Eloy Terena, Legal Advisor, Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) and Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB)
Moderated by: Marcia Castro, Andelot Professor of Demography; Chair of the Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Chair, Brazil Studies Program - DRCLAS

Join us for this in-person film screening of "River of Gold," followed by a discussion with Director Sarah duPont and Brazilian experts Cesar Diniz, Raoni Rajão, and Luiz Eloy Terena on the topics of who profits from illegal gold mining in the Amazon and the consequences of mining on public health, the environment, and Indigenous rights.

A reception with light refreshments will be served as of 5pm and the film screening will begin at 5:30pm. Narrated by Academy Award winners Sissy Spacek and Herbie Hancock, "River of Gold" is the disturbing account of a clandestine journey bearing witness to the apocalyptic destruction of the rainforest in the pursuit of illegally mined gold. "River of Gold" reaffirms the right of the rainforest to exist as a repository of priceless biodiversity and not as the toxic remains of man’s greed for gold. Watch the trailer here.

Technical Specifications

• “River of Gold,” a film by Reuben Aaronson and Sarah duPont • Documentary, 63 minutes, 2016, USA

• In Spanish and English with English subtitles

Sarah duPont is an award-winning humanitarian, educator and filmmaker and is a vocal advocate of ecological preservation. As the President and Founder of the Amazon Aid Foundation, Sarah works with Neotropical scientists to study Amazonian biodiversity with an eye toward educating the public and introducing cutting-edge conservation practices and on the ground solutions to the region. Sarah is a producer and co-director of the award winning film River of Gold and the short documentary Mercury Uprising, both films about illicit and unregulated gold mining in the Amazon Rainforest. Her other film projects include producing the award-winning Kids Against Malaria music video P.S.A., a transmedia program to promote treatment and prevention for malaria in Africa and the Anthem for the Amazon music video, a video with the voices of 500 children from around the world singing to protect the Amazon. Sarah has been engaged in educational innovation for 25 years, creating projects both locally and globally. She works to build cross disciplinary curriculum that support core subjects, including middle and high school STEAM curriculum built around the documentary River of Gold. In the fall of 2010, Sarah, along with Gigi Hancock, wife of legendary jazz great, Herbie Hancock, co–founded CIAMO, an arts and music school based in Benin, Africa. Sarah has had both past and present board experience, serving on the following boards: University of Virginia Children’s Medical Center, the University of Virginia Council for the Arts, the Amazon Conservation Association, the Upton Foundation, Rachel’s Network, the Wake Forest University’s Board of Visitors, the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, and the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. She has been the recipient of the Charlottesville Village Award, the Dorothy Corwin Spirit of Life Award, the Global Syndicate Humanitarian Award, Worldwide Children’s Foundation of New York’s Humanitarian Award, the Hawaii International Film Festival’s Humanitarian Award, and the Pongo Award.

Cesar Diniz holds a degree in Oceanography from the Federal University of Pará (2009) as well as a Masters and Doctoral degree in Geology from the same university (2011 and 2017). He is a founding partner of Solved, a company based in the Brazilian Amazon that works in the creation of software, hardware, and computational routines aimed at the field of remote sensing and spatial analysis. He has experience in remote sensing, working mainly on the following topics: monitoring tropical forests, coastal environments and pattern recognition by machine learning (Machine Learning).

Raoni Rajão is a Fellow at the Wilson Center (2022/23), Associate Professor of Environmental Management and Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Department of Production Engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), and a member of the Graduate Programs in Production Engineering and Environmental Modeling and Analysis from the same institution. He holds a degree in Computer Science from the Universitá degli Studi Milano-Bicocca (Italy) and a Masters and PhD in Organization, Work and Technology from Lancaster University. Since obtaining his Masters degree, Rajão has dedicated himself to studying the relationship between technology, science and public policies, with emphasis on the evaluation of policies to control deforestation and payment for environmental services. Rajão and his team have supported the design and implementation of environmental policies at the federal and state levels, such as the Brazil Forest Restoration Goal (PLANAVEG), the Paris Climate Goal (NDC), and public civil suits against the illegal extraction of gold from the Federal Public Ministry and SeloVerde, a government traceability platform for agriculture being implemented in Pará and Minas Gerais. He has also published scientific articles in the main journals in his areas of expertise, such as Science, Nature Climate Change, STHV, SSS and PNAS.

Dr Luiz Eloy Terena is the general counsel for the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB – Associação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil). He holds a post-doctoral fellowship from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, France, and a PhD from the National Museum, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His PhD thesis, “Vukápanavo – The Awakening of the Terena people to their rights: indigenous movement and political confrontation” received an honourable mention in the 2020 edition of the prestigious Academic Excellence Prize of the Brazilian National Association of Graduate Studies and Research in Social Sciences. Luiz Henrique Eloy Amado, or Eloy Terena, as he is known, is a lawyer, researcher, and Indigenous land rights activist. From the Terena People, Eloy is a native of Ipegue village in Mato Grosso do Sul. He holds a doctorate in Social Anthropology from the National Museum (UFRJ), and a doctorate in Sociology and Law from the Fluminense Federal University (UFF). He conducted a postdoctoral research internship at Brandon University in Canada, focusing on territorial conflicts and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Interdisciplinary Institute of Social Issues (IRIS) at the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris, France. He also serves as a legal advisor to the Brazilian Indigenous peoples Association (APIB).

Marcia Castro is Andelot Professor of Demography, Chair of the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and Chair of the Brazil Studies Program of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS). Her research focuses on the development and use of multidisciplinary approaches to identify the determinants of infectious disease transmission in different ecological settings to inform control policies. She has more than 15 years of collaboration with Brazilian researchers, Health Secretariats, and the Ministry of Health particularly related to infectious diseases. She made important contributions during recent public health emergencies (the Zika virus epidemic and the COVD-19 pandemic). Castro has projects on malaria, COVID-19, arboviruses, infant/child mortality and development, and climate change in the Brazilian Amazon. Specifically, on COVID-19 she has been assessing the spatiotemporal pattern of COVID-19 spread in Brazil, mortality, and fertility changes due to the pandemic, risk factors for mortality, and vaccine effectiveness. She serves on several advisory boards in Brazil, including the Institute for the Studies of Health Policies (IEPS), the Science Center for Early Childhood (NCPI), and Instituto Todos Pela Saúde (ITpS). She earned a PhD in Demography from Princeton University.

Presented in collaboration with the Harvard University Center for the EnvironmentHarvard University Native American ProgramEnvironment and Natural Resources Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International AffairsCenter for International Development at Harvard University, and Harvard Chan’s Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment.

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