Imagining Collective Futures in the Amazon


Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 12:00pm to 1:15pm

For a recording of this event, please click here.

The extraction of natural resources in the Amazon only continues to increase, resulting in a record number of land-related conflicts, deforestation, and murders of environmental defenders, disproportionately affecting Indigenous and peasant populations. At the same time, scientists continue to warn of the potential collapse of Amazon ecosystem, which would have catastrophic global impacts. What futures are in dispute in the Amazon?  How can an interrelated, interdependent, and sustainable collective future for the rainforest and future generations of humans and non-humans emerge?

Speakers: Tônkyré Akrãtikatêjê (Katia Silene Valdenilson), first female leader of the Gavião Akrãtikatêjê ethnic group and Visiting Researcher at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA); Marcelo Furtado, Lemann Visiting Public Policy Fellow, ILAS-Columbia (Fall 2021); Felipe Milanez, Professor at the Institute of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), and Visiting Scholar at the Clark Center for the Study of Natural Resource Extraction and Society, Clark University (Fall 2021)

Moderated by: Marcia Castro, Andelot Professor of Demography; Chair, Department of Global Health and Population, HSPH; Chair, Brazil Studies Program

Tônkyre Akrãtikatêjê is a woman, mother, grandmother, leader, educator and philosopher. She is the granddaughter of Rõnõre and daughter of Paiaré. She has experienced her ethnic group´s forced displacement, dispersion, population reduction, and famine on account of the necropolitics that accompanied large infrastructure projects in the Amazon.

Marcelo Furtado has over 30 years of experience working in the sustainability field, committed to advancing environmental and social justice through advocacy and philanthropy. Most recently, he became a partner at the start-up ZScore/BlockC, a traceability platform for environmental assets using blockchain technology. Prior to this, he was the CEO of Alana Foundation and Arapyaú institute, family foundations that promote sustainability, social justice and education. Marcelo is a co-founder and was the facilitator of the Brazilian Coalition on Climate Forest and Agriculture, a multi-stakeholder forum with representatives from academia, business and civil society to implement a just and sustainable low carbon economy focused on land use issues. He is also a co-founder of the Climate & Sovereignty Centre, a think tank on Defence and Climate issues. Marcelo also spent twenty-four years at Greenpeace where he served as Executive Director of Greenpeace Brazil, and was previously Head of the Forest, Climate & Energy, and Toxics and Oceans campaigns in Brazil. At Greenpeace International, he worked for fifteen years as a policy adviser on Climate & Energy and Industrial Pollution. He also coordinated the Latin American and later the global Toxic Trade Campaign on the promotion of clean technology and the worldwide ban on hazardous waste trade. Marcelo is a chemical engineer by training with a master’s degree in renewable energy. He is a Yale World Fellow and currently serves as the Board Chair at World Resources Institute (WRI) Brazil. He is also a Board member of Conectas Human Rights. He is also a member of the sustainability committees of Duratex SA and Marfrig SA.

Felipe Milanez is a journalist and professor at the Institute of Humanities, Arts and Sciences and the multidisciplinary Culture and Society graduate program at the Federal University of Bahia. He is a columnist for CartaCapital and Mídia Ninja. He was the editor of National Geographic Brazil.

Marcia Castro is Andelot Professor of Demography, and chair of the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, associate faculty of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and faculty member of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Her research focuses on the development and use of multidisciplinary approaches, combining data from different sources, to identify the determinants of malaria transmission in different ecological settings, and to provide evidence for the improvement of current control policies, and the development of new ones. She has more than 20 years of research experience in the Brazilian Amazon, and is assessing the role of extreme weather events on malaria. She has projects on dengue, Zika virus, chikungunya, tuberculosis, congenital syphilis, and infant and child mortality and development. Professor Castro received the 2018 Roger L. Nichols Award for Excellence in Teaching. She earned her doctoral degree in Demography from Princeton University.

Presented in collaboration with Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS), Columbia University; Columbia Global Centers, Rio de JaneiroHarvard University Center for the Environment; Clark Center for the Study of Natural Resource Extraction and SocietyHarvard University Native American ProgramEnvironment and Natural Resources Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; and ArticulaFito - Cadeias de Valor em Plantas Medicinais, uma iniciativa conjunta da Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz) e do Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (Mapa)