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Brazil's indigenous chief's bid to save the Amazon

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 14, 2019 - Duration: 01:20s

Brazil's indigenous chief's bid to save the Amazon

Brazilian tribe chief Raoni Metuktire and other representatives of the Amazon's indigenous peoples met with French Environment Minister Francois de Rugy in Paris on Monday as they began a three-week tour across Europe to raise funds for the protection of the Amazon's Xingu reserve.

Lauren Anthony reports.

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Brazil's indigenous chief's bid to save the Amazon

Brazil's indigenous people want Europe to know - the Amazon's Xingu reserve needs help.

Tribe chief Raoni Metuktire kicked off a three week tour around the continent on Monday (May 15) to raise awareness of growing deforestation in Brazil's Amazon, starting with France's Environment Minister in Paris.

The head of the Kayapo people - now in his late eighties - will meet with heads of state, celebrities, even the Pope, in a bid to raise funds for the preservation of the Xingu.

His goal is a million euros.

This isn't the first time Metuktire has captured the global spotlight.

In 1989 he campaigned to save his homeland with British rock star, Sting.

Brazil has more than 850,000 indigenous people, who live on reservations that make up around 13% of the country's territory.

But President Jair Bolsonaro has said that is too much land for so few people, and has vowed to review some reservation borders.

In late April thousands camped outside Brasilia's Esplanade of Ministries for three days, then marched to government offices to protest right-wing Bolsonaro's policies that threaten their reservation lands.

Bolsonaro was elected last October with the support of Brazil's farming sector which has pushed for access to more land, and fewer environmental controls.

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