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Beyond Fordlândia is proud to join forces with the Society X Environment: “Discussing the Future”, an educational project led by Professor Laura Chagas at Waldemar Maués State High School, located in the historic city of Belterra in the midst of the Amazon rain forest in the state of Pará, Brazil.

This project aims to awaken in both the learner and the local community the concern to seek the development of the municipality, a consideration of the sustainable use of natural resources, as well as of the quality of life of the people who inhabit the region. Creation of a common ground for sustainability, forest balance and quality of life is one of the great challenges for the people living in the Amazon region; however, the current scenario is headed towards anthropogenic depredation that only benefits large corporate enterprises and leaves progressively more Amazonians with little prospect of enjoying this much dreamt of development. Increased deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, especially for soybean plantations, poses a major threat not only to populations exposed to the direct effects of agrochemicals but also to negative impacts on water resources, soil, fauna and flora, which can result in catastrophic effects not only for the Amazon biome, but for the entire planet.

Founded on the basis of this idea, the Waldemar Maués School encouraged students to develop a critical spirit and to take on a participatory role in which they exercise political power by organizing the following activities:

  1. Organizing Public Hearings (June 2017) for discussion of the dismemberment (2,000 hectares) of an APA Aramanaí environmental protection area located on the banks of the Tapajós river. The discussions concerned the construction of ports for grain exports and were attended by approximately 300 People, involving members of the municipal government, the Public Ministry, Tapajós Vivo Movement, civil society and students of the School;
  2. The presentation of a public lecture (June 2017) entitled , “Amazonian Environmental Damage and its consequences in Human Health:Challenges for a methodological model for its confrontation”, delivered by the neurosurgeon Dr. Erik Jennings Simões, in the covered court of the school;
  3. The proposal of a research project (July/August 2017) called , “Socioeconomic and health diagnoses of the people vulnerable to contamination by exposure to the use of pesticides in the municipality Belterra, Pará”; led by Dr. Marcos Evandro Chagas.
  4. Organizing an audio-visual workshop (July 2017) that supports students in creating a documentary on the role ofexposure to agrochemicals in humanhealth, of said municipality;
  5. Organizing a public hearing to be held in August 2017 dealing with the effects of agrochemicals on the residents of the Belterra municipality urban area.

The Waldemar Maués School will develop these activities with the collaboration of partners due to the lack of specific supporting resources. The Waldemar Maués School expects to develop these activities with the collaboration of local partners, nonprofit organization and members of the civil society who see the nature is a foundation and due to the lack of specific supporting resources. By developing these activities incollaboration with local partners, nonprofit organization and members of the civil society the Waldemar MauésSchool model expects to build a bridge inthe fight against deforestation in theregion and at the same time setting a pattern not only for Belterra but for other communities in the region who are facing the same peril of destruction due to the soybean industry in the region.

The Society X Environment: “Discussing the Future” project needs all the help they can get to support their efforts in the education of this new generation. The project carries in its core the principle that human and non-human entities should live in harmony in its ecosystem. The Amazon rain forest its biome and ecologies depend on the environment and biological education of its value. Education and appropriate action will determine the future of the forest, and the survival not only of its people now, but for generations to come.

The lack of environment supporting, protection and intervention of municipality authorities does not give the project many options for action. Both teachers and students experience daily challenges in order to give and receive the necessary knowledge of the devastating environment impact in the region: challenges which include provision of the basic needs of food and transportation to the schools to the more complex need of access to technology. The teachers have the responsibilities to sponsor from their own expenses the food and transportation when the students have to stay the entire day at school. 

The makers of Beyond Fordlândia are delighted to contribute to their awareness of the environment and the implication taking place in their surrounding and to support the educational growing of The Society X Environment: “Discussing the Future” of the project are promoting. We also invited you to take action before it is too late.