Friday 28 January 2011

Next Adventure

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My best time amongst many amazing moments I have lived have been guiding. My next adventure made me write this just because I will be co-guiding an amazing tour with my friend Dr. Charles Munn III. He is such a genius. We have worked together before in Peru where we implemented Manu Wildlife Centre, in Southen Piaui where we creted opportunities for trappers turn into eco-guide and scientists field assistants and in the Pantanal where we guarantee observation of Jaguars and all others big south America mammals.

Dr. Charles Munn III

This time we shall fly from Manaus to Tefe with 4 friendly clients and spend a few days at Mamiraua(57,000 km2) where wildlife is highly abundant: Red Uakari, Three-toed sloths, Amazon river dolphin, Hoatzin, Giant Otters, Caymans and an array of other representatives of the Amazon fauna. Mamiraua was founded by out late friend Marcio Ayres who will always be in our hearts as a good mate and most respectable conservationist.

Marcio Ayres

We shall next then explore the Jau National park which reminds the size of tropical rainforest Charlie and his team have helped protected until some 8 years ago: 5.6 million acres (23,000 km²). At Jau we shall focus on observing Black Uakari, a quite elusive and not quite studied primate species.

In between that we shall do some canopy climbing, fly over the meeting of the waters and the Anavilhanas archipelago swim with pink dolphins, learn a bit of Manaus history and of course have some fun and change ideas and discussing how we can more effectively protect more Rainforest.
Learn about the many great adventures he can provide you at and his conservation projects at

Thursday 27 January 2011

Fordlandia through Kelly's lens

The Water tank at Fordlandia
Fig tree at Fordlandia

Zebu Htl

At the graveyard

Gil Serique at Fordlandia
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Belo Monte is under construction!

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Brazil green lights Amazon dam disregarding environmental laws and local opposition

New Dilma Government approves fast-track forest clearance and commencement of controversial Belo Monte construction site

Brasília, Brazil (January 27, 2011)—The Brazilian government has issued a "partial” installation license allowing the Belo Monte Dam Complex to break ground on the margins of the Amazon’s Xingu River despite egregious disregard for human rights and environmental legislation, the unwavering protests of civil society and condemnations by its Federal Public Prosecutor's Office (MPF). The license was approved by Brazil’s environmental agency IBAMA despite overwhelming evidence that the dam-building consortium Norte Energia (NESA) has failed to comply with dozens of social and environmental conditions required for an installation license.

The "partial” installation license, non-existent under Brazilian environmental legislation, will allow for NESA to open access roads and initiate forest clearing at dam construction sites in an area of 2,118 acres. "The partial installation license granted by IBAMA is intended to transform Belo Monte, a notoriously illegal and catastrophic dam project and a huge waste of taxpayers' money, into a fait accompli,” said Christian Poirier, Brazil Program Coordinator at Amazon Watch.

The risky $17 billion Belo Monte Dam Complex will divert nearly the entire flow of the Xingu River along a 62-mile stretch. Its reservoirs will flood more than 100,000 acres of rainforest and local settlements, displace more than 40,000 people and generate vast quantities of methane—a greenhouse gas at least 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

The decision follows the recent resignation of IBAMA’s president Abelardo Bayma, who allegedly departed amidst intense political pressures from the Ministry of Mines and Energy and President Dilma Rousseff.

The consortium also benefited from a subsidized $640 million start-up loan from the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) for equipment purchases before a partial installation license was issued, countering legal procedures. The bank has come under increasing scrutiny from the Public Prosecutor's office and NGOs due to alarming evidence that approval is based on political grounds, often downplaying problems of economic viability and compliance with social and environmental safeguards.

According to Public Prosecutor Ubiratan Cazetta, “ IBAMA is putting the region at a high social and environmental risk by granting a license allowing installation of the construction site while not requiring compliance with legally-mandated safeguards. No effective preparations have been made to absorb the thousands of migrants who will be attracted to the region in search of employment in dam construction. We're very concerned about what could happen here.”

Fierce opposition by local inhabitants to Belo Monte has not wavered. “For us, Belo Monte’s installation license is a sign of the government’s deepening authoritarianism, as it continues to steamroll over environmental legislation and human rights,” said Antônia Melo, a leader and spokeswoman for the Xingu Alive Forever Movement (MXVPS). “The government seeks to build this dam at any cost in order to benefit corporate interests at our expense. However, we will not stop fighting to preserve the Xingu, our national patrimony.”

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Sunday 23 January 2011

God! What have we ducking done?

One of my friends says that future generations will never forgive what we have done in terms of damaging the environment so far...

The world's coolest nationalities

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I am not surprised my country was chosen as the coolest(see link), i am not surprised either the Brazilian people who were quite proud of being chosen had limited view of the environmental issues we are coping with in Brazil.

Several comments went against "Not so cool: Mmmmm, Brazilian meat and cocoa -- so delicious, but farming's destruction of vast tracts of rainforest leaves a bitter aftertaste".

All in all it is really cool tobe live and be born here particularly in the Amazon!!

Read more: The world's coolest nationalities: Where do you rank? | #1,1#ixzz1BstqYve8

Friday 14 January 2011

Black Skimmers

I had a blast this morning when I saw a large flock of Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger) loafing and flying near my place. I quit windsurfing to shoot some photos. Last year there were on the island across the river. I wonder what made them choose the city side to be. When I was in Peru in Manu park area I saw several chicks on the river bank. They have elongated lower mandible and are the only bird that have vertical iris like cats do. They are amongst my favourite birds for their graceful flight when skimming. There were also many Yellow-billed terns as the picture shows.

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Thursday 13 January 2011

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We were on a cruise that spent 8 days on the Amazon and Rio Negro Rivers. We stopped at 4 ports.
I researched and reference checked guides and they made the trip very special. Instead of boring city tours or seeing defunct rubber factories and plantations we went by boat and 4xr4 into tributaries and visited remote villages where in some cases the locals had never seen people with blue eyes such as my wife has. They were really curious though we were the curious ones about their culture and their way of life. Along the way to the different villages we were fortunate enough to see pink dolphin, caiman (a type of alligator), sloths, monkeys and a wide variety of birds including parrots and tucans. The trips were costly because the guides had to charter covered speed boat and fuel is quite expensive . So, I communicated on CruiseCriitic,com for other individuals who were on my cruise that might be interested in these 6-8 hour excursions. I received more than I wanted so in Santerem with the 6 of us we used Gil ( who has 15+ years experience and it showed in the depth of his knowledge. So divided by 6 it cost us $200/person for a trip that was partly in an air conditioned 4x4 and half in a large speedboat.

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Ready 4 Sunday

All is fine for a visit to Fordlandia and various stops at the Tapajos National forest.

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Tuesday 11 January 2011

M/S Pacific Princess in Santarem

Chatting with group on the Amazon Floodplain
Wild cocoa
Juliana(a tourism student) came along
Fishermen in the Amazon

A three-toed sloth
Gil Serique windsurfing on the Tapajos River
Yello-geaded caracara at Maica river
a flock of Black skimmers in front of Santarem
Gil Serique at work (very rare)

Tipiti(squeezer) used for making manioc flour
Making manuic flour near Santarem
Tapping a rubber tree
The Meeting of the waters in Santarem
Gil Serique's home seen from the river
Calabash gourd collecting later from a rubber tree
Gil and two dear friends
Meeting of the waters in Santarem
Sapucaya nut
a crowded boat of cruise ship passengers fishing for piranhas
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Gil serique at work(very rare II)
kid with his puppy in the Amazon
chilling on the boat
a pigmy anteater
at the pier in Santarem

yellow-billed terns at maica river mouth
view of Santarem and meeting of the waters
a black collared hawk
Maria sieving manioc
bird eye view of maica river during dry season
a male three-toed sloth
a muscular pink dolphin

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