Tropical climates are home to the world’s most venomous snakes, meaning that it is often the most economically isolated and physically remote communities that are at risk of bites.
The Sateré-Mawé people, on the border between Amazonas and Pará states, have endured long conflicts with mining companies and land thieves. The Sateré and indigenous groups throughout Brazil now face new threats stemming from the Bolsonaro government's pro-ruralist policies.
Indigenous people are under siege in Rondonia, the Brazilian state to the northeast border of Bolivia.
To steel themselves against the challenges posed by illegal loggers, land grabbers, and anti-indigenous policies, and to create unity among their tribal groups, Sateré young men participate in a ritual known as Waumat—the painful bites of stinging ants.
Now more than ever, indigenous groups in Brazil fear the loss of their cultural heritage and land rights as Bolsonaro aims for indigenous societal “assimilation,” or erasure of ethnic minority groups' traditional ways of life and livelihoods.
In 2009, special decrees signed by then-president Alan García opened up vast swaths of Peruvian indigenous territory to resource exploitation.
The Darién Gap between Panama and Colombia has long been known as an impregnable stretch of rainforest, rivers and swamps inhabited by indigenous peoples as well as guerrillas, drug traffickers and paramilitaries. Some of the Darién’s indigenous communities are working to reverse steady deforestation.
As development increases in Thailand, so does deforestation. Buddhist ecology monks, a new category of religious activists, are making an effort to conserve the environment in Thailand.
Buddhist ecology monks in Thailand have chosen to take an active approach to ending environmental suffering. In the face of deforestation and rapid development, their work is making an impact.
Worse droughts have caused serious water shortages, which impact both local farmers and mountain gorillas.
Climate change is reshaping relations between parks, people and the mountain gorillas of Rwanda. But more and deeper research is needed to determine likely long-term impacts.
The final installment of a series examining the relationship between the economy and natural resources in Venezuela.