News/Other/Energy & Environment

Amazon tribal chief nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for effort to protect rainforest

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Brazilian anthropologists and environmentalists have nominated Chief Raoni Metuktire from the Kayapó tribe for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for his work defending the Amazon rainforest.

Raoni, 89, has asked for help around the world to preserve the Amazon rainforest as it faces a record number number of wildfires, Reuters reported. 

Toni Lotar, a spokesman for the Darcy Ribeiro Foundation, which proposed Raoni’s name to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, told Reuters the committee has initially accepted the nomination but that the full process to be considered a nominee must be finished. 

“Chief Raoni is a living symbol of the fight to protect nature and the rights of indigenous people in the Amazon,” Lotar told Reuters.

The chief has accused Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of causing the fires with his plans to develop the Amazon rainforest economically and to assimilate the indigenous people, Reuters reported.

Roani also has met with French President Emmanuel Macron, who has called the fires an “international crisis” twice, Reuters reported. Macron’s comments led to Bolsonaro demanding an apology from the French president. 

In the 1980s, Roani also campaigned for better treatment of the environment with musician Sting. 

The fires in the Amazon rainforest have been reported to be the worst since 2010.

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