Brazil’s Water Crisis: A Case of Rain or Rainforests?

Talk Tuesday 21 April 2015, 7:00 PM

Sao Paulo, one of the largest cities in the world, may run out of water in the next few months leaving 20 million people high and dry. Who is to blame? Incompetent politicians, unpredictable weather patterns or the wholesale destruction of Amazonia’s rainforests?

How does a country that produces an estimated 12% of the world’s fresh water end up with a chronic shortage of this most essential resource?

Join us for the second in a series of events held in partnership with The Scientific Exploration Society, as we bring together explorers, scientists and journalists to examine the water shortage in Brazil and debate the wider questions about global water security.

Chaired by Andrew Mitchell, a rainforest explorer & advocate. He is the chairman of the Scientific Exploration Society, a forest canopy explorer, founder of the Global Canopy Programme, co-founder of Earthwatch Europe, and Personal Advisor to HRH The Prince of Wales’ Rainforest Project.

The panel:

Peter Bunyard is an author, journalist and founder of The Ecologist. He spent many years exploring and lecturing on the subject of indigenous responsibilities in the Colombian Amazon. More recently, having been alerted to the Biotic Pump theory, he carried out studies in Costa Rica and back home in Cornwall to test the physics of the theory, amassing evidence to challenge current climate modelling on the impact of deforestation in the Amazon Basin.

Sue Cunningham is a photographer, author and trustee of Tribes Alive/Indigenous People’s Cultural Support Trust. She and her husband Patrick Cunningham were awarded the Neville Shulman prize by the Royal Geographical Society for their Heart of Brazil Expedition travelling on the Xingu river by boat, visiting 48 tribal villages and documenting the affects of climate change and man’s dramatic impact on the rain forest.

Rogerio Simoes is a Brazilian journalist based in London. He is a former head of the BBC’s Brazilian Service and has written about Brazil for the CNN website. He was also executive-editor at Brazilian weekly news magazine Epoca and opinion editor and London correspondent at Folha de S.Paulo newspaper.

Nixiwaka Yawanawa, represents the 900 strong Yawanawa tribe, the ‘People of the Wild Boar’ of Acre within the western Amazon rainforest of Brazil, an area recently decimated by terrible flooding. He is currently working for Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights

Dr Friederike Otto is a senior researcher at the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, leading the distributed volunteer computing project Her main research interest is the attribution of extreme weather events to external climate drivers. A major focus of this work is to explore the propagation of uncertainty from external drivers to actual impacts of climate change and assess associated risks.