"The Amazon is a living and self-regulating organism. The planet is also an organism but it is a system and everything is interdependent and everything is alive." Those are the words of Martin von Hildebrand, a Swedish environmental activist who has spent 40 years working with indigenous peoples in the Colombian Amazon.
In an interview with the Telegraph, he explains that the Amazon "plays an essential role in the water cycle." It pumps water from tropical forests and pumps moisture that contributes to the entire water cycle.
"If we don't have trees, we don't have Andes rivers, and this is the water upon which all the Andes up to the Rio de la Plata basin rely," he says. "Now we are seeing that there are much more intense droughts due to deforestation and carbon sequestration is now in trouble because too much carbon is being emitted and the Amazon is no longer sequestering as it used to.
Forests can adapt to changes in temperatures naturally but as climate change dries out the forest, more can be burned." He says indigenous people have been living in the Amazon for 10,000 years, and "they have observed how the system works.
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