Environmental Impact of Climate Change on the Tribe

May 3, 2023

Pataxó uses his platform in the ways of an activist urging his listeners to heed the effects of climate change.

As Pataxó described at the beginning of his presentation, the tribe are known as “the guardians of the forest”. So, it is no doubt that the environment plays a tremendous role in the tribe’s practices and values. From hunting practices to the ways in which youth learn, an emphasis on conservation and nature are prevalent. 

“We live in connection. And I invite you to, you know, try to be closer to nature,” he said. This is why the impacts of climate change are affecting the Pataxó tribe especially hard, notably in three main areas: sea-level rise, temperature rise, and deforestation.

“My tribe which is close to the beach, and the sea changes its position and is already devastating half of the village,” said Pataxó.

A main cause of this rise in sea level is due to global temperature rising. According to the World Bank’s Climate Change Knowledge Portal, the temperature in Brazil’s Amazon Basin has risen by .5ºC since 1980. Consequently, this has put animals in danger of wildfires and extreme heat. These animals are crucial to maintaining a healthy ecosystem (the one in which the Pataxó tribe rely on) as well as serving as a food source for the tribe.

Pataxó also placed emphasis on the issue of deforestation which has cut down 20% of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest.

“We believe that the only way to save the planet is to plant trees because sometimes trees have the role of filtering impurities caused by industries, cars, they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen,” said Pataxó. 

All hope is not lost, though. Levels of deforestation and carbon emissions in Brazil have decreased over the years, and Pataxó made it clear that everyone’s actions, no matter how small, are a step towards conservation.

“When you choose an activity to do, think about the environment: what is the impact you’re going to bring?” said Pataxó. “If you want to help the planet and help a nation, plant a tree because that way you will also be helping yourself.”

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