The wild Amazon

Allison Miller

The wild Amazon

By Allison Miller

There’s only one day left in Brazil and I’m sad to see this journey come to a close. The last week was spent traveling to Santarem, where we boarded the Don Giuseppe for our five-day boat trip. We traveled down the Tapajos River, an estuary of the Amazon River, and visited three indigenous communities. These communities proved to be an essential component of the Amazon forest being protected. They have been allotted to stay on the land and work with the land instead of just taking from the land and their culture resides much in area which makes them a primary representative of the Amazon forest. Isolated from much of civilization they earn their livelihoods from fishing, growing crops, harvesting honey, making crafts, etc. Without a living and healthy environment these people would become completely detached from all they’ve grown to know.

In response to the need to maintain the forest, we also went to visit a sustainable timber extraction site. In contrast of illegal logging, which makes up 90% of all timber exports in Brazil, Floresta Nacional do Tapajos extracts timber according to Brazilian law. The community business runs based on the needs of the forest instead of the demand for timber. Their land is divided into 32 areas based on the knowledge that it takes 32 years for the forest to rebuild itself and they only take select trees from each area so that from a human’s perspective the forest looks virtually untouched. Their method of extraction doesn’t promote deforestation or diffraction which allows for no biodiversity to be lost and also provides income for the local community for their well sought after resources.

Off to Brazil!

Shapna Islam

Off to Brazil!

By M. Shapna Islam

My name is Mousumi Shapna Islam, and I just go by Shapna. I am of Bangladeshi descent, and my name in Bengali means “dream.” I grew up in Southern California and transferred to Arizona State University to attend the School of Sustainability. I study issues that involve the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. Sustainability is the narrative towards critically analyzing and finding solutions to problems that affect the environment, economy and social equity.

I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s in international development and sustainability from the School of Sustainability and a minor in urban planning from the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. I am committed to finding sustainable solutions so that in the future, as many people as possible are leading better lives. It may seem like a vague mission statement, but I believe this can be achieved by ensuring access to clean water, affordable nutritious food and quality education opportunities. Reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions is another challenge faced by my generation. We owe it to future generations to actively fight for these rights so that our children and children’s children do not have to struggle.

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It’s Me, Kaila

kaila-spiller

It’s Me, Kaila

By Kaila Spiller

Hello all! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Kaila Renee Spiller, and I am 20 years old. I am an aerospace engineering major with a minor in sustainability at Arizona State University, and I work part-time as a sales associate for Urban Outfitters. I have a close relationship with my friends and family and enjoy camping, hiking and spending time with them more than anything. I have a big heart and have always dreamed of flying, traveling and meeting beautiful souls.

This summer I am embarking on the incredible journey to Brazil! I will be there for three weeks visiting four different cities and taking a course on human rights and sustainability, a subject that has always interested me. I will be studying alongside around 20 other students led by professor Ladawn Haglund and our teacher’s assistant Julie Gwiszcz. The course will address three important topics in sustainability: the human right to food, right to housing and indigenous rights.

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Before Brazil

Eduardo-Cervantez

Before Brazil

By Eduardo Cervantez

Hello, Everyone

My name is Eduardo Cervantez, and I’m a current senior that will be graduating in the fall of 2014 and my major is sustainability, Energy, Materials and Technology track. I call home Oakley, California which is located about 45 minutes from San Francisco. I currently work at Trader Joe’s in Scottsdale, and I coach soccer for the Pro’s Soccer Club in Tempe. My hobbies consist of playing soccer, hiking, traveling and just seeing what next adventures await in my life!

I’m really looking forward to this adventure with all of you guys because we will embark on an amazing journey to explore the issues of sustainability and human rights. I feel that we couldn’t be in Brazil at a better time. Brazil at this current moment is getting ready to host the FIFA World Cup and will allow us the opportunity to analyze the human rights issues and see the sustainability progress in preparing for this event.

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