Flows
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Flows - It's all connected

Brazil's rainforest and Mexico's coast

In Brazil, Rio Negro and the Amazon river converge
The amazon river is surrounded by rainforest
The Amazon rainforest is the largest on earth
Storing green carbon, a crucial defense in this climate crisis
Housing at least 10% of the world´s biodiversity

The forest is being cut down, burned an uprooted
Used for agriculture, cattle grazing and farming
Topsoil runs off the degraded land
Bringing excessive nutrients to the Amazon river
The Amazon river flows 6,400 km to the ocean
Draining half of the continent into the Atlantic

Increased nutrients create an algae growth epidemic
In the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic ocean
A sargassum algae invasion
An algae belt stretching more than 8,000 km

Decomposing sargassum depletes ocean oxygen creating dead zones
Affecting marine life negatively
Sargassum lands on the beaches
Covering turtle nesting sites - some place huge amounts
Turtles can´t lay eggs there
No eggs, no baby turtles

Rotting algae releases toxins and nutrients
This is damaging the coral reef, killing seagrass
The impact of deforestation flows thousands of kilometers
From the Amazon to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico

Water crosses the coastline
In both directions
Seawater flows up to 10 km inland
Fed by rainwater the aquifer sits on top of the seawater

Below the jungle the water meets
Lighter freshwater sits on top of saltwater
Polluting one pollutes both
Water seeps through the porous rocks
The pure rivers are polluted
By fertilizers from golf courses
By chemicals from construction sites
From septic tanks and treatment plants
Untreated wastewater enters the aquifer

Sargassum is collected on the beaches
Dumped in the jungle and left to rot
It all poisons the underground rivers
Pollution creates bacterial mats
This immense aquifer flows from inland to the sea
Mangrove rivers also flow to the sea
Mangrove forests store carbon effectively
Wastewater runs directly into the rivers

The water should be clear
Not polluted and infested with bacteria
It all flows into the ocean
Making it´s way to the reef

Recent research has found noroviruses in cenotes
Viral diseases cause vomiting, diarrhea or worse
This is the tap water
Used for washing food
Brushing your teeth
Cooking, washing, swimming and everything else

What can be done?

Keep the aquifer clean
Stop deforestation
Protect the rainforest
Protect the ocean

Honour agreements
There is no planet B

Care for it all
Or lose it all

Care
Act
now

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What can we do?

Whether you are at home somewhere or in Mexico or in in Brazil you can do something to make this world a better place:

Eutrophication is a global problem that is also manifested locally. The loss of biodiversity is directly related to it. And Biodiversity means stability of our global life support system. Eutrophication is also a symptom of industrialization. The promise of current industrialized agriculture and fisheries industries is simply not true. Both are destroying the long term ability to feed the people on the planet. Fertile soil is eroded productive aquatic ecosystems are suffocated.

What can you do?

At home

  • Eat and source regional: The Amazon gets destroyed because of the global food and mining industry.
  • It is the hunger for cheap meat, soy beans and for cheap biofuels, minerals and plant oils that eats up the rainforest.
  • Eat less meat: It is not only much more healthy but it really shrinks your contribution to the global dilemma considerably. If you want meat, buy organic.
  • Use public transport whenever possible
  • Get a renewable energy source
  • Start your own project or become part of a local initiative

When you travel

  • Travel less far
  • Stay at an environmentally friendly place that is locally owned
  • Set off your carbon footprint
  • That is the least you should do

While you are there

  • Shop locally and don’t feed the global industries by just eating and buying the same stuff you also get at home.
  • Be there while you are there.

Overall:

  • Buy less crap, it is quality not quantity that counts.
  • We all overconsume much too much. Don’t be reduced to be a just consumer become a citizen.
  • Practise solidarity not protectionism
  • If you can share at least a part of your wealth, locally and globally.
  • But don’t be too relaxed.
  • Thousand small steps will not bridge the gap to a sustainable world.
  • Global political change is needed. Be political, speak up!

What we need now!

In Mexico:

Expansion of the terrestrial part of the Sian Kaan Reserve to cover and protect one of the most important aquifers of the peninsula.

Expansion of the terrestrial part of the Sian Kaan Reserve to cover and protect one of the most important aquifers of the peninsula.
 
The underground rivers in Yucatan are mainly threatened by the large scale tourist development of the area. This creates the massive overuse of all resources and as a result the contamination of the aquifer. Which in the end also kills the reef.

This has to stop and we have little time. Large scale development projects like the Maya train will open new areas for development and it is most likely that the local population will not benefit from this at all.

We need to secure the areas that are yet not contaminated by industrial scale tourism and agriculture.  Sian Kaan as a large area is a good point to start but what is needed is to double the size of the terrestrial part for the common good. This area does not need to be fully protected in the contrary it can be an area where sustainable practice can show how people can live as stewards for the land. We propose a trust model based on local and indigenous stakeholders that guarantees that a sustainable climate friendly development is possible.
 
In Brazil:
 
Creation of Buffer Zones along the big river systems to reduce Eutrophication
 
Eutrophication through deforestation is a problem little looked after on a global scale. We now see that this is another consequence of the rapid global change and we have no time left to act. Besides combatting the elimination of the amazon rainforest by global industries and greed we need at least buffer zones along the rivers that protect the river systems.
If we protect at least 60.000 ha per year that is just one 1% of what is cut down in the same period. But it will make a huge difference for the eutophication of the river system and the ocean. For that purpose we will work together with the existing rainforest groups like www.rainforest-rescue.org .
 
In the Ocean:

Once the million tons of sargassum reach the shores dealing with the problem gets even more complicated. In the same way as new innovative ways of cleaning up the plastic pollution in the oceans are invented we need to address the vast amount of algae. And there might be a chance that we can even use them as a renewable source for energy, biochemicals etc. This seems much better then growing kelp in critical habitats to make biofuel.

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