Loggers Accidentally Cut Down World’s Oldest Tree in Amazon Forest

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Illegal loggers at the frontier of the Peruvian and Brazilian border have mistakenly cut down what experts claim is the world’s oldest tree after allegedly not noticing they were logging deeply in Matsés Indigenous Reserve, an area where logging is illegal, infuriating local conservation organizations and native indigenous communities.

The giant Samauma tree that is thought to be over 5,800 years old judging on its concentric rings and estimated to be close to 40 meters in height was a major part of the native tribes cultural landscape, countless generations of natives having witnessed the long duration of the tree and having included it in their own culture.

«It is the Mother spirit of the rainforest, from this spirit-tree came the life force of all things living. They have destroyed Aotlcp-Awak, they have brought darkness upon not only our people, but the whole world» explains local tribesman leader Tahuactep of the Matsés tribe.

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Native communities alarmed local media outlets and conservation groups when Aotlcp-Awak, or Mother tree in local dialects, was reported sawed down by heavy machinery

«For many generations, the Mother tree has brought my people health and good fortune. The roots of the Mother tree spread throughout the rainforest and bring its life spirit to the world. What will be left of the animals, of the plants and of our people now that the Mother spirit is gone» asks Kalahuaptl, a local shaman. «They have murdered the Mother spirit knowingly, they have done this to kill our people and take the spoils of the land» he adds, visibly shaken by the destruction of the millennia-old Samauma tree.

Anna Golding, local researcher for non profit organization and conservancy group Rainforest Protection Coalition (RPC), an initiative stemming from Berkeley University in California, believes the ‘incident’ was intentionnal. « There are large portions of this national reserve that are rich in oil and natural gas. There has been committed action by energy corporations to lobby the government to exploit the area for years. The protected zones have been cut in half over the past decade and this is only their latest attempt to get rid of the local populations who are fighting to preserve their cultural heritage and lifestyle» she admits.

«These actions are clearly perpetrated with the consent of local authorities and the government. If this wasn’t the case, why are local enforcement agencies not prosecuting these corporations? Why are these loggers free to keep doing what they are doing? That is the bigger question» she adds.

Between 1991 and 2014, the total area of forest lost in the Amazon has more than tripled, with most of the lost forest becoming pasture for cattle. Rainforests are the richest places on earth holding the majority of the planet’s biodiversity, yet 100 acres of rainforests are cleared every minute, estimates a recent 2014 World Resources Institute report.

9 Comments on "Loggers Accidentally Cut Down World’s Oldest Tree in Amazon Forest"

  1. In Thailand, the monks ordained all the oldest teak trees as monks to keep poachers from illegally logging. It has actually worked. I wonder if a similar method could be taken in the amazon. Trees as catholic saints?

    • There’s a difference. Monks treated them as monks in their religion. Catholic saints will not work, since the native religions are not considered as “established” religions. They are considered as cults. Besides, the same companies that cut those trees down, are the ones that profess catholicism as their religion… So…

  2. So, when are the people of the world going to help the people of South America stop the loggers? How much more has to be destroyed before it’s stopped?

  3. The company that logged it should be made to burry it very deep in the ground near the village so it can not be dug up.

  4. stop eating meat. amazon is becoming grazing for cattle. we are killing everything.

    • While, I agree with you mostly, I must say that agriculture is equally destructive to the whole ecosystem.

    • Roughly 80% of that destructive “agriculture” (animal agriculture is still agriculture btw) is monocrops of GMO soy and corn which is being grown solely for animal feed.

    • Eating meat isn’t the problem, the size of the population is. If our population was 1/10th of its current size everyone could eat meat everyday and it wouldn’t be a problem. And in 50 years when our population is 10 times the size even if everyone eats vegan there still won’t be enough space for crops. Solution is population capping not dietary changes.

    • Geraud, …… Your dead rite.
      How can we change this existing and projected over population of humans on this planet ?

      One ” environmently aware Child ” per couple until the earth has healed and we have learnt how to live a sustainable existence ?

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