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

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.


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, a 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 intentional.

« 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 2017 World Resources Institute report.

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

  1. Odilon Garcez Ayres | December 26, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Reply

    Depois desse bárbaro crime…..perdi a fé na humanidade! Eu, os povos indígenas e o mundo clamam por justiça…se ela não alcançar os responsáveis…Deus um dia alcançará e pedirá contas de ato criminoso. Matar uma árvore é como matar um ser humano…uma de 5.800 anos é como matar toda a tua ancestralidade…então …pra ti e quem mandou fazer esse crime…matar uma criança não custará nada! VaDE rETRUM sATANÁS!

  2. The corruption’s land…symple like that!

  3. Euclydes Trovato | December 21, 2015 at 6:35 pm | Reply

    The environmental degradation in Brazilian Amazon rainy forest is appaling.
    The deforestation attains large scale proportions, that literraly destroy thousand of square kilometers each year.
    The brazilian authorities are completely unable and oftentimes unwilingly to take serious measures to restrain the criminal action of loggers and also many wood industry related companies, quite frequently with the interested participation of international companies it must be said.
    On top of the “illegal” deforestation there is a nonsensical “legalized” deforestation process going on which constitutes a crime in itself.
    The environmental impact of the deforestation process is only proportional and exactly corresponds to the political corruption prevailing within the brazilian government institutions.
    The United Nations should seriously intervene.

  4. José Carlos Fontes | December 20, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Reply

    This environmental crime shocked all of us, the penalty should be exemplary for these predators of nature

  5. o brasil esta sem controle,é isso!!!

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