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Award-Winning Patagonia Film Documents Surfer's Fight to Save His Home

Last week, Patagonia announced the global release of The Fisherman’s Son, a 30-minute film chronicling Ramón Navarro’s rise to the top of the big wave surfing world and his growing voice as an environmental activist.

“I have traveled all around the world only to realize the most amazing place is my own backyard at Punta de Lobos,” said Ramón Navarro. Photo credit: Patagonia

"When one of Chile’s most iconic surf spots and Navarro’s home break of Punta de Lobos came under the threat of commercial development, Ramón, the son of a subsistence fisherman, turned his platform as a surfer into a campaign to protect a place critical to his sport and near to his heart," says Patagonia.

The film, which recently won the 5Points Award 2015 at the 5Point Film Festival in Carbondale, Colorado, was produced by Patagonia and directed by Chris Malloy in association with Save the Waves. Navarro is seeking donations to Save The Waves to help him protect Punta de Lobos forever.

“I have traveled all around the world only to realize the most amazing place is my own backyard at Punta de Lobos,” said Navarro. “I want to protect this place for the fishermen and surfers who live there now and for the generations to come. Being given the opportunity to tell the story of my community through this film has been incredible, and I’m humbled at the response from people who want to get involved themselves.”

So far, the group has been successful in holding back the tide of development around Punta de Lobos that Navarro says would destroy the unique culture of his hometown. The area was declared a World Surfing Reserve in 2014.

But the area remains under serious threat. Crowd-sourced funds generated by the campaign go directly towards the development of a conservation master plan and foundation to protect the point, protecting both the traditional fishing culture and local marine biodiversity.

Watch the full film here:

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Aerial view of Ruropolis, Para state, northen Brazil, on Sept. 6, 2019. Tthe world's biggest rainforest is under threat from wildfires and rampant deforestation. JOHANNES MYBURGH / AFP via Getty Images

By Kate Martyr

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest last month jumped to the highest level since records began in 2015, according to government data.

A total of 563 square kilometers (217.38 square miles) of the world's largest rainforest was destroyed in November, 103% more than in the same month last year, according to Brazil's space research agency.

From January to November this year an area almost the size of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico was destroyed — an 83% overall increase in destruction when compared with the same period last year.

The figures were released on Friday by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), and collected through the DETER database, which uses satellite images to monitor forest fires, forest destruction and other developments affecting the rainforest.

What's Behind the Rise?

Overall, deforestation in 2019 has jumped 30% compared to last year — 9,762 square kilometers (approximately 3769 square miles) have been destroyed, despite deforestation usually slowing during November and December.

Environmental groups, researchers and activists blamed the policies of Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro for the increase.

They say that Bolosonaro's calls for the Amazon to be developed and his weakening support for Ibama, the government's environmental agency, have led to loggers and ranchers feeling safer and braver in destroying the expansive rainforest.

His government hit back at these claims, pointing out that previous governments also cut budgets to environment agencies such as Ibama.

The report comes as Brazil came to loggerheads with the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) over climate goals during the UN climate conference in Madrid.

AOSIS blasted Brazil, among other nations, for "a lack of ambition that also undermines ours."

Last month, a group of Brazilian lawyers called for Bolsonaro to be investigated by the International Criminal Court over his environmental policies.

Reposted with permission from DW.

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