National Geographic reporter, Scott Wallace, was interviewed about his new book The Unconquered, where he follows Brazilian explorer and social activist Sydney Possuelo as he tracks one of the last uncontacted indigenous people on the planet, the flecheiros or Arrow People.
Q: What is at risk if the uncontacted/isolated peoples of the Amazon are not protected?
A: If the isolated tribes of the Amazon are not protected, they will disappear, just as surely as the hunting cultures and the buffalo vanished from the High Plains of North America. The frontier of modern society is advancing everywhere across the planet where resources have yet to be tapped.
The global economy’s insatiable appetite for gold, oil, land, timber-you name it-is threatening the Earth’s last bastions of pristine wilderness, and in the case of the deep Amazon, the very existence of fragile, vulnerable cultures. These cultures represent a tenuous link with our past. They deserve our respect and our protection.