Sunday, July 16, 2023


I very much enjoyed my interview on the Rondoniaovivo (Rondônia Live) program earlier today (Monday, July 16). The discussion with my new friend, Porto Velho-based journalist Ivan Trazão, is now on YouTube (see below). I also recommend visiting the program's Facebook and  web pages.

Ivan is an excellent, real-time translator -- he repeated all of his questions and my answers in both languages. My Portuguese is not fluent enough to have given such complete answers, but it is good enough to know that his translations were quite excellent. 

We talked about the geography of the Amazon, coffee, and much more. 

For my earlier writings on the Amazon in general and Rondônia in particular, please see my early Rondônia Web pages and the many Rondônia posts on my Environmental Geography blog. 

This interview is part of my fifth visit to Porto Velho. The purpose of each visit has been a bit different. In 1996, I was here for three months conducting research for my dissertation on deforestation and urban expansion. In 2000, I returned for three weeks -- this time with my family -- to conduct some follow-up research and to present work on the perception of the Amazon at the Brazilian Studies Association (the only time it met in Brazil). In 2003, I returned with a biology student to assist her with research into plant biodiversity in a recently reforested area of the UNIR campus. 

I was then absent from the region for 16 years (though I made many visits elsewhere in Brazil during that time. I returned in 2019 as fires in the region were sparking very serious concerns worldwide, and local scholars wished to hear my perspectives on the crisis. I have returned in 2023 with some writing projects in progress, but also on a personal journey that I will describe in the interview -- a boat trip from Porto Velho to Manaus with my friend and long-time collaborator Dr. Miguel Nenevé. 

Tangentially related sneak preview: Lula's Encore