NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Rivers Connect the World: Tastes and Tales from the Amazon, Mekong and Mississippi Rivers is a five-course dinner at Cafe Carmo on July 17 featuring dishes from three of the world’s great river basins. The evening will include conversations focused on how life on Earth is dependent on rivers systems connecting the oceans to the lands and how human cultures arose symbiotically from these vital and fragile connections. A silent auction will be held that includes Amazon photography by Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes and other items.

Tickets can be purchased using this link

The evening will include presentations by members of a BCI delegation that recently visited the Amazon, the world’s largest river basin that accounts for ~20% of all fresh water on Earth. The delegation was hosted by the indigenous Juruna along the Xingu River, one of the largest clearwater rivers in the Amazon basin located in the Brazilian state of Pará. The Xingu is home to over 600 fishspecies, including many endemics. The recently completed Belo Monte Dam, the fourth largest hydroelectric dam in the world, is having devastating effects on the Xingu ecosystem and the Juruna’s way of life. Further, much of the land in the Xingu Basin has been clear cut for pastures to raise livestock, which has resulted in drastic reductions in annual rainfall in the region and is converting a once vibrant rainforest into savannah. The region faces further peril from the proposed Volta Grande Mining Project that aims to be the largest open pit gold mine in Brazil.
Proceeds from this dinner are being directed to assist the Juruna to shine a light on how their native lands and ways of life are at risk of disappearing. The BCI is organizing a “Rivers Connect the World” delegation to Terra Madre, the Slow Food gathering of 150+ countries in Torino, Italy in September 2022. The delegation will consist of people representing the Mekong and Mississippi Rivers along with members of the Juruna to share stories of how we are all connected by the great rivers of the world.

The BioCultural Institute seeks to explore the great river basins of the world to study their geologic and biologic history and examine how native flora, fauna and indigenous cultures arose symbiotically within the natural biome of these rivers. Furthermore, the BCI examines how industrial globalism imperials these vital and fragile ecosystems.

Storms that form over salty oceans move over land and provide fresh rainwater that is vital for land based plants and animals. The vast network of creeks, streams, lakes and wetlands form river basins that collect rainwater and transport nutrient rich fresh water that is vital to oceanic life. Rivers connect the lands to the oceans to create an elaborate global ecosystem. The lands and the oceans dance together in the fertile coastal wetlands that serve as the breeding and feeding grounds for the vast majority of animal life both on land and in the ocean…Rivers Connect the World.