At its heart, the story of the Brazilian Amazon is about the 21 million people who in some way or another call it home. Everyday from December 7 through 18 - coinciding with the Copenhagen climate change summit – I am introducing you to a new person who lives in the Brazilian Amazon and whom I came across during my most recent reporting trip to the area. This is the fourth of twelve installments of ‘Faces of the Amazon.’ To read the introductory blog post about this project, click here.
Name: Daniel Moreno
Where from: Manaus, Amazonas state
Population: 1.7 million
“I am a pilot for Tio Air Taxi company. Our planes carry about five people only, plus a pilot. We go to small towns in the Amazon that are not serviced by the big airlines of Brazil.
"I fly over the forest all the time. I love the forest, but I don’t like deforestation.
"I am originally from Sao Paulo, but I came here to Amazonas and decided to stay. I have been here 20 years now. I have no intention of going back to Sao Paulo. Only for vacation.
"I fly over Amazonas state and I see deforestation almost everyday I fly. But it’s a complex issue. There is a lot of burning in the forest right now because it’s dry. Some of it is caused by lighting strikes and are natural events, but the majority of the burning is human caused to clear the forest.
"Deforestation has generally gone down, but this month it is so dry the deforestation has picked up to the same levels it was before. There were some times before where the smoke from burning was so thick it was hard to see the runways. This month it’s horrible."