For the first time a tree seeks asylum and unveils the drama of native species under threat

Campaign triggers movement against the acceleration of deforestation

The Amazon is near its tipping point with just a few decades or so to lose about 40% of its rainforests and be turned into a savannah-like mix of woodland and grassland, according to a study published by the Nature Communications journal. A statement that gets even more distressing due the fact that rainforests support a vastly greater range of species  and play a much greater role in absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Life is at stake, specially of those that inhabit the threatened ecosystem. 

In order to denounce the risk to life in the face of uncontrolled devastation and exploitation within Brazil’s forests, with the constant increase of deforestation and fires responsible for the destruction of entire biomes, a Jatoba, one of the many native species threatened with extinction, is seeking asylum in embassies of foreign countries as it felt threatened in its territory of origin. Conceived by ad agency Africa, the unusual request was initially made at the opening of the event 24 Hours of Reality: Countdown to the Future, by the Climate Reality Project, with a film by Hungry Man and was sent to more than fifty embassies.

Refugee Tree from Africa on Vimeo.

The trees of the Amazon – as well as of other Brazilian biomes – are under threat. The comparison with the refugee term, defined by the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) as any living being who is out of its country of origin due to well-founded fear of being persecuted as well as due to serious and widespread violation of rights and conflicts, aims at provoking a global mobilization surrounding the rapid increase of attacks to the world’s largest rainforest, as well as emphasizing the need to strengthen sustainable management in the region. 

Produced by Hungry Man and directed by JC Feyer, the film that tells the journey of the Refugee Tree and also invites people to sign a petition with the intention to stop all deforestation within the next 5 years, a goal based on the “5 Emergency Measures to Fight the Deforestation Crisis in the Amazon”, a document formulated by scientists and entities operating in the territory. The full text and petition can be found on the website

In addition to the support of Climate Reality Brasil, an organization that works towards informing the society on the effects of climate changes globally, the initiative is supported by GT Infrastructure and Social-Environmental Justicea group of 40 organizations operating directly in the territory; by IMAZON, a non-profit research institution that promotes sustainable development in the Amazon and Engajamundo,a network of young people that promotes political engagement as a means of transforming reality. 

“Our environment is under attack by people and structures that are supposed to protect it. We need to draw attention to the ongoing tragedy and mobilize far beyond the international community to reverse this scenario”, said Renata Moraes, manager of Climate Reality Brasil.

Engajamundostresses the project’s importance: “The Amazon has been crying out for help for years. The refugee application symbolizes not only the survival of this and other lifeforms that are essential for this planet, but also the struggle of the various indigenous tribes such as the ribeirinhos and quilombolas, among many others that live in the Amazon fighting to protect the forest and its territories. This action reveals the urgency of a mobilization at a national and international level, as well as the need of reinforcing the fight of natives and locals who maintain a sustainable relationship with the Amazon”.

“Trees are living things and this is a dramatic action to direct the world’s attention to the systematic extinction of our planet’s species. We need to move towards a policy of zero short-term deforestation and be uncompromising in the fight against the depredation of our biomes”, emphasized Edson Vidal, a professor at Luiz de Queiroz School of Agriculture (ESALQ).

“The refugee request flags up the seriousness of Brazil’s millions of trees and other lifeforms extermination in a country where the authorities who should be responsible for their protection are often on the same team of the perpetrators. It’s up to us, citizens, to stand in defense of this, in defense of our millions of trees, in the search of a solution which starts with the implementation of the “5 Emergency Measures to Fight the Deforestation Crisis in the Amazon”which would allow our forests and its habitants to live in peace, providing its relevant environmental services for us and for the entire planet”, said Sergio Guimaraes, Executive Secretary of GT Infrastructure.


Title: Refugee Tree

Client: Climate Reality Brasil

Product: Institutional

Agency:  Africa

Chief Creative Officer: Sergio Gordilho

Executive Creative Directors: Felipe Cury, Philippe Degen

Creative Directors: Greg Kickow, Felipe Cirino

Art Directors: Caio Gandolfi, Thiago Andrade

Copywriters: Diego Ferrite, Giulio Beloto

Designers: Greg Kickow, Marina Cota, Thiago Andrade

Special Projects Creative Directors: Monique Lopes Lima, Juliana Leite

Special Projects: Lica de Souza, Fernanda Segura, Fernando Alonso, Isabela Levy

Sustainability & Institutional Relations: Raphael Vandystadt

PR: Fabiana Antacli, Carina Miranda

Chief Technology Officer: Fabio Palma

Digital Production Director: Fernando Tolusso

Adtech Director: Vinicius Canola

Creative Technologist: Valerio Oliveira

Project Manager: Leonardo Gomes

Agency Producers: Rodrigo Ferrari, Tais Olhiara, Fernanda Segura

Production Company: Hungry Man

Director: JC Feyer

Managing Partner: Alex Mehedff

Executive Producers: Renata Correa, Rodrigo Castello

Business Affairs: Iris Gil

Creative Executive Director: Fabio Pinheiro

AD / Production Director: Gustavo Morozini

Director of Photography: Gabriel Bianchini

Head of Production: Luciana Martins

Production Coordinator: Derbiz Lemes

Head of Post Production: Rodrigo Oliveira

VFX :  Miagui / Warriors VFX

Post Production: Hungry Man Team

Editors: Vitor Amorim / JC Feyer

Color Grading: Marla Colour Grading

Illustration and photo assembly of the root: Miagui

Miagui Client Services:Cristiana Frank, Daniela Sostisso

Management: Diego Batista, Jessica Rodrigues

3D Direction: Carlos Kulpa, Cassio Braga

2D/3D Animation: Fagner Nogueira, Luis Felix

Modeling: Fagner Nogueira

Lookdev: Fagner Nogueira, Luis Felix

Post-production: Douglas Liell

Music Production Company: DaHouse Audio

Music Production: Lucas Mayer, Silvinho Erne

Handsaws: Tomas Oliveira

Sound Design: Niper Boaventura, Rodrigo Deltoro

Executive Producers: Cassiano Derenji, Lari Miranda

Amazon Photos: Caio Guatelli

Source: Africa

You must be logged in to post a comment Login