Haverhill’s Tom Bergeron Among Those Appearing in Livestream to Support Amazon COVID-19 Fund

Tom Bergeron at WHAV. (WHAV News file photograph.)

One of Haverhill’s favorite sons, Tom Bergeron, is among those appearing tomorrow night in a livestream video to promote the Amazon Emergency Fund, launched last month to respond to the urgent needs of indigenous peoples of the Amazon threatened by COVID-19.

The two-hour event, “Artists United for Amazonia: Protecting the Protectors” airs from 8-10:30 p.m., Eastern time. It is hosted by activist, actress and “Game of Thrones” and “Avatar” sequel co-star Oona Chaplin. Others appearing are Barbra Streisand, Jane Fonda, Morgan Freeman, Carlos Santana, Jane Goodall, Jeff Bridges, Peter Gabriel, Herbie Hancock, Cara Delevingne, Brazilian Grammy winners Ivan Lins and Luciana Souza.

Spokeswoman Julia Jaye Posin told WHAV Bergeron will “express his advocacy for the Amazon Rainforest.” Bergeron, host of ABC’s popular “Dancing with the Stars” launched his career at WHAV in 1972.

Money raised will be used for immediate testing, prevention and care; food and medical supplies; emergency communications and evacuation; protection and security for indigenous territories; and food sovereignty and community resilience. The Amazon Emergency Fund aims to raise $5 million over the next 60 days for Forest Guardians to protect themselves against the pandemic in all nine Amazonian countries.

The livestream will be available via Facebook and artistsforamazonia.org

According to a statement, there are now more than 100,000 known COVID-19 cases and well over 5,000 confirmed deaths across the Amazon. As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, indigenous peoples are increasingly at risk and could face a potential ethnocide. Due to a lack of healthcare resources across the region, the statement continued, “cases are likely underreported and illegal deforestation and extraction activities on indigenous lands further heighten the risk of exposure.” In April, hundreds of organizations across the globe signed on for a moratorium against incursions into the Amazon and called to end all destructive activity that further degrades and deforests the Amazon. “Indigenous peoples are the best stewards and protectors of the Amazon rainforest and so their protection is vital for the health of our planet.”

Scientists, including George Mason University professor Thomas Lovejoy, have warned that a tipping point in the Amazon has already been reached. Lovejoy warns that this could cause the release of massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere at a time when the world desperately needs carbon reductions.

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