News & Multimedia from 2016
“We don’t want oil drilling in our lands,” said Manari Ushigua, one of the most well-known leaders of Ecuador’s tiny Zapara tribe. “Our culture is at risk of disappearing; so is our language and our way of relating to the rainforest.”
Experts say that recognizing the rights of local people and indigenous groups to their traditional forests could be one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways to protect standing forests from razing. Many indigenous groups still lack legal tenure to their traditional lands in tropical countries, but where they have secured their rights research often shows that forests are well protected.
In Santarém More Than 500 People Debate Dams, but the Brazilian Government Doesn't Send a Representative
Researchers, indigenous leaders, riverbank dwellers, federal lawyers, and social movements debate the problems with dams in the regionJanuary 29, 2016Ministério Público Federal no Pará
So many people attended the hearing that in the beginning one group that couldn't manage to enter the public auditorium provoked a bit of a ruckus in response to the attempt to cancel or change the location of the hearing.
They tried talks. They tried letters. They tried protests. But nothing could stop the deal. Ecuador's government sold oil exploration rights in a remote corner of the Amazon rainforest to a consortium of Chinese state-owned oil companies this week, despite dogged resistance from indigenous groups in the South American country who fear they could lose everything.
The ministry said a decision from the federal court in Brasilia lifted the earlier order blocking the beginning of power generation at Belo Monte, which had been planned for the coming weeks.
The burning of trees and animal deaths is only the first stage of a vicious cycle that marks the relationship between Belo Monte and the surrounding forest. Authorized to devastate thousands of hectares, the plant should use the timber for its own purpose or donate it for external use. The entry of large volumes of timber into the local market would help reduce the pressure on the forest. This was the plan, and one of the conditions, for the project's approval. In practice, things turned out very differently.
Braving Death Threats, Ecuadorian Villagers Ask U.N. to Block Chevron From Attacking Human Rights Defenders Who Obtained Historic JudgmentJanuary 21, 2016
Geneva, Switzerland – Ecuadorian indigenous villagers who braved death threats in their battle with Chevron have teamed up with a leading international organization to demand that the United Nations block the oil giant from continuing an intimidation campaign targeting the human rights advocates who obtained a legally-binding $10 billion environmental pollution judgment against the company.
Terry's incisive ethnographic work with the Kayapo people, and his longstanding advocacy on behalf of their culture, forests, and rivers, earned him unique respect and admiration from Kayapo leadership, who called him 'Wakampu'.
Indigenous Peoples Reject Oil Plans, Vow to Resist ProjectJanuary 20, 2016
Quito, Ecuador – The Ecuadorian government has announced imminent plans to sign contracts for two controversial Amazonian oil blocks which are facing adamant opposition from local indigenous people residing within the roughly half-a-million acre concessions and beyond.
A Brazilian court has suspended the operating licence for the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, one of the world's largest, just weeks before its owner, Norte Energia, planned to start electricity generation.