More About Brazil
Jacksonville, FL – Earlier today, Munduruku Indigenous leaders from the Amazon participated in General Electric's Annual General Meeting, where they asked the company not to take part in a controversial mega dam project in the heart of the Amazon.
In the shadow of last week's contentious vote to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's indigenous agency FUNAI and environmental agency IBAMA made unexpected, decisive rulings in defense of indigenous rights and ecological protection in the Amazon.
Licensing process for São Luiz do Tapajós dam stalled after Funai report demarcated Sawré Muybu land around river, where Munduruku people liveApril 22, 2016The Guardian
While the recession may have forced a pause in the development of the region, Brazil’s political crisis, which looks set to see President Dilma Rousseff removed from office next month, could change that dynamic. “We are living in a moment of great instability. Potentially, a new Ibama president could reverse the decision.”
The São Luiz do Tapajós mega-dam has been suspended by Brazilian authorities in a surprise turnaround that recognizes the presence of indigenous territories in the dam's vicinityApril 22, 2016Mongabay
This Wednesday, IBAMA, the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Resources suspended the São Luiz do Tapajós dam’s license, citing its threat to the Indigenous lands of the Munduruku Indians, a land claim just recently recognized by FUNAI, Brazil’s National Indian Foundation. The decision could still be reversed by the Brazilian government – as has happened with other Amazon dams.
The controversial Belo Monte hydropower dam was pushed through by President Rousseff despite protests by environmental and social campaignersApril 8, 2016The Guardian
"It further confirms what we've suspected since the project was rammed forward, in violation of Brazil's legislation and constitution," said Christian Poirier, program director of Amazon Watch. "Today's news sheds further light on the rampant corruption that underpins the construction of Belo Monte. Aside from its looming ethical implications this scandal also reignites the debate as to whether the mega-dam should ever have been built, while revealing what forces lie behind Brazil's dam building boom."
It does not come as a surprise to those who have followed the Belo Monte saga over the last six years that the mega-dam has been allowed to begin operating this year without first complying with most of its legally mandated socio-environmental conditions.
Amazon Watch and our allies have long argued that the Belo Monte mega-dam project made no sense in terms of energy production or economics – especially taking into account the enormous environmental and social destruction it was certain to cause. The dam was constructed despite the steadfast resistance of the affected Kayapo and riverine peoples and in defiance of both national and worldwide condemnation. Time and again Brazil's courts halted its construction and operation only to be ignored or overruled as the Dilma administration pressed on in its relentless efforts to make the Belo Monte monstrosity a symbol of her administration. Ironically, it has now become a symbol of her administration's corruption.
As an organization that works to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin, we were thrilled when Kimberly Todd and Valerie Robert, two talented and socially conscious teachers, reached out to us with their curricula and resources for parents and students to take action. They created these unit plans with the goal of providing teachers with resources that meet both the English Common Core Standards and raise awareness about the threats facing the Amazon rainforest and the Indigenous populations living in the Amazon Basin.
In light of last week's damning evidence directly implicating Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor Lula da Silva in a kickback scheme, a driving force behind Brazil's dam-building boom has been laid bare: corruption.
Twenty years ago today, our founder Atossa Soltani stood face to face with Fernando Cardoso, then the president of Brazil. Atossa knew then that while indigenous peoples represent only four percent of the world's population, they are the guardians and stewards of 80 percent of the world's biodiversity. That's why she founded Amazon Watch on March 11th, 1996, to both protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples.