More About Dirty Energy
Dirty energy projects drive deforestation, pollution and rights violations in the Amazon basin. Over the decades, national governments and corporations have erected dozens of oil and gas projects and hydroelectric dams across the region with no meaningful safeguards for the fragile rainforest ecosystem or the wellbeing of the local peoples. More
Celebrating Earth Day, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Mobilize in Brazil and Globally to Demand Recognition of their Rights and Role in Alleviating the Impending Climate Crisis
As scientific evidence mounts of their key role in protecting ecosystems and climate stability, Brazil's indigenous movement calls on the government to halt attacks on indigenous rightsApril 20, 2017
Indigenous Peoples, local communities, social movements, environmental activists, and women's groups from 25 different countries today kicked off a week of protests, meetings, and events to demand respect for community land rights.
"The government can't call us hypocrites for opposing oil extraction yet using dirty diesel generators. We've made the first big step towards being fossil fuel-free – the government should learn from us."
In February, a group of locals who opposed the project asked Pará authorities to suspend the recently issued construction licence for Volta Grande. They oppose the company’s planned use of cyanide during extraction of the precious metal, arguing that waste will be deposited in a dam located just 1.5 km from the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon, which poses risks in case of a dam collapse as it happened in 2015, after the Samarco dam burst in the south-eastern state of Minas Gerais, which killed 19 people and polluted water streams.
Reports of oil companies leaving the Peruvian Amazon made weekly headlines in March, providing encouragement to those of us who love the Amazon and know that humanity must move away from fossil fuels. In addition to the announcement by two oil companies that they will abandon drilling projects in important oil blocks, a Peruvian court annulled a controversial oil contract within indigenous territories for lack of proper consultation.
"Either Belo Sun throws us out of here or we throw them out."
The Volta Grande project on the Xingu River is destined to be Brazil's largest open-pit gold mine. But activists fear the environmental impact on indigenous communities.April 3, 2017Univisión
According to Christian Poirier of Amazon Watch, "there is no plan for the removal of the mine waste – it's a ticking time bomb."
Regardless of who wins, the response to the escalated social conflicts over extractive industry projects, rollback of indigenous rights, and criminalization of civil society protest will be an early and pressing challenge for the incoming administration.
Throughout these years of peaceful resistance and advocating for the Amazon, I have grown to understand that a great way to fight against exploitative oil, gas, and mining development is to support community-based economic initiatives.
Brazil is handing over the Amazon rainforest to mining companies and big agricultureMarch 21, 2017VICE News
"You cannot deny land to indigenous people that are ancestrally attached to it and expect them to continue to exist as a culture," said Christian Poirier, program director at Amazon Watch.
Brazil's current economic and political shifts and its effort to attract Chinese investment are part of a concerted effort by the Brazilian government to industrialize vast sections of the Amazon, with grave ramifications for the forests, rivers, and peoples who help sustain this irreplaceable biome for the benefit of humanity.