The Amazon rainforest can seem unimaginably vast. Similarly, the fight to defend it from the onslaught of industrial-scale threats like oil drilling, logging, and huge dams can appear overwhelming. But across the region, local indigenous peoples and our work to support them is making the difference and protecting the lands they have known for centuries. In 2015, these five snapshots of success gave us hope that the Amazon has a chance to avoid ecosystem collapse, but only if we support its indigenous guardians.
As I reflect on our recent work at COP21 in Paris on the Winter Solstice, I am very proud of what we achieved and filled with great hope for our work ahead. The Amazon Watch team did an incredible job of accompanying and supporting a twelve-person delegation of indigenous leaders, women and youth from the Kichwa community of Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon and two Munduruku leaders from the Tapajós River Basin in the Brazilian Amazon to ensure the voices, concerns and solutions from indigenous peoples from the Amazon were heard by global leaders and media, and they were!
While government officials inside COP21 conference rooms just outside Paris were reviewing the cost-benefit analyses of cutting down on emissions or debating the numerical semantics of the warming of the earth, the human side of climate change and environmental destruction took center stage just a few kilometers south at the Maison des Metallos on the weekend of December 5-6th.
Munduruku leaders bring their movement to Paris climate summitDecember 14, 2015
At the closure of this year's critical COP21 summit in Paris, the most inspirational stories do not stem from official negotiations. They emanate from the heroic efforts of global indigenous movements, bringing a message of resilience and defiance from the front lines of climate change.
The Kichwa tribe in the Sarayaku region of the Amazon in Ecuador believe in the 'living forest', where humans, animals and plants live in harmony. They are fighting oil companies who want to exploit their ancestral land. A delegation of indigenous people are at the Paris COP21 climate conference to make sure their voices are heard.
A Civil Society Manifesto for the Support of Real Climate SolutionsDecember 3, 2015
Support from climate initiatives is one of the reasons why more than 3,700 hydropower dams are currently under construction and in the pipeline. Yet large hydropower projects are a false solution to climate change.
In an exclusive investigation for reported.ly, journalist Nina Bigalke traveled to an oil concession deep in the Amazon rainforest to film an illegal access road, the existence of which Ecuador’s government has denied. As indigenous peoples seek to secure the future of their ancestral lands, President Rafael Correa faces fierce political opposition ahead of a huge expansion of oil production into Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park.
This excellent short film about the Achuar of Peru makes it clearAugust 27, 2015
Amazon Watch works hard to ensure that indigenous spokespeople are featured in media coverage related to their lands and rights, but rarely do we see a film 100% in their voice. That's why we're so eager for you to watch and share the film.
Our fabulous friends The Yes Men have just released their third (and many say best) movie called The Yes Men Are Revolting. Of course, Amazon Watch has direct experience with the genius of The Yes Men. A couple years ago when Chevron launched its insulting “We Agree” ad campaign The Yes Men worked with us and our allies at the Rainforest Action Network to not only spoof it, but to use Chevron’s multi-million dollar PR strategy to call out its actual environmental crimes.
Amazon Watch and the True Cost of Chevron network take on Chevron management.May 28, 2015
The circus of lies, denial and propaganda videos that has become the Chevron annual shareholder meeting took place at Chevron's San Ramon, California headquarters once again yesterday. Not surprisingly, Chevron's lies about its Ecuador fiasco were recycled from years past – many of which seem to be nearing their expiration date.