Demand Corporate Accountability
All too often, multi-national corporations operating in the Amazon basin cause significant environmental destruction – widespread deforestation and pollution in particular – while also violating the rights of the local people. Amazon Watch works to bring these corporations to account for the harms they have caused while also protecting the rights of those threatened by future projects. Time and again, corporations have polluted the region in efforts to lower production costs while maximizing return for shareholders. As corporate revenues grow, the true costs of these actions can be seen in the sick and dying communities and devastated environment left behind.
Amazon Watch partners with indigenous and farmer associations, non-profit organizations, media, celebrities, shareholders, and institutional investors to generate financial and public pressure on corporations operating in the Amazon basin. Our legacy of work has helped to keep corporations such as Occidental Petroleum (OXY) and Conoco Phillips out of U'wa and Achuar territories in Colombia and Ecuador while continuing to press for a redressing of part harms caused by Chevron and OXY in Ecuador and Peru. Today, Canada's Talisman Energy also threatens four million acres of pristine tropical rainforest in Peru that is home to thousands of indigenous peoples.
From grassroots campaigns that target corporate image, to internal efforts with large shareholders that work to improve the policies and practices of key industry actors, Amazon Watch is a leading force in the movement for greater corporate accountability and social responsibility.
For over three decades, Chevron chose profit over people. While drilling for oil in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest region, the company deliberately dumped billions of gallons of toxic wastewater into rivers and streams, spilled millions of gallons of crude oil, and abandoned hazardous waste in hundreds of unlined open-air pits littered throughout the region. The result was widespread devastation of the rainforest ecosystem and local indigenous communities, and one of the worst environmental disasters in history.
The Achuar territory is entirely overlapped by oil blocks 64 and 101, currently held by Talisman Energy. The Achuar have made clear that they oppose these oil blocks and any company beginning oil activities on their land. Despite this, Talisman has gone ahead with seismic testing and exploratory drilling.
Thirty-five years of oil production in Block 1-AB and Block 8 in the northern Peruvian Amazon have left the Achuar, Urarina and Quechua indigenous peoples who live in the area suffering malnutrition, sickness and social disruption.
Amazon Watch is monitoring concessions held by US-based oil company ConocoPhillips. The company holds two concessions in this area covering 5.5 million acres of ecologically-sensitive forestlands, some of which are home to peoples living in voluntary isolation. Spain's Repsol, jointly holds the concession for one of the blocks. Amazon Watch has called on both companies to abandon the lot based on the grave risks their operations pose to isolated peoples living there.