Stop Dirty Energy Projects
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. Oil and gas projects have resulted in the loss of millions of acres of forest as pipelines and oil roads have opened the way to uncontrolled logging, ranching and colonization. These same projects have also left a tide of pollution from spills and systematic dumping of toxic production waters. Massive hydroelectric dams have flooded vast forest areas, altered the natural flow and health of entire river systems, and devastated the fish stocks and other aquatic life local peoples depend on for their daily sustenance.
The local Amazonian peoples have suffered the cost of these ill-conceived, unsustainable energy projects. Indigenous communities in particular have endured territorial loss and displacement, violation of their right to free, informed and prior consent to projects that affect their lands, and oil-related health crises from pollution. As governments and corporations gear for a new round of dirty energy projects across the continent, Amazon Watch's work to support indigenous peoples' rights, demand corporate accountability, and advocate for clean energy alternatives has never been so urgent.
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.
The Achuar indigenous people live in the remote headwaters of the Amazon rainforest on the Pastaza, Morona and Corrientes Rivers, on both sides of the Peru-Ecuador border. Amazon Watch works with the Achuar to defend their homeland against further destruction.
The Brazilian government is moving ahead "at any cost" with plans to build the third-largest dam in the world and one of the Amazon's most controversial development projects – the Belo Monte dam on the Xingu River.
In 2007, the Ecuadorian government gave Canada's Ivanhoe Energy drilling rights to a massive oil block, with the first wells slated for development alongside the Misahualli River in the heart of the Sacred Valley.
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.
In August 2010, while the Ecuadorian government made strides in advancing the historic Yasuni-ITT proposal to keep three major oil reserves permanently underground beneath Yasuni National Park, news began to leak that President Correa harbors no plans of keeping the rest of the country's oil in the ground.