Eye on the Amazon

Working Together to Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground!

"We the people of Sarayaku believe in the living forest. It is our job to take care of nature; petroleum must stay in the earth. The living forest should be understood in a global way." Patricia Gualinga, Director of International Relations for the Kichwa indigenous people of Sarayaku

This week Amazon Watch was proud to host a pioneering Climate Equity Strategy Session in partnership with the Sierra Club and the Hillary Institute, where representatives from indigenous and frontline communities, international NGOs, and climate and energy experts discussed the challenges and opportunities of keeping fossil fuels in the ground in the Americas.

We know that climate survival depends on keeping at least two-thirds of fossil fuels in the ground and unburned and that we must act now to put an end to fossil fuel extraction. The Amazon – which generates 20% of our oxygen and is the heart pump of the earth's weather system – is the last place we should be exploring for more oil. Together as an alliance and with the leadership of indigenous people, we are moving forward in a growing global movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground and to seek real solutions to the climate crisis that will ensure a thriving Amazon and beyond.

Our organizations and communities have been challenging destructive fossil fuel projects – coal, oil and gas – from the Arctic to the Amazon while working toward a just transition to a clean energy future. We realize that in seeking solutions to the impacts of climate change, local, regional and global efforts must come together to address world leaders and the public to keep fossils fuels in the ground.

Through presentations and collaborative working groups, the alliance discussed strategies and policy recommendations for the 2015 COP21 climate summit in Paris around areas such as capacity building and grassroots support for indigenous and frontline communities; investment and finance; mapping initiatives; international policy reform; renewable energy solutions and alternatives; opportunities for local-international collaboration; and communications.

While we'll be sharing the stories, knowledge and actions of our partners and collaborators as strategies are turned into action, we couldn't wait to share a glimpse of the tables where this alliance and movement began in the historic sessions this week!


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