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Overflight Uncovers Environmental Destruction of Munduruku Indigenous Territory

In the Tapajós River basin, Amazônia Real's team, with support from Amazon Watch, spotted predatory deforestation, fires, and mining activity

Amazônia Real | On September 17, Amazônia Real, in partnership with Amazon Watch, witnessed this attack on the rainforest, Indigenous peoples, smallholder farmers, and biodiversity from up above during a flyover. From the sky, smoke from the fires obscures the environmental destruction on the ground – a combination of extensive deforested areas, pasture farms...

The Amazon’s Frontline Defenders Are Under Siege. Where Are Their Reinforcements?

CNN | Like in the United States, President Bolsonaro of Brazil's incendiary language discredits and all but sanctions persecution of select minority groups. In his address to the UN Assembly last month, Bolsonaro implicated "Brazilians of indigenous ancestry" for the Amazon's raging fires and deforestation. The previous year, he singled out Chief Raoni...

Can Our Culture Survive Climate Change?

The New York Times | Our lives are inextricable from the natural world. The creatures of the rainforest protect us, and in turn we protect them. We are the only buffers protecting our thinning forests. Our battle is not just for the future. It's for the present.

Chevron Is Refusing to Pay for the "Amazon Chernobyl"

The lawyer challenging the oil company's toxic waste dump in Ecuador is under house arrest. We need a boycott.

The Guardian | At a time when so many black Americans, Indigenous peoples, people of color, and white allies are protesting at systemic racism, we'd like to highlight a different story of marginalized people speaking truth to power on behalf of their most basic human rights. It's the story of how "big oil" is now using Harvey Weinstein-like destroy-the-accuser...

A New Justice Movement Emerges to Defend Steven Donziger

The lawyer who helped win a historic Amazon cleanup deal faces six months in prison, but will still not have a jury trial

The Nation | In 2013 Donziger helped win a landmark legal case in Ecuador against Chevron for contaminating a vast stretch of rain forest in the Amazon headwaters larger than the state of Rhode Island. The Ecuadorean courts awarded the 30,000 plaintiffs, who are poor rural farmers and indigenous people, $9.5 billion to clean up the damage. Instead of obeying...

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European Banks Urged to Stop Funding Oil Trade in Amazon

Indigenous people in headwaters region say financing harms communities and ecosystems

The Guardian | Marlon Vargas, the president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon, said: "I wonder if the executives of banks in Europe know the real cost of their financing. How can they possibly sleep peacefully knowing their money leaves thousands of indigenous peoples and communities without water, without food and in...

European Banks Face Indigenous Calls to End Amazon Oil Trade

Reuters | European banks committed to backing action on climate change face allegations of double standards from indigenous groups in Ecuador after a report named them as major players in the trade in oil from the Amazon rainforest.

Dramatic Footage Fuels Fears Amazon Fires Could Be Worse Than Last Year

As dry season starts campaigners sound alarm over "shocking" scale of fires, Bolsonaro doubles down on denials

The Guardian | Official data shows the Brazilian government's efforts so far this year have failed to bring results. Brazil saw more fires in the Amazon this June than in any year since 2007. Brazil's space research agency INPE spotted 2,248, compared with 1,880 in June last year.

Unless Forced to Act, the Government Would Simply Leave Us to Die

Beset by the Bolsonaro administration's negligence on public healthcare, Indigenous peoples take resistance to the Supreme Court

Folha de São Paulo | The first Indigenous person to die from COVID-19 was Alvanei Xirixana, a 15-year-old Yanomami boy, who was not even a member of a high-risk group. More than 20,000 wildcat miners have invaded Yanomami lands. It's not an exaggeration to say that the Yanomami and the peoples living in voluntary isolation there are in grave danger of disappearing...

Is BlackRock the New Vampire Squid?

The investment giant casts itself as socially responsible while contributing to the climate catastrophe, evading regulatory scrutiny, and angling to influence a Biden administration

The New Republic | Luiz Eloy, a member of the Terena people and a lawyer with the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, said in an email that BlackRock has "changed absolutely nothing to alter its investment strategy, which pours money into the very companies that brutalize us and take down forests on an industrial scale. Talk means nothing to us, not after...

Report Names the Banks Financing Destructive Oil Projects in the Amazon

Funding these projects runs counter to these companies' own statements of support for climate actions, including the Paris climate agreement, activists say

Mongabay | Five of the biggest financial institutions in the world invested a combined $6 billion in oil extraction projects in the western Amazon between 2017 and 2019. According to Moira Birss of Amazon Watch, only pressure from civil society can stop the extraction of these natural resources without guaranteeing the conservation of the environment and the...

Amazon Deforestation Soars as Pandemic Hobbles Enforcement

A rise in illegal deforestation heightens the risk of fires in the Brazilian rainforest even more destructive than those that drew global outrage last year

The New York Times | Since coming to office, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil has enabled increased razing of the Amazon rainforest. Now, the coronavirus has accelerated that destruction. Illegal loggers, miners and land grabbers have cleared vast areas of the Amazon with impunity in recent months as law enforcement efforts were hobbled by the pandemic.

Nobel Laureates Condemn "Judicial Harassment" of Environmental Lawyer

Chevron's treatment of Steven Donziger branded "an exceptionally bad case of intimidation"

The Guardian | Twenty-nine Nobel laureates have condemned alleged "judicial harassment" by Chevron and urged the release of a US environmental lawyer who was put under house arrest for pursuing oil-spill compensation claims on behalf of Indigenous tribes in the Amazon.

Nobel Laureates Condemn Rare Judge-Ordered Prosecution

Steven Donziger got a head start on home confinement when a federal judge ordered criminal charges that prosecutors declined to bring

Courthouse News Service | "Environmental activism in many countries results in murder," the petition from the prize winners states. "Chevron's strategy is death by a thousand cuts through the manipulation of a legal system it has managed to stack in its favor. Its goal is to intimidate and disempower the victims of its pollution and a lawyer who has worked for decades on...

How a Human Rights Lawyer Went from Hero to House Arrest

Lawyer Steven Donziger helped win a $9.5 billion judgment for rain forest cleanup. Then Chevron hit back.

The Nation | "Steven is totally the opposite of how Chevron portrays him," said Luis Yanza of the Amazon Defense Coalition. "He's dedicated his life – a great part of his life – to defending people in our poor communities."

Drilling in the Amazon? Global Financiers Say Yes

TriplePundit | "The Amazon rainforest is crucial to climate stability, and oil drilling expansion is one of the greatest threats to it," said Moira Birss, campaign director of the finance program at Amazon Watch.

The Corona Connection

Forest loss drives viruses as well as climate change – and Indigenous peoples are on the front lines of the destruction

The Nation | "The coronavirus is now telling the world what we have been saying for thousands of years – that if we do not help protect biodiversity and nature, then we will face this and worse future threats," said Levi Sucre Romero, a BriBri Indigenous person from Costa Rica.

U.S. Firms Bankroll Oil Extraction in the Amazon – Report

E&E News | Major U.S. financial institutions are funneling billions of dollars into crude oil expansion in the western Amazon rainforest, according to a report released today that underscored Indigenous peoples' long-standing opposition to fossil fuel extraction on ancestral lands.

How the Lawyer Who Beat Chevron Lost Everything

The Intercept | “He has effectively been convicted of bribery by the finding of a single judge in a case in which bribery wasn’t even the charge,” said Charles Nesson, an attorney and Harvard Law School professor.

Amazon Fires Wreak New Level of Havoc on Surroundings

Deforestation, climate change could transform much of region's rainforests into savanna ecosystem, says expert

Anadolu Agency | "The Amazon fires were a global tragedy directly related to President Bolsonaro's anti-environmental rhetoric. We must keep the pressure on the Brazilian government to ensure the protection of the Amazon and its native peoples, who are on the front lines of defending the rainforest, and look inward to do our part in protecting our rainforests and...

Top Scientists Warn of an Amazon “Tipping Point”

Washington Post | "The precious Amazon is teetering on the edge of functional destruction and, with it, so are we," Thomas Lovejoy of George Mason University and Carlos Nobre of the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, both of whom have studied the world's largest rainforest for decades, wrote in an editorial in the journal Science Advances. "Today, we stand exactly...

Climate Change: Amazon Oil Boom Under Fire at UN Talks

BBC News | "All those countries are here making declarations about cutting emissions, Ecuador and Peru are making declarations about protecting the Amazon but what we are seeing is a whole different plan to expand extraction, there's a gap between what countries are committing too and what they are actually planning to do in terms of fossil fuel expansion."

Investors Boycott Brazil Over Amazon Deforestation Concerns

Pressure mounts for Brazilian companies to become more compliant with ESG standards

Financial Times | "Consciousness of environmental issues has risen a great deal," says Marcelo Seraphim, Brazil head of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment. "It's become a question of survival in the global market. It is hard to survive if you are not considering ESG issues."

“The Amazon Is Completely Lawless”: The Rainforest After Bolsonaro’s First Year

Deforestation in the world’s largest rainforest, an important buffer against climate change, has soared under President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil

The New York Times | The last year brought the highest loss in Brazilian rainforest in a decade, and stark evidence of just how badly the Amazon, an important buffer against global warming, has fared in Brazil's first year under President Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazil's Amazon – and Its Defenders – Are Under Attack from Illegal Loggers

The killing of an indigenous forest guardian is only the latest incident in a pattern of impunity with consequences far beyond Brazil's borders

Foreign Policy | Since January, when Bolsonaro took office, the situation has only worsened, forest guardians say. "Loggers are not afraid now," Tainaky told me in April. "The government encourages them to enter the indigenous territory."

A Canadian Company Wants to Build Brazil's Largest Open-pit Gold Mine

The Star | "We can't accept Belo Sun in our region, not in Brazil," indigenous leader Bel Juruna told the thousands of carnival-goers in attendance that day. "We demand that this company leave us alone on our lands, that the government respects us and respects our nature."