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Ecuador Court Orders End to Gas Flaring by Oil Industry in Amazon

In the Ecuadoran Amazon, at least 447 flares have been burning gas for decades. Local communities say these flares are responsible for the high cancer rates in the area.

Mongabay | "I'm very happy because, finally, justice has been served. We're going to restore nature, for all the sick children, for the people, for the parents who have fought to stay healthy, for the families that have also kept fighting if only to grow a few crops, for the families who live under the flares and have had to abandon their land," says 10-year...

Ecuadorian Amazon: Three European Banks Stop Funding Trade of Oil

BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and ING have announced plans to exclude the problematic export from their trading activities in response to environmental criticisms

Al Jazeera | Marlon Vargas, president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon, believes "the decision of these banks to stop financing trade of Amazon crude from our territories is a major milestone in our effort to protect our lands, our lives, and our cultures. For too long, the oil industry has wreaked havoc on our peoples...

European Banks Quit Ecuador’s Amazonian Oil Trade

ING, Credit Suisse announce moves to exclude Ecuadorean Amazon oil export from trading activities as more European investors turn their backs on fossil fuels

Wall Street Journal | "The banks identified in our report faced serious allegations of double standards for making climate pledges while continuing to finance the trade of Amazon oil," said Moira Birss, climate and finance director at Amazon Watch.

European Lenders Exit Amazon Oil Trade After Scrutiny by Campaigners

Reuters | Credit Suisse, Dutch lender ING and France's BNP Paribas have decided to stop financing the trade in crude oil from Ecuador, the banks said on Monday, following pressure from campaigners aiming to protect the Amazon rainforest. The role of European lenders in backing the trade came under scrutiny in August, when a report by advocacy groups Stand...

Amazon Watch is building on more than 25 years of radical and effective solidarity with Indigenous peoples across the Amazon Basin.

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In “Dire” Plea, Brazil’s Amazonas State Appeals for Global COVID Assistance

Mongabay | "[W]e ask for your support in the midst of this emergency fight against COVID-19 in our state. The situation is dire, and our fear is that the same situation we are seeing in the capital Manaus will reach the inland of Amazonas, the traditional and indigenous populations that are in situation of greater vulnerability because of the distance and...

Peruvian Indigenous Leaders Receive Death Threats

"We don't want to be the next victims"

El Comercio | Eight Indigenous leaders from Ucayali and Huánuco have received threats for months from narco-trafficking mafias, land invaders, and illegal loggers. Several days ago, they were in Lima demanding protection from the Peruvian government. They fear for their lives.

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...

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.