The heart of the Amazon rainforest is under threat. Right now, the Brazilian government wants to give permission for over 40 dams to be built in the Tapajos region which could destroy the home of thousands of Indigenous Peoples and rare wildlife.
One Indigenous community, the Munduruku, are fighting back – and they need people around the world to join them. They are demanding that the Brazilian government officially recognise their ancestral land so they can keep companies, like those planning the mega-dam, out.
If thousands of people from countries around the globe take a stand with the Munduruku, we can build a human chain around their territory to send a strong message to the Brazilian government to protect the heart of the Amazon.
Will you stand with the Munduruku?
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Hydrodams may seem like a clean energy solution but they are far from it. Companies lined up to help build the São Luiz do Tapajós mega-dam, like Siemens and General Electric, stand to profit a great deal at the expense of the environment. Building this mega-dam would flood hundreds of kilometres of rainforest, creating a reservoir the size of New York City. If the forest is flooded, it would release the huge amounts of carbon and methane it once stored into the atmosphere, contributing further to greenhouse gases. The dam could significantly impact the feeding and breeding grounds for river dolphins, turtles, fish and other species living in the river, and could even lead to extinction for some. And on land, a whole host of rare plants and endangered animal habitat, newly discovered mammals, as well as villages and communities would be washed away.
These tragic environmental and social impacts mean that destructive dams, in fragile ecosystems like the Amazon, are far from the ‘clean energy’ the companies claim it would be.
The Munduruku are Indigenous People who have lived on the area around the Tapajós River for centuries. Today, there are more than 12,000 Munduruku living on the banks of the Tapajós. They depend on the river for food, transportation and the survival of their cultural and spiritual practices. Losing the river would mean an end to their way of life – which is why they have been fighting damming projects in the region for over 30 years.
Now, the Munduruku are calling for people around the world to support their fight. They are demanding the Brazilian government finally officially recognise their territory. So far, the government has tried to stall the recognition process, presumably to allow the construction of more dams, but the Munduruku have recently reached the first stage of the process. To complete the recognition of their land will require huge pressure on the government – but if thousands of people around the world join together with the Munduruku, we can protect their land and the rich biodiversity that is found there.
Frequent and severe droughts in Brazil mean that the production capacity of dams is already called into question. Similar dams, like the Belo Monte dam, have also recently been tied to corruption, making these projects a potential liability to the reputations of the companies involved in building them.
Instead, Brazil and infrastructure companies should be investing in clean and responsible energy solutions, like solar and wind. Projects bringing solar power to schools and small communities across Brazil are already revolutionising the energy supply. With its huge surface area, Brazil also shows huge potential for wind power. These sustainable energy sources ultimately provide more energy security to the country. Siemens and other companies should focus their expertise in wind and solar in Brazil instead of investing in a destructive mega-dam.