This October marks the 15th anniversary of Amazon Watch, and we celebrated with a moving and successful annual luncheon last week. We are truly grateful to our growing network of indigenous and local partners in the Amazon, and to our staff, board, donors and allies around the world. A special thanks and welcome to the overwhelming number of first time supporters who have rallied to defend the Amazon. Stay tuned and stick with us – you are in for an exciting journey!
Missed the luncheon? October is full of opportunities to hear about recent campaign highlights, reconnect or get to know us. This weekend I’ll be joining leading-edge changemakers at Bioneers to explore the forefront of positive change through a series of inspiring talks, workshops and intensives. On October 29th join Amazon Watch at the Los Angeles Green Festival where I am energized to share ideas as part of the panel Climate Wars: The Nexus of Climate Change and Conflict.
Defending the Amazon is a defining battle of our time and has the potential to shift the balance towards justice, ecological balance and the recognition of our interdependence on nature and living systems. We are here for the long haul. In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we invite you to make an investment in Amazon Watch and our indigenous partners.
We were both delighted and brought to tears last week as indigenous leader Sheyla Juruna, of the Xingu River basin in the Brazilian Amazon addressed Amazon Watch supporters at our 15 year anniversary fundraising luncheon. Sheyla passionately expressed the urgency to stop the Belo Monte Dam threatening her homeland, reminding us that the struggle to defend the Xingu is a struggle to defend the Amazon and our planet from unsustainable “development.” Watch this video from the luncheon and remember you can still make a gift in honor of our 15 years!
Ironically on Indigenous Peoples’ Day the U.S. Congress will debate and vote on the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Please take action today to let your Congresspeople know that you vehemently oppose the FTA. Amongst the agreement’s many fatal flaws, Amazon Watch is highlighting the disastrous impacts for the country’s 102 indigenous peoples, 2/3 of which have been declared “at risk of extinction.” Make your voice heard today!
On September 19, a three-judge panel from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a stunning blow to Chevron’s abusive and deceitful efforts to evade accountability for its oil disaster in Ecuador by throwing out an injunction that purported to prohibit the Ecuadorian plaintiffs from enforcing the $18 billion judgment against Chevron. It also indefinitely stayed a trial scheduled for November over a preposterous countersuit filed against the Ecuadorians and their attorneys, at which Chevron hoped to have the Ecuadorian verdict declared unenforceable.
Last month the Shuar people joined the Achuar in protest against Talisman Energy’s operations in Block 64 in the Peruvian Amazon. The Achuar have long protested Talisman’s operations in the middle of Achuar territory, and in September the Shuar living along the Morona river, downriver from Talisman’s exploratory oil wells, blockaded the river for 10 days, joining a growing alliance of indigenous groups calling for the company to leave.
As the last stand in the battle to defend the Xingu River Basin in the Brazilian Amazon heats up in Altamira, our allies on the ground have asked us to keep organizing internationally. In solidarity, James Cameron produced a 20-minute feature addition to the re-released Avatar Blu-Ray DVD, A Message from Pandora about the campaign to stop the Belo Monte Dam. Watch on our website, then share with the world. Host a house party featuring the video this November!