Eye on the Amazon: an urgent missive from the Amazon Rain Forest!

Amazon Watch
August 2011

Dear Mark,

While it has been heartbreaking to see the recent photos of bulldozers and construction crews arriving on the banks of the Xingu River in Brazil, seeing the local people’s determination to continue their battle to stop the massive Belo Monte Dam moves me with great urgency.

These courageous forest defenders are leading one of the defining environmental battles of our time. President Dilma Rousseff has so far refused to hear that Brazil can avoid senseless destruction of forests and communities in the Amazon by choosing green energy alternatives like solar, wind and energy efficiency. But how long can she ignore the growing chorus of indigenous people, scientists, and even the ex-head of Brazil’s Electric Energy Agency urging Brazil to opt for alternatives to the Belo Monte Dam?

This coming Saturday, tens of thousands of people will be taking to the streets in 22 cities in Brazil in protest. On Monday, August 22nd, solidarity actions are being organized in 18 cities worldwide. We hope you will support the Xingu Urgent Action Fund, join the worldwide demonstrations, and sign the petition to President Dilma calling on her to cancel the Belo Monte Dam.

For the Earth and Future Generations,

Atossa Soltani
Atossa Soltani
Atossa Soltani
Executive Director

Watch Video and Join Brazilians in International Day of Action!

Watch Video and Join Brazilians
in International Day of Action!

With the Xingu River threatened by the Belo Monte Dam and Brazilian Amazon forests and forest defenders facing mounting attacks, the time has come to send a message to Dilma Roussef’s government that this assault must stop. On August 20th, protests will sweep across Brazil with actions planned in dozens of cites. Then on Monday, August 22nd, the international community will respond by organizing solidarity actions in 18 cities in 14 countries on 5 continents, including in San Francisco, DC, Paris, London, etc.! Watch our inspiring new video and join forces with this unprecedented movement.


Chevron Feels the Heat from Your Calls

Chevron Feels the Heat
from Your Calls

After oil giant Shell agreed to take responsibility for two major oil spills in the Niger Delta, Amazon Watch members responded enthusiastically to an appeal from our Clean Up Ecuador Campaign for a mass call-in to Chevron’s headquarters asking why, if Shell can do it in Nigeria, is Chevron still trying to evade accountability for its oil disaster in the Amazon? Thanks to the loads of supporters who sent us updates about their phone calls and emails to the company, and the whining of Chevron representatives over the bombardment of voices demanding justice.


Taking Ecuador to Human Rights Court

Taking Ecuador to Human Rights Court

Last decade, the Ecuadorian government made the mistake of trying to force oil exploration on the Kichwa, without any prior consultation. Last month Amazon Watch was in Costa Rica accompanying Kichwa communities from Sarayaku in Ecuador as they took their case to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights. For more than a decade, the Kichwa of Sarayaku have campaigned to force the Ecuadorian government to recognize rights violations perpetrated against the community associated with oil exploration.


Uncontacted Tribes Wiped Out by Drug Traffickers, Oil Companies?

Uncontacted Tribes Wiped Out
by Drug Traffickers, Oil Companies?

Brazilian officials fear for the survival of an isolated Amazon group after a remote guard post on the Peru-Brazil border was overrun by heavily armed suspected drug traffickers who crossed the border from Peru. The guard post was protecting the headwaters of the Envira river where stunning aerial photographs of an isolated tribe has made worldwide headlines in 2008.


Thanks Willie Nelson & All for Fantastic Benefit Concert!

Thanks to Willie Nelson & All
for a Fantastic Benefit Concert!

Amazon Watch teamed up with the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance for an evening filled with fantastic live music and dancing at the beautiful Bently Reserve in downtown San Francisco. Thanks to all the artists who performed including Willie Nelson and to all of you who came out to support us; if you weren’t able to make it, be sure to join us for our annual fundraising luncheon in San Francisco with special guests on September 27th.


Swimming the UK Channel for Amazon Watch!

Swimming the UK Channel
for Amazon Watch!

Lastly, a huge shout out to Amazon Watch supporter Edward Montgomery, who recently completed the 45 km swim across the UK Channel to raise awareness and over $9,500 for the work of Amazon Watch. Thank you for your inspiration and support, Edward!