Save the Heart of the Amazon
The heart of the Amazon rainforest is under threat. A series of monster dams could flood a huge area around the Tapajós river, destroying the home of Indigenous People and rare wildlife. But one Indigenous community, the Munduruku, are fighting back - and they need people around the world to join them.
The largest of the planned dams had its permit cancelled after more than a million of us campaigned against it. Together we can build a human chain around their territory and make sure the Brazilian government protect the heart of the Amazon for good.
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The Munduruku People
The Munduruku are a group of Indigenous People who have lived in the area around the Tapajós river for centuries. Today, there are more than 12,000 Munduruku, living among 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 have called for people around the world to support their fight. They are demanding that the Brazilian government 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 recently reached the first stage of the process. To complete it will require huge pressure on the government - but if thousands of people around the world join the Munduruku in their cause, together we can protect the Munduruku territory as well as the rich biodiversity that lives there
Destructive energy is not clean energy
Hydrodams may seem like a clean energy solution but they are far from it. Companies lined up to help build these dams, 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 kilometers of rainforest creating a reservoir the size of New York City. As 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 drowned and gone forever.
These tragic environmental and social impacts mean that destructive dams in fragile ecosystems like the Amazon are far from the ‘clean energy’ that the companies building it claim it would be.
There are alternatives
Frequent and severe droughts in Brazil mean the production capacity of dams are already called into question. Similar dams, like the Belo Monte dam, have also recently been tied to corruption and therefore would tarnish 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 energy alternatives ultimately provide more energy security to the country and Siemens should focus its expertise in wind and solar in Brazil instead of investing in an environmentally damaging mega-dam.