Save the heart of the Amazon

The heart of the Amazon rainforest is under threat. A series of new mega-dams could flood an entire area around the Tapajós river and beyond, 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. They are demanding that the Brazilian government officially recognise their ancestral land so they can keep companies like those planning the mega-dam out.

Together with the Munduruku and other allies, we’ve already stopped one mega-dam in the Tapajós. If thousands more 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.

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Munduruku Territory

Destructive energy is not clean energy

The São Luiz do Tapajós dam, a mega-dam planned for the Tapajós River, was just cancelled. But there are still 42 more dams planned for the Tapajós River basin.

Hydrodams may seem like a clean energy solution but they are far from it. Companies, such as Siemens and General Electric, to build the planned dams in the Amazon rainforest, including the Tapajós basin, stand to profit a great deal at the expense of the environment.

Building these mega-dams in the Amazon rainforest would flood thousands of square kilometres of rainforest. Dams in the Amazon rainforest could significantly impact the feeding and breeding grounds for river dolphins, turtles, fish and other species living in the river, and for some, could even lead to extinction. 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 rainforest, are far from the ‘clean energy’ that the companies building it claim it to be.

We know that people power can make a difference in this fight. The São Luiz do Tapajós dam was cancelled after more than one million people stood with the Munduruku to stop it. Let’s keep going to protect the Amazon from all hydropower projects!

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.

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, 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.