Target: Luciano de Meneses Evaristo, Director of Environmental Protection for the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources
Goal: Permanently stop construction of the São Luiz do Tapajós dam on indigenous lands in Brazil.
The Tapajós River basin, an area of extraordinary biodiversity as well as the home of the indigenous Munduruku people, is currently at risk of destruction. If completed, the São Luiz do Tapajós dam will be Brazil’s second-largest hydroelectric dam and will flood 729 square kilometers of delicate rainforest.
The indigenous Munduruku people have fought tooth and nail to prevent the dam from destroying their ancestral homeland, calling upon Brazilian and international companies to withdraw support for the dam. The Munduruku have successfully turned this project into a cornerstone of the worldwide environmental and indigenous rights fight, working with Greenpeace Brazil to create an unofficial demarcation of their territories. The Brazilian Indigenous Rights Agency has tentatively acknowledged this land as belonging to the Munduruku, an important step toward official recognition and protection.
The construction of the São Luiz do Tapajós dam is completely contrary to the Munduruku people’s desire to maintain their traditional lands and lives. It would destroy a large portion of their land and displace three villages. The Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) has temporarily suspended construction of the dam due to these concerns. While this has given the Munduruku people more time to gather support, it is far from a permanent solution. IBAMA must completely outlaw the construction of the dam and any future dams in this region.
It’s estimated that the São Luiz do Tapajós dam and its corresponding infrastructure would result in 2200 square kimometers of deforestation. Beyond the cultural value of the land, this is a region of enormous biodiversity and ecological importance. The dam would disrupt waterways and affect the migration routes of the fish that rely on the river. Further, the area that would be flooded by the dam is a key nesting site for native macaws and other bird species.
IBAMA must respect the rights of the Munduruku people by preserving the biodiversity and integrity of their lands. Sign the petition below to encourage the organization to completely outlaw the construction of the São Luiz do Tapajós dam and any future dams in the area.
Dear Luciano de Meneses Evaristo,
The Munduruku people have been fighting for decades for official recognition and protection of their ancestral lands. These lands have been threatened by deforestation, pollution, and most recently, the São Luiz do Tapajós dam project. This dam would flood the Tapajós River basin and destroy much of the region’s biodiversity.
As the Munduruku work towards more official recognition of their rights, they seek cooperation from the Brazilian government in order to protect their lands. IBAMA has the responsibility to listen to concerns from both environmentalists and indigenous people and permanently stop dam construction.
The São Luiz do Tapajós dam is the first of five dams planned on the Tapajós River, each of which would irreversibly destroy the stunning Tapajós River basin and the Munduruku communities that reside there. IBAMA must not allow these dams to be built.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Bruno Kelly