Save Historic Cave System from Mining Operations

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Target: Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil

Goal: To preserve the archaeologically significant caves in the Brazilian Amazon.

Deep within the Amazon in a region known as the Serra de Carajas, there are caves documented to have human occupation as far back as 10,000 years. Sadly, these caves are under the threat of being destroyed.  The Brazilian government recently gave a preliminary license for massive investment in iron mining in the region. Iron ore mining within the Amazon is already among the largest mining projects in progress in the world today. This investment would nearly double the scope, increasing production by eighty-two percent.

The efforts to increase iron mining within the Brazilian Amazon are being spearheaded by the local mining corporation Vale, whose president Murilo Ferreria has entered into negotiations seeking a license to begin mining operations in the area in 2016. This cannot be allowed to happen. The archeological research being done in the region has led the Chico Mendes Biodiversity Conservation Institute, also known as ICMBio, to declare a number of caves in the region as areas of “maximum relevance” in the field of archaeology.

Unfortunately, these sites cannot be preserved if the mining industry is allowed to operate in the area. The extraction process involves a complete demolition of the ground in which the iron ore is mined, destroying not only the caves themselves but also any archaeological relics contained within.

Demand that the Brazilian government not allow for such a massive mining expansion. Protect these caves and the archaeological relics contained within. Once destroyed, they will be gone forever.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Rousseff,

The Serra de Carajas area of Brazil, a region housed deep within the Amazon, is home to a vast array of caves containing archaeological treasures dating back to the area’s first human occupation over 10,000 years ago. The research being done in this region by archaeologists and speleologists has led to the Chico Mendes Biodiversity Conservation Institute, also known as ICMBio, to declare a number of sites in the region as areas of “maximum relevance” in the field of archaeology. This means that careful preservation and study must be afforded to this area.

Sadly, this would not be the case if efforts to increase iron mining within the Brazilian Amazon come to pass. These efforts are  being spearheaded by the local mining corporation Vale, whose president Murilo Ferreria has started negotiations seeking a license to begin mining operations in the area as early as 2016. These sites cannot be preserved if permits for iron ore mining are given for the region. This is due to the extraction process, which involves the complete demolition of the ground in which the iron ore is to be mined. This demolition would destroy not only the caves themselves but also any archaeological relics contained within.

Environmental impact studies conducted for potential mining operations have been thus far incomplete, entirely omitting the existence of these cave networks as they declare the overall impact for the region as minimal. This statement is far too disingenuous as there cannot be a minimal impact in any area where a network of significant archaeological sites would be destroyed.

I urge you to deny Vale its aim in attaining permits to conduct a massive expansion of iron ore mining in the Amazon. Protect the cave network in the Serra de Carajas before these archaeological treasures are destroyed forever.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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