Amazon rainforest threatened

This video is called Defending the Rivers of the Amazon, with Sigourney Weaver.

From the Lancaster Evening Post in England:

The dam busters

Most people look forward to putting their feet up in retirement – but Clive Kelly isn’t like most people.

The 70-year-old environmentalist from Cottam, near Preston, has made headlines around the world fighting for South American tribal rights and campaigning to save the Amazon rainforest.

In recent years the ageing campaigner has kept out of the public eye, but now he is coming out of retirement for a final fight to stop the building of a controversial hydroelectric dam on the Xingu river in Brazil.

The activist, who has worked on projects with the likes of Sting and director James Cameron, is flying to Brazil on Thursday to support a campaign to stop the dam being built.

The pensioner, who suffers from high blood pressure and arthritis, said: “This dam can’t be allowed to go ahead it is as simple as that.

“This could be our last chance to save the Amazon rainforest for future generations; the destruction caused by this dam will be irreversible.”

The Belo Monte Dam would divert around 80% of the Xingu river from its original course, causing droughts in some areas and flooding in others.

It is estimated more than 20,000 indigenous people will be forced from their homes.

Brazil’s environment agency approved the £10bn project earlier this month despite criticism from natives and conservationists.

Born in Manchester, father-of-two Clive moved to Preston when he was 19 and became a nightclub owner and rhythm-and-blues promoter.

He ran the Catacombs club in Derby Street, Preston, in the 1960s, bringing the likes of Ringo Starr, Rory Storm and even a young Elton John to perform in the city.

Later in life he became involved in ecology and lived for decades on a trimaran called Survival, sailing the southern hemisphere to campaign for environmental causes.

When on land he lived in a hut in Brazil.

The activist, who lives with his wife Jacyara in Cottom, claims he was the protege of native Indian tribal leader Raoni Metuktire.

He was featured in an Oscar-nominated documentary film called Raoni, about the Txucahamae tribe in 1978.

During that time he claims he introduced rock star Sting to the tribe and worked with the singer on various environmental projects.

He also says he worked with director James Cameron in the mid-80s.

He says the filmmaker was so enamoured by his colourful life that it inspired the idea for the film Waterworld and Kevin Costner’s character is thought to be based on him.

Both Sting and Mr Cameron have spoken publicly against the building of the Belo Monte Dam in recent months.

Majority of Brazilians reject changes in Amazon Forest Code: here.

Brazil’s Deforestation Quagmire. Elizabeth Rust, Council on Hemispheric Affairs: “A string of recent events indicates that Amazonian deforestation and violence against environmental activists are on the rise. The Brazilian Congress’s lower house approves a bill that weakens protection of the rainforest – which may explain the drastic increase in deforestation, as land clearers anticipate amnesty for their crimes. Given Brazil’s historical disregard for the Amazon rainforest’s global importance, and the legislature’s evident lack of commitment to resolving the issue, a strong and long-term executive response is urgently needed”: here.

Brazil’s forest law vote was postponed, but the mobilization continues. Help us keep the pressure on.

Dilma Roussef, the President of Brazil, has partially vetoed the new Forest Code proposed by the Brazilian Congress. Both the general public in Brazil and the international environmental movement wanted a total veto of the bill: here.

Worker Revolts Delay Mega-Projects [like dams] in Brazil: here.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 16 2012 (IPS) – A judicial order to halt construction of the Belo Monte dam in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest may be just one more battle in a long-drawn-out war in the courts over the controversial hydroelectric project: here.

Why More Species Live in Amazon Rainforests: Evolution of Treefrogs Sheds Light on the Mystery: here.

10 thoughts on “Amazon rainforest threatened

  1. Isolated tribe will be protected

    BRAZIL: The government has confirmed the existence of an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon rainforest.

    Three clearings in the Vale do Javari reservation, which is around the size of Portugal and home to at least 14 uncontacted tribes, were identified by satellite and aircraft later confirmed that they were settled.

    Brazil’s policy towards such tribes is not to make contact with them but to maintain their isolation in order to preserve their autonomy.


  2. Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 17:41:41 -0400

    Subject: Murder in the Amazon

    Dear friends,

    The Amazon forest is at risk. The Brazilian Congress has watered down strict forest protection laws and brave Brazilian activists are being murdered for speaking out. It’s time for us to take this critical battle global — if we all call on President Dilma to veto the bill, we could save the Amazon.

    Sign the petition

    The Amazon is in serious danger, the lower house of the Brazilian congress has approved a gutting of Brazil’s forest protection laws. Unless we act now, vast tracts of our planet’s lungs could be opened up to clear-cutting devastation.

    The move has sparked widespread anger and protests across the country. And tension is rising — in the last few weeks, several prominent environmental advocates have been murdered, purportedly by armed thugs hired by illegal loggers. The timing is critical, they’re trying to silence criticism just as the law is discussed in the Senate. But President Dilma can veto the changes, if we can persuade her to overcome political pressure and step onto the global stage as a leader.

    79% of Brazilians support Dilma’s veto of the forest law changes, but their voices are being challenged by logger lobbies. It’s now up to all of us to raise the stakes and make Amazon protection a global issue. Let’s come together now in a giant call to stop the murders and illegal logging, and save the Amazon. Sign the petition below — it’ll be delivered to Dilma when we reach 500,000 signers:

    People love Brazil! The sun, the music, the dancing, the football, the nature — it’s a country that inspires millions around the world. This is why Brazil is hosting the next World Cup, why Rio has the 2016 Olympics and next year’s Earth Summit, a meeting to stop the slow death of our planet.

    Our love is not misplaced — the Amazon Is vital to life on earth — 20% of our oxygen and 60% of our freshwater comes from this magnificent rainforest. That’s why it’s so crucial that we all protect it.

    But Brazil is also a rapidly developing country, battling to lift tens of millions out of poverty, and the pressure to clear-cut and mine for profit on its political leaders is intense. This is why they’re dangerously close to buckling on environmental protections. Local activists are being murdered, intimidated and silenced, it’s up to Avaaz members across the world to stand with Brazilians and urge Brazil’s politicians to be strong.

    Many of us have seen in our own countries how growth often comes at the expense of our natural heritage, our waters and air get polluted, our forests die.

    For Brazil, there is an alternative. Dilma’s predecessor massively reduced deforestation and cemented the country’s international reputation as an environmental leader, while also enjoying huge economic growth. Let’s come together now, and urge Dilma to follow in those footsteps — sign the petition to save the Amazon, then forward this email to everyone:

    In the last 3 years, Brazilian Avaaz members have taken massive leaps towards the world we all want: They won landmark anti-corruption legislation, and have lobbied their government to play a leadership role at the UN, protect human rights and intervene to support democracy in the Middle East, and help protect human rights in Africa and beyond.

    Now, as brave Brazilian activists are being killed for protecting a critical global resource, let’s come together, and build an international movement to save the Amazon and herald Brazil as a true international leader once more. Sign the petition, then forward this email to everyone:

    With hope,

    Emma, Ricken, Alice, Ben, Iain, Laura, Graziela, Luis and the rest of the Avaaz Team


    BBC — Brazil passes ‘retrograde’ forest code:

    AP — Another Amazon activist killed in logging conflict:

    Mongabay — Majority of Brazilians reject changes in Amazon Forest Code:

    Science Insider — Furor Over Proposed Brazilian Forest Law:

    Guardian — Death in the Amazon: a war being fought for us all:

    Washington Post — Brazil’s lower house approves looser forest protections:

    Brazil’s forest bill threat to Amazon


  3. Workers demand land reform funds

    Brazil: Thousands of rural workers surrounded the Finance Ministry in Brasilia today to demand more funds for land reform, saying that £180 million that the government has allocated this year to a land reform bureau is not enough to address their needs.

    Nearly 50 per cent of arable land in Brazil belongs to just 1 per cent of the population, according to official statistics.

    The activists are demanding that thousands of families be granted deeds to what they say is unused land.


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