Bunny McDiarmid joins the Munduruku community this week as the global campaign to stop the São Luiz do Tapajós (SLT) mega-dam swells to more than one million people globally. The SLT hydropower project would destroy the livelihoods of the Munduruku People and create a reservoir almost the size of New York City in the heart of the Amazon (729 km²).
“There are no better protectors of the Tapajós River basin than the Munduruku Indigenous People who have lived in balance with this part of the Amazon rainforest for centuries. The São Luiz do Tapajós dam project is a threat to the Munduruku way of life, the Tapajós River and the Amazon rainforest,” said Greenpeace International Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid. “Just a few months ago, very few people globally knew about the struggle of the Munduruku People. Today more than one million people are standing with them. This shows the enormous support people around the world have for the Munduruku fight to stop the dam and protect the forest,” McDiarmid continued.
Maria Niceia Akay Munduruku, one of the first female chiefs of the Munduruku People, said “The river is our blood. Not only mine, but ours. The river wants to stay alive.” She continued, “The dam threatens everything, not only the Indigenous People. The animals – the birds, the fish, the turtles – are affected as well. They don’t know what’s coming to kill them. The dam will kill everything – the river, the fish and the forest. This is why the Munduruku People are against this dam.”
McDiarmid joined the caciques(chiefs) of the Munduruku to bear witness to the destruction caused by nearby dam sites in an overflight of the areas and joined the team currently working to demarcate Munduruku territory in the Sawré Muybu Indigenous Land.
The self-demarcation of Munduruku traditional lands is one of several collaborations between the Munduruku and Greenpeace in Sawré Muybu. Greenpeace and the Munduruku are holding workshops to build solar lamps and ovens, and installing solar panels in the community centers of two Munduruku villages to demonstrate how renewable energy sources like solar can provide energy solutions.
In addition to supporting the rights of the Munduruku to protect their land from the SLT dam, Greenpeace is demanding the few multinational corporations that could supply technology for the dam publically commit not to participate in the project. Companies like Siemens, which was involved in the destructive Belo Monte dam, need to recognise the environmental, social and human rights impacts of the SLT dam and refuse to become involved.
The Greenpeace Brazil report, ‘Damning the Amazon’ can be found at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/Campaign-reports/Forests-Reports/Damning-the-Amazon/
More information about the demarcation of the the Munduruku land can be found here http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/press/releases/2016/Munduruku-and-Greenpeace-demarcate-Indigenous-Lands-in-the-heart-of-the-Amazon/
Vania Alves, Communication Officer, Greenpeace Brazil, currently with Bunny in the Amazon +88 162 240 1840,
Greenpeace International Press Desk, +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours),
Photos and Videos:
Bunny McDiarmid in the Amazon: http://media.greenpeace.org/shoot/27MZIFJJTKXSY
Additional images of the Tapajós River basin: http://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MZIFJ6DCH2R