Almost two years ago, we started an incredible adventure onboard the Greenpeace Esperanza ship. Our goal was clear: to show the world the amazingness of the Amazon Reef and why it is important to protect it from the hands of greedy oil giants like French company Total. It has been a long journey, and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We needed to be many, we needed to be strong, diverse, and united. And with you, and all the Amazon Reef Defenders around the world, we did it.

Submarine dive launch in the Amazon Reef. © Marizilda Cruppe

Submarine dive launch in Brazil to document the Amazon Reef, a recently discovered and largely unknown biome threatened by oil exploration.

Today is a day to celebrate. All of us Amazon Reef Defenders have made history together. The Brazilian environmental agency (Ibama) has finally denied Total the license to drill for oil near the Amazon Reef in Brazil! This decision sends a powerful message to governments and companies all over the world: the movement to end the age of oil will continue to grow.

One of the first images of the Amazon Reef taken from a submarine launched from the Greenpeace Esperanza ship in 2017 © Greenpeace

One of the first images of the Amazon Reef taken from a submarine launched from the Greenpeace Esperanza ship in 2017.

More than 2 million people joined us on this fantastic journey. From registering the first ever images of the Amazon Reef to crashing a Total meeting with climbers and samba players, you were there with us. It’s been fabulous to see us all working together and collectively building such a movement.

Activists protest against oil drilling in the Amazon Reef during Action at Total’s AGM in Paris. © Simon Lambert

Greenpeace activists protest against TOTAL’s plans to drill in Amazon despite recent evidence of Reef and wide biodiversity in the area. Outside, climbers, activists and volunteers were standing in front of the building, some playing music, some with banners including two strong messages: “Save the Amazon Reef” and “Total persists, we resist”.

The Amazon Reef Defenders did what seemed impossible: defeat one of the most powerful companies in the world. But, with scientists and local communities on our side, our diversity, strength, and love for this natural treasure proved that nothing is impossible. This is just the beginning. We won’t stop until the Amazon Reef is protected for good and until we put an end to the age of oil. And we know we can count on you. Now, it’s time to celebrate. You are the hero the Amazon Reef needed.

Diego Gonzaga is a content editor for Greenpeace International