I believe the next 10 years of South America’s future, has the ability to change the course of the Worlds next 50. So Join Me As We Explore That Future..
Over the next few days, I would like to take you on a virtual journey around the continent as we look at just a few of the stories that need to be shared, heard and spread- as we discuss those points of light and moments of inspiration as well as some huge obstacles and challenges that threaten to crush the very spirit of those who have fought to up hold the rights of the continents citizens, indigenous peoples, land resources and sovereignty.
Let this post not be interpreted as simply a piece of youth activism, but instead as a writer hoping to shine his touch on stories that are often hidden from our view – whether knowingly or not.
To begin this journey, in today’s Post I would like to take you deep into the Amazon, to the State of Pará, in eastern Brazil.
The Brazilian government has been slowly and persistently taking back control of its own resources from international companies and multinationals such as oil rigs and wells (on-shore and off-shore), mines throughout the diverse country, as well as vast stretches of forest originally sold off to international contractors in the 1980’s.
This new approach has come as a blessing and a curse- it has been wonderful to see Brazil gaining it’s sovereignty and greater resource independence- allowing it to almost repay all out standing international debt (a feat impressive for any country) but for South America it is a first for a long time.
However this new patriotic approach has come at a cost. Now the Samba dancing country, in a bid to shift through the gears on it’s ever-growing Economy, is heavily investing in its natural resources at a cost that not only threatens the lives of future generations, but the lives of thousands, right here, right now.
The Bel0 Monte Dam has been a blueprint for many years. A plan “for the future” and a possibility “worth considering”. It has the ability to produce almost 12,000 mega watts of energy- this would presumably be used to continue exploitation of the area’s resources, as the state is experiencing a boom in mining trade in recent years.
The proposed Dam has always received much criticism from Wildlife, indigenous rights and conservation groups- but as a blueprint there was little to argue upon, but now as Brazil sprints towards the best economic years in her colourful history, that blueprint is being realised- and threatening disastrous consequences.
The video posted below, in which Avatar director James Cameron visit’s the communities set to be directly affected by the Dam, showcases the dangers of this kind of “development” and false “progress”- and is the first story and the first challenge on this virtual Journey, that I would like to share with you:
I have a strong desire and solid belief that with adequate publicity and enough significant endorsement, international support and lobbying, the Belo Monte Dam can indeed be scrapped and removed from the development plans of Mrs Rouseff, Brazil’s first female President’s, Energy development plans.
The Indigenous communities of the Xingu river are planning to squat on the site in coming days- as well as arranging river boats to block regular transportation of trade resources- this will of course mount pressure on the Government, but I doubt it will be enough.
I urge and beg you not to fall into the trap of believing any involvement from you would be ‘unnecessary’ or ‘irrelevant’. This is not merely a Brazilian issue, this is a global humanitarian and environmental issue, that’s consequences could devastate one of the last great places of true biodiversity. Your voice can go a long way, let’s make history today, let’s tell Brazil this is not the future we believe in. Sign the Petition. Spread The Word. Share The Story.
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As always I welcome your insight, opinion, comments and debate on this post..