Founded in 1996, Amazon Watch works to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. The group partners with indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability, and the preservation of the Amazon’s ecological systems. Amazon Watch operates under the belief that the most effective way to defend the Amazon rainforest is to support and advance the rights of indigenous peoples, whose territories encompass over one quarter of the region, and who have lived in harmony with its abundant biodiversity for millennia.
The Cultures of Resistance Network supported Amazon Watch’s campaign to stop the Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River in Brazil. If completed, the dam would divert the flow of the Xingu River and devastate an extensive area of the Brazilian rainforest, displacing over 20,000 people and threatening the survival of indigenous peoples.
The Cultures of Resistance Network also supported a mobilization of indigenous leaders from across the Amazon to discuss threats posed by major infrastructure projects in the Amazon, including those on the Xingu and Tapajós River Basins. This critical gathering catalyzed further resistance and unification amongst by indigenous peoples and civil society to the dams and to the Brazilian government’s plans to build more than 60 additional large dams in the Brazilian Amazon.