Threatened Amazon tribes fight against the odds
Indigenous Peoples in Brazil [Macromedia Flash Player]
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]
Woods Hole Research Center: Amazon Ecology Program [pdf]
Alyeska Pipeline [pdf]
Twenty-one years ago, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company discovered a major source of gas and oil around Urucu, which sits in the Amazon. After two decades of dealing with a substantial amount of opposition, the company (with the approval of the Brazilian government) appears poised to begin construction on the 400-mile pipeline which will bring the gas to the city of Manaus. As might be imagined, a number of challenges confronted the project, not the least of which was the potential long-term environmental impact on the region. Over the past several years, a number of residents of the state of Amazonas have been promised a wide-range of economic benefits, which has diffused certain factions who have opposed the project. Brazil, like many other rapidly developing countries, is looking for a wide range of energy sources, and in the past they have embraced hydroelectric projects on a vast scale. The pipeline is supposed to provide the impetus for a number of related economic development projects, including a plant that will process an Amazon fruit, which is used as a health beverage, and a factory designed to produce organic fibers.
The first link will take users to a piece that appeared in this week’s New York Times, and which offers some background on both the pipeline and some of the larger concerns about the project. The second link leads to a fine article which appeared online this Tuesday in the Indian Country News. Written by Jim Adams, the article talks about the ways in which indigenous groups in the Amazon have successfully fought to maintain control of the region in which they live. The third link leads to an online encyclopedia of information about the indigenous peoples of Brazil, created by the Instituto Socioambiental. Given the increasing importance of the flows of petroleum around the world, the fourth link offered may be of great interest, as it leads to the homepage of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The fifth link will take users to the Woods Hole Research Center’s Amazon Ecology program homepage, where those who are so inclined can learn about the future of the region and also consider some of the Center’s informative and educational material. Finally, the last link leads to the homepage of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, where visitors can learn about how the pipeline works.