BRAZIL – In Silves, city of Amazonas State, heart of the Amazon forest, 350’s local partners – Silves Association for Environmental and Cultural Preservation (ASPAC), Amazon Network Working Group (Rede GTA), Itacoatiara’s Pastoral Land Commission (CPT-Prelazia de Itacoatiara), APIRÁ, Amazon Resistance Group, Amazon Resistance Women’s Group)-, will be holding a 2-day event that will gather religious groups, bishops, indigenous communities, quilombolas, riverine communities, students, among many more.
They have already started a big mural painting in a traditional local soccer field, Saracá F.C.
“We felt that art would be the best way to express to the World what are our fears, our expectations and how we are interpreting Just Transition in our place.”, says Jorge Barros one of the coordinators of Power Up Amazônia.
Impacts of extreme drought in Amazônia
The climate resilience of these Amazonides is something to be inspired by. They are not living in normal conditions as the extreme drought is so intense that is impeding boats from sailing and this is affecting the distribution of basic supplies such as water and food to half a million people.
“Some of the artists were unable to come due to the limited transportation to Silves. Our municipality used to be an island rounded by rivers but because of the drought we are now connected to the land. Climate change is impacting so much our municipality, our region. Right now, many people are at home without food, water and medicines.”, says Márcia Ruth from ASPAC.
At least 60 cities have already declared an emergency situation. Traditional communities that rely on fishing as their main source of income are also being impacted as the rivers are not in normal conditions. In one week, around 10% of the rare Amazon pink dolphin population was decimated because the water temperature reached 40°C, resulting in the deaths of 70 dolphins in a single day.
Fight against the Fossil Gas industry
In Silves, Amazonas, indigenous and traditional communities are also dealing with the exploitation of fossil gas. In addition to operating in the region without the proper environmental licenses, Eneva began operations without consulting the local communities that are being impacted by the extraction.
ASPAC, together with the indigenous Mura people, filed a lawsuit against the company and initially succeeded in temporarily suspending the polluter’s operations. Since then, however, they have suffered repression from local politicians who have tried to displace them, spreading hate speech and discrimination.
But once more, they inspire us with their resilience, they have been working even harder creating the Amazon Resistance Women’s Group, supporting and teaching women, empowering them with information, and tools to let them know their rights, exercise their citizenship, defend their families, culture, ancestry, and territories.
Let´s support these amazing communities, and strengthen their fight!