EcoJustice Radio celebrates the land and water protectors of the Amazon Rainforest in a Four-Part series called Amazon Defenders.
We begin Part One in the Western Amazon to understand how activists are confronting the dirty legacy of oil extraction, stopping the expansion of new oil leases, and protecting the rainforest biodiversity.
Our guest Paul Paz y Miño, Associate Director of Amazon Watch [https://amazonwatch.org/], provides an overview of the rich significance of the Amazon, expands upon what is happening in the Western Region and the connection to California and the United States, and speaks to the growing resistance protecting the rainforest and the rights of Indigenous peoples.
The Amazon Basin is home to half of the world's tropical forests, with 33% of all plant and animal biodiversity thriving in impenetrable wildernesses.
Unfortunately, some of the world's most promising oil and gas deposits lie deep in these rainforests, especially in the Western Amazon. Moreover, governments and oil companies have opted for expediency and profit over environmental protection. Did you know that much of the Amazon crude is shipped to California to be processed? We will talk about that today.
The exploitation and destruction for a product responsible for breaking the global climate system continues today at a fevered pace. Oil corporations and their governmental enablers are pushing to drill deeper into the rainforest by building roads and railroad lines, cutting old growth trees, and invading indigenous sovereign territories and protected biospheres.
Yet the international resistance is building and communities are fighting back. Can this incredible ecosystem be protected, allowing Indigenous societies and wildlife to thrive?
Paul Paz y Miño has been at Amazon Watch since 2007. He has been a professional human rights, corporate accountability and environmental justice advocate since 1993. He has worked with various human rights NGOs including Amnesty International USA and Human Rights Watch/Americas. Paul has lived in Chiapas, Mexico and Quito, Ecuador, promoting human rights and community development and working directly with indigenous communities.
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Hosted by Jessica Aldridge
Engineer: Blake Lampkin
Executive Producer: Jack Eidt
Producer: Emilia Barrosse
Show Created by Mark and JP Morris
Music: Javier Kadry
Photo courtesy Amazon Watch