Urgent Action: Brazil Environmental Agency Licenses Urucu Pipeline on eve of World Summit on Sustainable Development
Indigenous peoples, local concerns, alternatives ignored
Email Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Brazil's environmental agency, IBAMA, issued a license for the construction of the Urucu ? Porto Velho gas and oil pipeline, which will mean opening a 15-30 meter wide road for 500 kilometers through the most isolated and inaccessible region of the central Amazonian rainforest. Environmentalists and grassroots groups from the region are deeply concerned that the license fails to incorporate any of the issues raised in public hearings in the affected area, including: the threat of uncontrolled logging and forest clearing by ranchers and settlers along the road; the presence of an isolated indigenous group, as well as other traditional forest communities, in the pipeline right of way, which could be eliminated by the project; and the fact that environmental impact analysis failed to analyze feasible alternatives for transporting gas to Porto Velho.
IBAMA issued the license on the eve of the Johannesburg sustainable development summit, where Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso will be arriving tomorrow, and where Brazil has staked out a public position as an international environmental leader. The Amazon Working Group, the Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon, the Pastoral Land Commission, Friends of the Earth and others are calling for emails to FHC, drawing his attention to the contradiction between the license and Brazil's public positions.
Please Email President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. A sample letter follows.
Ilmo. Sr. President of the Republic Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr. President,
I share the concerns of Amazonian environmentalists and grassroots groups with IBAMA's licensing, on the eve of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, of the Urucu ? Porto Velho gas pipeline. The license fails to consider central issue raised in recent public hearings in the region, including the presence of isolated Indians and the Environmental Impact Analysis' failure to consider viable alternatives to the pipeline.
I respectfully urge you to instruct IBAMA to review this license, and to include the issues raised by affected communities in the six public hearings carried out by IBAMA.