Greenpeace urges Siemens to join fight to save the Amazon’s Munduruku people

L’organizzazione ambientalista ha chiesto a Siemens di non partecipare al progetto di un’enorme diga idroelettrica nel cuore dell’Amazzonia brasiliana.

Siemens is one of the world’s biggest producers of wind turbines and is committed to making its supply chain sustainable. Yet, the German company could soon play a prominent role in the destruction of the Brazilian Amazon. Siemens is going to take part in a project for the construction of a huge hydroelectric dam on the Tapajós River, in the state of Pará, north-western Brazil.

Coppia di delfini rosa amazzonici
The Amazon river doplhin (Inia geoffrensis) is threatened with extinction

The “river of life” would die

The Tapajós River, which extends for 800 kilometres, crosses lands characterised by an extraordinary biodiversity and is home to a rare and mysterious creature, the Amazon River dolphin. The Brazilian Amazon is also home to a huge variety of animal and plant species, as well as to indigenous communities that live in harmony with the river and the forest.

Indigeni Munduruku
The creation of the dam would flood vast areas and sacred places belonging to the Munduruku tribe (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

40 dams would flood the Amazon

The forest and the river, along with all the creatures depending on them, are now threatened by the Brazilian government’s plan to build 40 dams on the Tapajós River. The São Luiz do Tapajós hydrodam will be the largest, with a capacity of 8,040MW and a pool of 729 square kilometres. It will also threaten the survival of 12,000 people of the Munduruku indigenous tribe, which hasn’t been consulted as provided by the ILO-convention 169 (the Indigenous and Tribal People convention) and by Brazil’s constitution.

Attivisti di Greenpeace
Greenpeace activists protesting against the construction of dams © Greenpeace

Greenpeace’s protest

Earlier in May, Greenpeace asked Siemens to publicly dissociate itself from the project, but the company has never answered. So, the environmental association took action on 7 July by organising a demonstration at Siemens’ headquarters in Milano, Italy, and showing the photos of the damage caused by the Belo Monte dam. “We ask Siemens to not participate in the construction of the São Luiz do Tapajós dam and to speak up against the destruction of the Amazon,” said Martina Borghi of Greenpeace Italy. “Siemens shouldn’t make the same mistake of the Belo Monte dam and instead include forest protection in its innovative environmental portfolio”.

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