Finally Something positive:Green Peace pressure denies oil giant Total license to drill near Amazon Reef

“AMAZON PINK DOLPHIN” 12/12/2018

 

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Brazilian regulators deny French oil giant Total license to drill near Amazon Reef

 

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One of the first images of the Amazon Reef taken from a submarine launched from the Greenpeace ship MY Esperanza. Photo: © Greenpeace.

  • Brazil’s environmental regulatory agency, Ibama, announced last Friday that it was denying French oil company Total license to drill for oil near the Amazon Reef.
  • Greenpeace announced earlier this year that a team of scientists onboard one of the environmental group’s ships had documented a reef formation under one of Total’s drilling blocks, contradicting Total’s Environmental Impact Assessment, which stated that the closest reef formation was 8 kilometers away.
  • In a statement about the rejection of the environmental licenses Total was seeking in order to begin drilling in the Foz do Amazonas Basin, Ibama president Suely Araújo said that there were “deep uncertainties related to the Individual Emergency Plan (PEI) of the enterprise, aggravated by the possibility of eventual oil leakage affecting the biogenic reefs present in the region and marine biodiversity more broadly.”

Brazil’s environmental regulatory agency, Ibama, announced last Friday that it was denying French oil company Total license to drill for oil near the Amazon Reef.

The reef system, discovered off the coast of Amapá state in northern Brazil in 2016, is known as the Amazon Reef because it lies in the turgid waters of the Atlantic Ocean close to the mouth of the Amazon River. The system of corals, sponges, and a colorful marine algae that resembles coral called rhodoliths extends from French Guiana to Brazil’s Maranhão State and encompasses 9,500 square kilometers (nearly 3,700 square miles).

Fabiano Thompson of Brazil’s Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, who was part of the team of scientists that made the discovery, told Mongabay at the time that the oceanographic conditions of the Amazon Reef are not found anywhere else on the planet, making it an entirely unique ecosystem.

Total sought to drill for oil in the Foz do Amazonas Basin, which has been estimated to contain as much as 14 billion barrels of oil. The French oil giant was leading a group of companies, including the UK’s BP and Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras, that acquired the rights to five exploration blocks in the basin in a 2013 auction. BP is reportedly still trying to secure a license to drill in the Foz do Amazonas Basin on its own.

 

Greenpeace announced earlier this year that a team of scientists onboard one of the environmental group’s ships had documented a reef formation under one of Total’s drilling blocks, contradicting Total’s Environmental Impact Assessment, which stated that the closest reef formation was 8 kilometers away.

In a statement about the rejection of the environmental licenses Total was seeking in order to begin drilling in the Foz do Amazonas Basin, Ibama president Suely Araújo said that there were “deep uncertainties related to the Individual Emergency Plan (PEI) of the enterprise, aggravated by the possibility of eventual oil leakage affecting the biogenic reefs present in the region and marine biodiversity more broadly.”

According to the statement, another factor that led to the license denial was the fact that many of the problems previously identified by Ibama in technical documents submitted by Total “were not remedied.” Ibama rejected Total’s environmental impact study for a third time in August 2017, for instance, because the company had failed to address concerns over potential impacts on marine mammals, sea turtles, and birds and had not improved its oil spill dispersion modeling or risk forecasting.

Greenpeace, which published the first underwater photos of the Amazon Reef last year, welcomed the decision by Ibama. “This announcement is a stunning victory for people power, and further evidence that the age of oil is on its way out,” Thiago Almeida, Climate and Energy campaigner for Greenpeace Brazil, said in a statement. “More than two million Amazon Reef defenders from all around the world stood up against Total’s reckless plans to drill for oil near this unique and biologically significant area, and today Ibama did the right thing in denying Total its license to drill.”

You can listen to marine biologist and director of Greenpeace USA’s oceans campaigns John Hocevar talk about the discovery of the Amazon Reef and what it was like to be part of the expedition that photographed the reef for the first time in a June 2017 episode of the Mongabay Newscast.

Source: Mongabay

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2 million people defended the Amazon Reef — and won

Almost two years ago, we started an incredible adventure onboard the Greenpeace Esperanza ship. Our goal was clear: to show the world the amazingness of the Amazon Reef and why it is important to protect it from the hands of greedy oil giants like French company Total. It has been a long journey, and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We needed to be many, we needed to be strong, diverse, and united. And with you, and all the Amazon Reef Defenders around the world, we did it.

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Submarine dive launch in Brazil to document the Amazon Reef, a recently discovered and largely unknown biome threatened by oil exploration. © Marizilda Cruppe

Today is a day to celebrate. All of us Amazon Reef Defenders have made history together. The Brazilian environmental agency (Ibama) has finally denied Total the license to drill for oil near the Amazon Reef in Brazil! This decision sends a powerful message to governments and companies all over the world: the movement to end the age of oil will continue to grow.

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One of the first images of the Amazon Reef taken from a submarine launched from the Greenpeace Esperanza ship in 2017.

More than 2 million people joined us on this fantastic journey. From registering the first ever images of the Amazon Reef to crashing a Total meeting with climbers and samba players, you were there with us. It’s been fabulous to see us all working together and collectively building such a movement.

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Greenpeace activists protest against TOTAL’s plans to drill in Amazon despite recent evidence of Reef and wide biodiversity in the area. Outside, climbers, activists and volunteers were standing in front of the building, some playing music, some with banners including two strong messages: “Save the Amazon Reef” and “Total persists, we resist”. © Simon Lambert

The Amazon Reef Defenders did what seemed impossible: defeat one of the most powerful companies in the world. But, with scientists and local communities on our side, our diversity, strength, and love for this natural treasure proved that nothing is impossible. This is just the beginning. We won’t stop until the Amazon Reef is protected for good and until we put an end to the age of oil. And we know we can count on you. Now, it’s time to celebrate. You are the hero the Amazon Reef needed.

By: Diego Gonzaga is a content editor for Greenpeace International

Source: Greenpeace

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EDITORIAL COMMITTEE:

 

Arno Ambrosius

Mariana Almeida

David Dunham

Gustavo López Ospina

Gertjan Storm

Editor: Pieter Jan Brouwer

 

“Pink Dolphin” is the official blog of SELVA-Vida Sin Fronteras. The intention of the blog is to generate debate on environmental issues; the Amazon Rain forest in particular. Contributions and support are done on a voluntary basis and do not imply institutional affiliation.  Similarly opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the official position of SVSF.

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All Title photographs of the Amazon Pink fresh water Dolphin are the creation of Kevin Schafer.

 

 

 

 

~ by SELVA-Vida Sin Fronteras on 12 December, 2018.

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