"When it comes to monitoring deforestation and protecting the rights of forest guardians, the fox is guarding the hen house in Brazil. We simply want peace, so that our peoples can live a just and dignified life.”
- Sônia Guajajara, indigenous Brazilian leader
BlackRock is a major investor in the parent companies of Brazilian agribusiness firms that produce wood chips for paper products, soy, wheat and other agricultural commodities, as well as the commodity traders like ADM and JBS that buy and export soy and beef.
Many of those Brazilian firms are owned by wealthy Brazilians who have used their political and economic influence to strip protections for forests and land rights in the Amazon.
Sônia Guajajara is an indigenous Brazilian leader from the province of Araribóia, who serves as the executive coordinator of APIB, the country's indigenous federation. She regularly speaks out about the environmental and cultural damage caused by agribusiness and other industrial development and the need to respect indigenous territories.
Sônia has received numerous death threats and faces ongoing intimidation due to her work, but nonetheless continues organizing to defend her communities rights and those of all indigenous Brazilians.
Brazil's Indigenous Resistance
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Join over 250,000 who signed petitions demanding BlackRock cease financing Amazon destruction.
The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest, stores an estimated 150 billion to 200 billion tons of carbon, houses 10% of the planet’s biodiversity, and is home to over 400 distinct groups of Indigenous Peoples, who have protected this crucial ecosystem for centuries.
Yet the Amazon - and the indigenous peoples who call it home - are at serious risk from agribusiness, oil drilling, and mining. These industries cause deforestation and biodiversity loss, contribute to climate change, and threaten the wellbeing and cultures of indigenous peoples who rely on the rainforest for their survival.
BlackRock’s ownership position :
BlackRock is a significant shareholder in agribusiness companies that are driving deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.
It is also one of the biggest investors in the nearly every oil company operating in the western Amazon, from big names like Exxon to smaller ones like ENI.
BlackRock’s ownership position :
The Amazon is the world's largest carbon sink and plays a critical role in regulating the world's climate. Deforestation is the second largest driver of climate change, after fossil fuels.
In the Brazilian Amazon, deforestation is skyrocketing. Between July 2017 and July 2018, 7,900sq kms were deforested, an area equivalent to 987,000 soccer fields.
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is slashing safeguards for indigenous territorial rights to pave the way for agribusiness development, often leading to the displacement of communities from their ancestral homelands.
Across the region, most agribusiness, oil, and mining and activities take place on the territories of indigenous peoples who have not been consulted or have explicitly rejected industrial development.
Human rights impacts:
THE AMAZON IS THE LUNGS OF THE EARTH. WE CAN'T PROTECT THE CLIMATE WITHOUT PROTECTING THE RAINFOREST.
Agribusiness and illegal logging are not the only threats to the rainforest and forest peoples in the Amazon. In the western Amazon, oil concessions cover an area larger than the state of Texas and provide access to remote roadless areas, accelerating deforestation in the region.
To make matters worse, much of this drilling--and planned expansion projects--occur on the territories of indigenous peoples have not been properly consulted or have explicitly rejected the presence of oil drilling on their land.
BlackRock is a major investor in oil companies expanding in the region like ENI, Frontera Energy, and Andes Petroleum (a wholly-owned subsidiary of two Chinese state-owned companies). Each of these companies currently holds licenses to explore and/or drill in the Western Amazon’s fossil fuel frontier in blocks on or near the territories of indigenous nations that have rejected oil drilling on their territories.
If BlackRock claims to be a leader in sustainable investing, it should not be financing companies with horrible human rights and climate records like those operating in the Amazon.
Click on the link below to find out more about the threats to the Amazon rainforest and how you can join the fight to protect it.