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Story Publication logo February 7, 2020

Betting on Solar Energy Against the Oil Industry in the Amazon (Portuguese)

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Sunrise on the Arinos River in the North of Mato Grosso, over Rikbaktsa indigenous lands. Image by Pablo Albarenga. Brazil, 2019.
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Three Rainforest Defender Series stories of resistance and innovation in the Achuar Territory of the...

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Image by Pablo Albarenga.
Image by Pablo Albarenga.

In a landscape of luminous clouds reflected in a mirror of water, a canoe silently slides upriver, powered by electricity. A team of Achuar youth is aboard. They're returning home after attending a training on the installation and use of solar panels that took place in Capahuari, a tributary of the Pastaza River in the Ecuadorian Amazon near the border with Perú.

The solar canoe barely vibrates. Voices can be heard from the bow to the stern, and where the rivers converge, a few freshwater dolphins emerge to breathe close to the boat because the soft humming doesn't scare them away. This scene seems like fiction, but it's reality. It is made possible by a group of courageous youth who are defending the forest and resisting the demand for oil, which has already caused so much damage to the Ecuadorian Amazon.

To read the full story in Portuguese, click here.

Alimentada por energia elétrica, uma canoa desliza silenciosamente rio acima em uma paisagem de nuvens luminosas que são refletidas no espelho d'água. A bordo está uma equipe de jovens indígenas achuar. Eles voltam para casa depois de participar de um treinamento em instalação e controle de painéis solares que ocorreu no rio Kapawari, um afluente do rio Pastaza na Amazônia equatoriana, perto da fronteira com o Peru.

A canoa solar mal vibra. As vozes se escutam de proa à popa e, na confluência dos dois rios, alguns botos emergem para respirar, confiantes e próximos, devido ao ruído quase zero emitido pela canoa solar. Essa cena, que parece ficção, é completamente real. Isso é possível graças a um grupo de pessoas corajosas, que defende a floresta e enfrenta a indústria do petróleo, que tanto afetou a Amazônia equatoriana.