In the same city that promises to redefine the world's environmental milestones, a serious of mega projects are in place or being promoted in the opposite direction of the official discourse
During Rio + 20, civil society organizes visits to toxic projects in Rio de Janeiro
From June 15-17, civil society organizations will guide activists, journalists and researchers to three projects of strong social and environmental impact in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro. The group's goal is to show that, in the same city that promises to redefine the world's environmental milestones, a serious of mega projects are n place or being promoted in the opposite direction of the official discourse.
The trips, named Rio + Toxic, will include visits to Santa Cruz, Duque de Caxias and Mage, areas affected by ThyssenKrupp Atlantic Steel Company (TKCSA) and Duque de Caxias oil refinery - REDUC-Petrobras. Other destinations are the São Bento Environmental Protection Area (EPA) and the Metropolitan Landfill of Jardim Gramacho, the largest Landfill in Latin America. Visitors will participate in meetings and visits, and will be able to conduct interviews with community leaders and local residents. Buses will leave from the headquarters of the Brazilian National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES), in downtown Rio, where much of the funding for these toxic ventures comes from.
-> Would you like to participate in the visits? Click here to reserve to apply.
Located in the Sepetiba Bay, ThyssenKrupp Atlantic Steel Company (TKCSA) was installed in Rio after being denied by other countries and Brazilian states. The steel company releases particles of pig iron and emits tons of carbon dioxide in the air, enough to increase emissions in the city of Rio de Janeiro in 76%. This has affected the health and environment of residents and fishermen in the region at a level so high that it has become a problem for the company's headquarters in Germany.
The Duque de Caxias Refinery (REDUC), launched 50 years ago, and the Petrochemical Complex that has been formed around it, has, over time, become one of the biggest polluters of the Guanabara Bay, affecting not only plants and animals, but also the health and the livelihoods of people in their surroundings. In 2000, a large spill dumped 1.3 million gallons of oil into the Bay, exposing the social and environmental cost of the project.
Still in Caxias, the itinerary will include a visit to the São Benedito Environmental Protection Area, to the Metropolitan Landfill of Jardim Gramacho - the largest landfill in Latin America, closed in June - and to the Cidade dos Meninos (City of Boys), one of the most emblematic cases of environmental injustice. The problem, which has dragged on for 50 years, involves the residues of insecticides in the abandoned site and various social actors.
The Rio + 20 Peoples´ Summit
Between June 20 and 22, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio +20, will be held in Rio de Janeiro with the aim of redefining the milestones in international environmental policy. The organizers of Rio + Toxic are members of the Facilitating Committee of Brazilian Civil Society for Rio +20. The specific task of this group is to facilitate the participation of organizations and social movements in the process that will culminate in the Peoples' Summit for Social and Environmental Justice. The Peoples´ Summit will take place between June 15 and 23 in the Aterro do Flamengo parallel to the Rio+20. The event gathers a serious of civil society organizations and social movements around the world, with the goal of offering real solutions to the current environmental dilemma, as a counterpoint to the neoliberal financialization of nature that is being offered by the advocates of the "green economy" at Rio +20.
Registration will be accepted trough the website until June 11. Places are limited and all applicants will be contacted until June 13 with confirmation of availability of time.
For more information
Gabriel Strautman: 55 21 8107 0991
Meli Trentin: 55 21 8101 8686
Renato Cosentino: 55 21 8267 2760
Leandro Uchoas: 55 21 8130 2099 / 8871 4992