The Altamont School: Judith Kimerling to speak on oil, advocacy and human rights in the Amazon

Birmingham Alabama

Join The Altamont School on Tuesday, March 7th, 6:30 at the school’s Cabaniss-Kaul Center for the Arts, for a conversation about cultural immersion, energy, and human rights as Professor Judith Kimerling relates her experiences with the indigenous people and the land in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is part of The Altamont School Global Initiative.

Kimerling’s amazing journey

In 1989, Kimerling moved to Ecuador and worked with indigenous organizations in the Amazon Rainforest to document the environmental and social impacts of oil development there.  Her findings and photographs first placed concerns about the impact of oil extraction on indigenous peoples and the environment in tropical forests on the international environmental and human rights policy agendas.

Her book Amazon Crude was called “the Silent Spring of Ecuador” by The New York Times. 

Professor Kimerling has worked with indigenous organizations and communities in the Amazon Rainforest for more than twenty seven years, and currently serves as international counsel for Ome Gompote Kiwigimoni Huaorani (Ome Yasuni), an alliance of grassroots Huaorani (Waorani) communities who came together to defend their culture and territory in the area now known as Yasuni National Park and Biosphere Reserve.

Yasuni is world-renowned for biological diversity, and the Ome Yasuni Huaorani are working to protect the rainforest and defend the right of the Huaorani to continue to live freely and in accordance with their culture in what remains of their ancestral lands (including the right of neighboring Huaorani family groups to live in voluntary isolation).  Professor Kimerling also serves on the Technical Advisory Committee of REDOIL, a network of Alaska Natives who work to promote sustainable development.

Highly decorated, Kimerling received The Field Museum’s 2007 Parker/Gentry Award for Excellence and Innovation in Conservation/Environmental Biology for “her courageous and relentless work on behalf of indigenous peoples, riverine communities, and vast, intact forests in the headwaters of the Amazon.” In 2011, she was awarded the Albertson Medal in Sustainable Development for “her defense of the Amazon rainforest and the human communities that depend on it for their culture and survival.”

  • Source: The Altamont School news release

 

  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.