Maricunga: Ecosystem threatened by lithium mining

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 | News and analysis
The Maricunga salt flats, in the heart of Chile’s Atacama Desert, are under threat of destruction from lithium mega-mining. Watch this short film, followed by a discussion between Colla communities, environmental activists, and land defenders on the importance of this territory in the fight to guarantee a fair and equitable energy transition for everyone.
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The intensive exploitation of water could degrade the rich local ecosystem, with devastating consequences for the communities of Copiapó, and the entire Atacama region, whose lives depend on these lands. But these communities are fighting back.

This is the frontline of the fight for climate justice. Communities are resisting 'green capitalism' and an unjust and extractive vision of energy transition. A vision of transition that sacrifices entire communities and destroys ecosystems in the Global South to provide the materials for solar panels and wind turbines for the Global North. This warped and flawed logic of eco-extraction cannot solve the climate crisis.

Speakers in Q&A:

  • Asad Rehman, Executive Director of War on Want
  • Thea Riofrancos, Associate Professor of Political Science at Providence College
  • Lesley Muñoz Rivera, Indigenous Colla Community member in the Copiapó Commune
  • Luciano Travella, Colectivo en Defensa del Medio Ambiente de Atacama (Collective for the Defence of the Atacama Environment)