RIO DE JANEIRO – Several hundred people formed human mosaics Wednesday on this Brazilian metropolis’ Copacabana beach to demand greater protection for the Amazon Reef.
Hundreds of people created giant messages with the slogans “Defend the Amazon Corals” and “Oil No” as part of an initiative that also included other activities on the sand such as yoga and pilates.
The mosaics were set up by American artist John Quigley and included the participation of volunteers, curious passers-by and students from various public schools in Rio de Janeiro.
Thiago Almeida, a Greenpeace Brazil energy expert, said the world’s attention needed to be drawn to oil companies’ plans to drill for crude at the mouth of the Amazon River, where the existence of a unique reef system was confirmed last year.
The search for oil carries the risk of a spill, he said, adding that Greenpeace is calling on companies to abandon plans to explore for crude in that area.
“It’s a region that’s very difficult to explore. In fact, 27 of the 95 attempts to produce oil there have failed due to mechanical accidents and none of them succeeded in extracting economically viable oil,” Almeida told EFE.
The expert added that companies were wanting to carry out exploration work even though scientists still did not know the Amazon Reef’s true extension or how it works.