Devastating Impacts on Human Rights & the Environment. Development projects in the Amazon and Andes regions have a wide range of horrific impacts on local communities. (Clockwise, from upper left): Water supplies contaminated by toxic runoff from oil wells can both devastate local agriculture and cause cancer and other illnesses to sweep through a community. These illnesses affect young and old, and the contamination will last for generations. Mining projects often destroy the land and pollute the water of nearby communities, and the mine workers often endure horrible working conditions, including exposure to toxins that lead to chronic illnesses and death. Highway and logging projects disrupt local ecosystems and bring disease, confrontation and conflict to isolated indigenous groups. Hydropower dams often lead to deforestation, disruption of vital fisheries, and displacement of local communities. All of these projects occur against a complex political backdrop that often discourages local groups from taking a stand. Depending on their location, communities and activists may find themselves facing off against government corruption, police violence, covert threats and intimidation, and overwhelming political power. Building the legal and advocacy capacities in these communities is essential to their future.