In a recent fundraiser for conservation efforts in Ecuador, James Cameron screened his environmental adventure movie Avatar before an audience which included many of the highest ranking indigenous leaders of the region. After the movie, they reproached Cameron, saying that they didn't like the violence and that, "This movie needed a better message."

Ouch. But Cameron took it in stride before an NRDC audience last week as he recounted something we all suspected — his passion for preserving the last remaining rain forests on Earth.

Today was a big day for one of those forests — the Peruvian Achuar region, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. California's 9th Circuit Court heard the appeal today to try the case of Maynas Carijano v. Occidental Petroleum Corp. The indigenous Achuar people are suing OXY oil for using illegal dumping practices for three decades in the region, resulting in massive environmental degradation and human health impacts. Sounds like the plot to Avatar?

I was there at the hearing and will give more details shortly — it is a very interesting case.

Also on MNN: James Cameron talks to Bravo about Avatar and environmentalism