After two years of debate, Brazil’s environment agency Ibama has given initial permission for two multi-billion dollar dam projects on the Madeira River, one of the tributaries of the Amazon. Environmentalists fear the projects will threaten the river’s exceptional fish diversity and encourage development in the sensitive Amazon region, but President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is determined the country will not face another round of power cuts like those that happened in 2001. Ibama has attached 33 environmental conditions to the dam projects before it will issue its final approval.
Source: Gary Duffy, Brazil gives Amazon dams go-ahead. BBC News, July 10.