Controversial Dam In Brazil Given Approval By Government

February 6th, 2013 BY VeganVerve | 1 Comment

For the past thirty years, the Brazilian government and opposing organizations have gone head to head when it comes to the potential building of a massive dam. The project, called Belo Monte, has been unsuccessful in garnering support outside of the Brazilian government and numerous protests have led to delayed decisions regarding the dam.

However, Ibama, Brazil’s environment agency, recently gave the go-ahead for the Belo Monte project. The licenses approved will allow the beginning stages of the dam building, including clearing 600 acres of rainforest and building roads to the Xingu River, the location for the dam. The Xingu River is a tributary of the Amazon River.

If construction goes as planned, the dam will be 3.75 miles in length and will be the third largest of its kind in the world. The dam is expected to generate 11,000 megawatts of energy as well, a fact the Brazilian government hopes will sway people to support the project. The dam could be in operation by the year 2015 and will cost approximately $17 billion.

Major opposition to the dam includes dozens of environmental and conservation organizations and groups for the people who would be displaced by the dam. The dam will cause upwards of 40,000 individuals in the region of the dam building to be displaced.

In addition, the dam will cause a 62-mile stretch of the Xingu River to dry up partially. 100,000 acres of rainforest are expected to be flooded by the project, an area approximately three times the size of Washington, D.C.. Such flooding will do massive damage to the ecosystem and to the human and nonhuman inhabitants in the region.

A state prosecutor, Felicio Pontes, has put in an appeal to the Brazilian government in order to try and stop the dam. Pontes stated: “Due to decisions like this, we can say today, [Ibama] is the author of the worst offense against the environment in the Amazon.”

The Brazilian government has countered the opposition they are facing by pointing to their plans for spending regarding both displaced peoples and the environment. The government is expected to spend additional millions for such projects.

  1. Chadd

    How Important Do you Think it is To Save the Amazon From Deforestation?
    Currently over 20% of the original Amazon rainforest plant life has been deforested. Mainly the deforestation is to make way way for red meat from cattle production, commercial soy bean production, charcoal and logging. As well as oil exploration and drilling and mining.
    The majority of the destruction is for short sighted short term gain and is totally unsustainable. It is estimated that if the Amazon reaches 40% deforestation then it will begin to dry up and the Earth and humanity will loose it’s most important eco system and potentially the very sustainability of humans to live and survive on Earth.

    It really doesn’t matter whether you live in the Amazon region or not, the health of the Amazon eco system is critically important to every person on this planet. Taking a stand to save it should be an action we are all invested in. Look for ways to support Amazon Rainforest preservation.

  2. What do you have to say?