Author Topic: Brazil plans to destroy the Amazon Basin with 23 massive hydroelectric dams  (Read 2516 times)

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Offline Toruk Makto

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http://riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/rio-politics/new-dams-planned-for-heart-of-amazon/

New Dams Planned for Heart of Amazon
September 25, 2012
By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter



RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Brazilian government is planning to build at least 23 new hydroelectric dams in the country’s Amazon region, of which seven are set to be installed in the heart of the region, in previously untouched areas of one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, O Globo newspaper reports. After the long-running dispute over the Belo Monte dam, environment activists have expressed incredulity at the plans.

Along with the six hydroelectric power stations already under construction, the government hopes these new dams will generate over 38,000 megawatts of power – half the nearly 78,900 megawatts currently generated by 201 operational power stations across Brazil.

Two plants are already in operation in the region: the Estreito plant on the Tocantins River, and the Santo Antônio plant on the Madeira River, the Amazon’s biggest tributary.

Funding for half the projects – around R$78 billion (US$38.5 billion) – is expected to come from the government’s Growth Acceleration Program or PAC (Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento). Together, the existing and planned sites would increase Brazil’s energy capacity by 54 percent.

Yet opponents are concerned that seven of the new plants will be built in extremely sensitive parts of the Amazon, including a string of seven dams planned for the Aripuanã and Roosevelt Rivers that would directly affect land officially deemed to require “extremely high conservation protection.”

The work would also come into contact with indigenous peoples’ land. If constructed, the reservoirs for the two largest new plants on the basin would flood an area of land the size of São Paulo city.

“We are planning with the greatest care and seeking to minimalize the impact [the building of the dams might cause],” reassured Energy Development Secretary Altino Ventura, who said the Amazon basin should account for around half of new energy sources by 2020.


However others, including João Gilberto Lotufo (pictured above), director of the Agência National de Águas (National Water Agency, ANA), have said that Brazil should stop apologizing for what it has done and focus on the need to get ahead of future energy problems.

The local government in Manaus, Amazonas state capital, is clearly aware of the environmental impact the plants could have on the region and its peoples; it wants Brasília to consider other options, such as solar power.

The news comes as environmental campaigners, who had been celebrating that work on the controversial Belo Monte dam had been halted, were dealt a setback after builders were given the green light to restart.

Biologists have said that Brazil should be looking for alternatives now, rather than later regretting losses to the Amazon’s unique ecosystems. Christian Poirier, Brazil Campaigner at Amazon Watch, had stronger words over the government’s plans:

“The Brazilian government’s reckless quest to dam the Amazon’s wild rivers has demonstrated a disquieting level of authoritarianism, quashing human rights while stripping any semblance of environmental sustainability,” he said in an interview with The Rio Times.

“The Brazilian government’s overdependence on hydroelectric power is wreaking an incalculable human and environmental toll in the Amazon,” he concluded.

The best solution to fuel Brazil’s economic development without further harming the Amazon, in Mr. Poirier’s opinion, would be to move from centralized to distributed renewable power generation, promoting new investments in solar and wind energy, and increasing the efficiency of existing power plants through smart technology.

Brazil’s biggest hydroelectric power station is Itaipu on the Brazil-Paraguay border, capable of generating 14,000 megawatts of power. It is currently the world’s largest such operating facility, but is expected to be overtaken by China’s Three Gorges Dam, on the Yangtze River, in the future.

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Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Brazil plans to destroy the Amazon Basin with 23 massive hydroelectric dams
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 01:44:34 pm »
Faysawtute ke tse'a!!! >:(

Even more senseless destruction only for a little senseless economic growth?
Sink landscapes and forests by dams is not a solution. :(
"This is sad. Very sad only." - Neytiri :(
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 05:04:46 pm by Tìtstewan »

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Offline Tsmuktengan

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Are there more news about these projects?


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Ma oeyä Eywa! >:(
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Offline allrock123

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What is the status of the work halt ordered by Brazilian Judge Souza prudente and the federal court ?
Chief Raoni of the Kayapo needs as many global voices as they can muster and an alternitive needs to be found for Brazils energy needs that does not flood the Xingo river valley The Global Avatar community
relates to what the Kayapo are going through and has a unique tool in this battle.   
 

Offline Swoka Tsamsiyu

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Kaltxì frapo,
I have shared the link from James Cameron's Message from Pandora on Facebook. We have to stop this insanity! They cannot just kill and rape our Earth Mother. I will NOT take this sitting down! And only for the $$$. Only when the last tree has been felled, the last fish catched, and our air no longer fit to breathe, only than will they realise that one cannot eat or breathe money... >:(

Offline Tsmuktengan

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Kaltxì frapo,
I have shared the link from James Cameron's Message from Pandora on Facebook. We have to stop this insanity! They cannot just kill and rape our Earth Mother. I will NOT take this sitting down! And only for the $$$. Only when the last tree has been felled, the last fish catched, and our air no longer fit to breathe, only than will they realise that one cannot eat or breathe money... >:(

Calm down. Sadly, there is nothing you can do. I think it is better right now to analyse what is currently happening in the amazon due to the human activities there, to defend your viewpoints.

For example, a recent study showed that the amazon basin now produces more greenhouse gases than it removes, in opposition to what it used to do before. This is due to the increasing human activity and the increasing deforestation, that prevent the amazon basin to continue to play it's role of "lung" of the planet.

Therefore by knowing this, the construction of the dams, the way they modify the natural flow of the rivers, and the activities it is and will continue generating in the forest, can be pointed out as increasingly polluting... I'd be interested to know in fact if, globally, these dams wouldn't be more polluting than a coal power plant.


Offline Taronyu Leleioae

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Interesting that only now, Brazil decides to actually do a forest study.  Not that this will change the greed/corruption behind the dam project.  History will simply record what the environmental loss was above the existing waterline..


The Brazilian government has announced that it plans to undertake the huge task of recording an inventory of the trees in the Amazon rainforest.

The Forestry Ministry said the census would take four years to complete, and would provide detailed data on tree species, soils and biodiversity in the world's largest rainforest.  The last exhaustive survey was carried out more than 30 years ago.  In that time the rainforest has become increasingly threatened by logging.  The Brazilian government made a commitment in 2009 to reduce deforestation in the Amazon by 80% by the year 2020.

'Inside knowledge'

According to the government, in 2012 the destruction of the Amazon rainforest reached its lowest level since monitoring began more than two decades ago.  But ministers said they would be able to act more effectively if they had more accurate data.  "We are going to come to know the rainforest from within," Forestry Minister Antonio Carlos Hummel said announcing the inventory.  Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said it would help the government to formulate environmental policies.  "In international debates about climate change, for example, we will know how much forest we have and what state it is in (...), we'll discover species, and gain knowledge about species becoming extinct, as well as information about the distribution of the forest and its potential economic use", Ms Teixeira said.  Brazil's national development bank said it would contribute $33m to the project.  The last detailed survey of the Brazilian Amazon was carried out in the 1970s, and its results published in 1983.  Forestry Minister Hummel said partial results would be published yearly, as it progressed.

(Credit:  BBC News)

Offline Toruk Makto

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Brazil is playing a hypocritical game to try to repair their credibility due to negative publicity from mainly the European press over the Belo Monte project.  Unsurprisingly,  even US sources are beginning to openly dispute Brazil's glowing self-analysis.
See http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/24/us-brazil-amazon-idUSBRE90N0Y720130124


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Offline Tsmuktengan

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Well, the decision of publishing statistics and data about this rainforest is good. But I have two doubts : will the numbers and reports be manipulated? And if they are not (which is what can be hoped), will this really influence this country that naturally just want to ensure it continues to offer a great economic and social growth? No idea, brazilian politics are tinted with corruption and personal interest still today, despite the good economic situation and the good business climax.

...but it does seem like publicity to try to give a better image of the government's action in term of environment.


Offline Raiden

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Re: Brazil plans to destroy the Amazon Basin with 23 massive hydroelectric dams
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2013, 09:33:24 pm »
Is this thread the new Belo Monte thread?

I find it disconcerting that nothing's been heard about the Belo Monte dam for more than a month.
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Offline Toruk Makto

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Re: Brazil plans to destroy the Amazon Basin with 23 massive hydroelectric dams
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2013, 09:40:47 pm »
Belo Monte is riding a wave of corporate cash via BNDES and is progressing full speed.  Indigenous peoples have been either steamrollered or ignored. Not much else to report on.

« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 09:47:10 pm by Toruk Makto »

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Offline Raiden

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Re: Brazil plans to destroy the Amazon Basin with 23 massive hydroelectric dams
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2013, 10:21:36 pm »
So that's it then?

All the fish are gonna die?
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Offline Tsmuktengan

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Re: Brazil plans to destroy the Amazon Basin with 23 massive hydroelectric dams
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2013, 09:27:13 am »
....I sincerely hope not. But I think there is nothing to do.

Brazilian parties are highly financed by the private sector. I guess this dam, with both positive public voices and cash entering for the PT, just can only go straight to the finish line.

If there are ongoing studies on the impact these activities are doing to the rainforest and the people, this would be good. It is not normal we don't really get news from the people impacted by the project actually.


Offline Raiden

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Re: Brazil plans to destroy the Amazon Basin with 23 massive hydroelectric dams
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2013, 10:55:45 am »
Not good enough.

This isn't a popular opinion, but I sincerely hope something goes sour and things turn violent.

If I was living in the forest, dependent on a river for my livelihood, and some corporate a****** were going to ruin everything, I wouldn't just sit around, especially not after it was clear that politics and any semblance of laws were too corrupt for me to use.

When the system itself is too corrupt for any democratic processes, what else can you do?
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Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Brazil plans to destroy the Amazon Basin with 23 massive hydroelectric dams
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2013, 08:43:36 am »
....I sincerely hope not. But I think there is nothing to do.

Brazilian parties are highly financed by the private sector. I guess this dam, with both positive public voices and cash entering for the PT, just can only go straight to the finish line.

If there are ongoing studies on the impact these activities are doing to the rainforest and the people, this would be good. It is not normal we don't really get news from the people impacted by the project actually.
Is there any serious scientific studies? That would terribly help, more than any amount of protests. At least the world can see how Brazil is acting against solid hard environmental facts.

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Offline Toruk Makto

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Re: Brazil plans to destroy the Amazon Basin with 23 massive hydroelectric dams
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2013, 11:05:01 am »
 The studies favor whoever commissioned them. Most are biased for the dam since the money flowed to the "researchers" from the corporations that stand to gain from the thing.

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Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Brazil plans to destroy the Amazon Basin with 23 massive hydroelectric dams
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2013, 11:09:32 am »
The studies favor whoever commissioned them. Most are biased for the dam since the money flowed to the "researchers".
That's in fact not as huge an influence as peer review, unless everybody in the journal is bribed. Statistical analysis is not a black art and if the studies are in fact biased and "bribed" then it would be scholars saying so, not activists.

I don't think we should ignore all support for the dam by dismissing them all as corrupted and created with bribes. Is there any study quantifying the damage done to the region, especially with regards to the Amazonian tribes?
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