More About Brazil
Now that president Dilma Rousseff has won re-election, Chinese investment in Brazilian energy and agriculture looks set to keep boomingOctober 27, 2014Chiina Dialogue
“China sees electricity from Brazil's Amazon dams as part of a supply chain delivering energy-intensive aluminum and steel directly from a region rich in these resources.”
South America's biggest and wealthiest city may run out of water by mid-November if it doesn't rain soonOctober 24, 2014Reuters
São Paulo, a Brazilian megacity of 20 million people, is suffering its worst drought in at least 80 years, with key reservoirs that supply the city dried up after an unusually dry year. One of the causes of the crisis may be more than 2,000 kilometers away, in the growing deforested areas in the Amazon region.
Since the construction of the Belo Monte dam began, the city of Altamira has been in a state of "complete chaos in all social and public policy areas, especially health, public safety, and housing," says Antonia Melo, leader of the movement Xingu Alive Forever. "There has been rampant population growth as well as rises in drug abuse and child prostitution, among other forms of violence."
There is an urgent need to, as another Brazilian energy expert has said, ‘open up and manage a debate on the country’s energy path’, including the future contribution of hydropower. A more open and transparent decision-making process with robust, independent review would increase the political legitimacy of decisions.
Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is up 190 percent for the months of August and September compared to the same period last year according to the non-profit Imazon, which monitors deforestation via satellite imagery.
Given the growing scrutiny of Brazil's dam-building boom, the Tapajós River is now a key battleground in the global debate on the true costs of our development model and its fate could determine the future of the Amazon region.
When Brazil announced plans September 12 to build a new dam on the Tapajós River, they violated their own legal requirements to comply with a process of free, prior, and informed consultation with threatened indigenous and traditional communities.
If the Belo Monte disaster set a grim paradigm for human rights and environmental protection in the Amazon, then the manic race to dam the nearby Tapajós River confirms that the Brazilian government will stop at nothing to produce energy at any and all cost.
Last Sunday the world – and likely you, our readers – took notice as powerful actions took place in over 2,000 locations around the world for the People's Climate March. Where I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 400 people braved pouring rain, marching for hours as we called for clean energy, not mega-dams in the Amazon.
An open letter signed by 52 NGOs working in Latin AmericaSeptember 22, 2014
As critical climate negotiations take place this week in New York, Amazon Watch joined a coalition of 52 NGOs working in Latin America to insist that large dams should not be considered a clean energy source, nor an energy solution to climate change.