Celebrities Witness Battle Between Old and New Energy Cameron Joins Kayapo Chief Raoni and Other Indigenous Leaders in Advocating for Energy Alternatives to the Belo Monte Dam Manaus, Brazil – James Cameron held a press conference yesterday with Amazonian indigenous leaders and environmental experts following his return with Arnold Schwarzenegger from a visit to the Big Bend region of the Xingu River, the site of the proposed Belo Monte Dam in the Brazilian Amazon. Calling the Dam a "human rights crisis" for Brazil, Cameron-who has visited the Xingu Region three tim
World Bank Energy Strategy: Yesterday’s Technologies a Bad Match for Tomorrow’s ProblemsBerkeley, California - In a time of climate change, decentralized, adaptable and diversified water and energy projects are best suited to respond to increasingly variable and unpredictable weather patterns. Large dams risk becoming uneconomic due to droughts, and unsafe due to more extreme storms. They will also further degrade freshwater ecosystems which are already reeling under the impacts of climate change. In spite of this, the World Bank’s new Energy Strategy calls for increased funding for lar
Bankgkok, Thailand – 263 non-governmental organizations from 51 countries submitted a letter yesterday urging the Prime Ministers of Lao PDR and Thailand to immediately cancel the proposed Xayaburi Dam on the Mekong River’s mainstream in Northern Laos. The letter urges the Government of Lao PDR to cancel its plans to build the project and for the Thai Government to end plans to import its electricity. The letter is submitted in advance of the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) 33rd Joint Committee Meeting, scheduled for 25-26 March in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, where the four member
Altamira, Brazil— The Organization of American States (OAS) officially requested the Brazilian government to clarify information on the Belo Monte Dam’s licensing process, which moved forward without ensuring proper consultation with local indigenous groups. This request comes amid heightening local and international controversy around plans to construct the dam complex on the Xingu River in the Brazilian Amazon.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the OAS, solicited the request in response to a complaint filed by several organizations including the Xingu Alive For
In less than two weeks, the Governments of Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam will meet to discuss whether to approve the massive Xayaburi Dam, proposed for the Mekong River’s mainstream in Northern Lao PDR. Despite the advanced stage of decision-making, the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report was released to the public just days ago. "It’s little wonder that the EIA report hasn’t been made public until now given its abysmal quality,” says Ame Trandem, Mekong Campaigner with International Rivers. “The Mekong River is an international river and an interna
Decision allows for forest clearance and start-up of dam construction to begin, despite violations of human rights and environmental legislation Brasília, Brazil – In yet another turn of events in the increasingly heated legal and political battle over the controversial Belo Monte dam complex, on Thursday the president of a federal regional court in Brasilia, Olindo Menezes, overturned a decision by federal judge Ronaldo Destêrro that prohibited initial construction to commence on the mega-project – slated to be the world's third largest dam - along the Xingu river in the heart of t
Brasilia, Feb 8, 2010—Over half a million people, most of them Brazilians are calling on newly elected President Dilma to halt plans to construct the Belo Monte Dam. Outside the Brazilian Congress and the Presidential Palace this morning, several hundred people gathered in protest including indigenous chiefs in full tribal regalia and community leaders from the Xingu River Basin and delivered the petition signatures to the Dilma government. A delegation of leaders went inside the Presidential Palace around noon to present the petition, among them were Kayapó chiefs Raoni Metuktire and Me
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—After learning that the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) will not release funds from the $640 million bridge loan issued in late December unless Brazilian legislation is honored, the dam consortium Norte Energia, S.A. (NESA) is threatening to drop the loan and is now seeking private funders to finance initial construction on the Belo Monte Dam Complex in the Brazilian Amazon. This follows last week’s issuance of a “partial” installation license—non-existent within Brazilian environmental legislation—by Brazil’s environmental agency IBAMA, allowi
New Dilma Government approves fast-track forest clearance and commencement of controversial Belo Monte construction siteBrasília, Brazil (January 27, 2011)—The Brazilian government has issued a "partial” installation license allowing the Belo Monte Dam Complex to break ground on the margins of the Amazon’s Xingu River despite egregious disregard for human rights and environmental legislation, the unwavering protests of civil society and condemnations by its Federal Public Prosecutor's Office (MPF). The license was approved by Brazil’s environmental agency IBAMA despite overw
The Sudanese government has contracted Sinohydro to build the Kajbar Dam on the third cataract of the Nile. The project would flood lands of ancient Nubia and displace an estimated 10,000 people. With support from International Rivers, the affected communities are calling on the Chinese company to withdraw from the contract. They warn that if built, the dam could unleash a second Darfur conflict. Proposed to be built near Kajbar village in Northern Sudan, the new dam would generate electricity at a capacity of 360 megawatts. It would also create a reservoir of 110 square kilometers, submerge
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