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Brazil’s Belo Monte Dam project: Financial impact, indigenous peoples’ rights & the environment

Projet de barrage de Belo Monte, Brésil. Impact financier, droits des peuples autochtones & environnement
Sereen forest lake with stagnant water containing dead wood

© Mikefoto58 / Fotolia

Brazil is constructing the third largest hydroelectric power plant in the world. The Belo Monte Dam is being built in the state of Pará, Brazil. Its first commercial generation is expected to come on stream in 2015. When the full plant is completed, in 2019, it will generate a maximum 11 233 megawatts (MW) capacity.

Planning for what was then named the Kararaô Dam began in 1975. But international financial institutions withdrew in the face of strong opposition. With technical changes in the plans to reduce the concerns of opponents, the renamed Belo Monte project has become one of the flagship initiatives in Brazilian large-scale infrastructure development. After a controversial licensing process, construction plans were finally authorised in August 2012.

Total investment in the plant amounts to R$ 28.9 billion (approximately €10.2 billion). The project will be constructed under a public-private partnership.

Opponents criticise the investment because of its environmental impact, lack of consultation of indigenous people and the resettlement of at least 5 100 families. Many court cases have been heard so far, with mixed results, on grounds of procedural violations, lack of relevant information available, incomplete impact assessment and political interference in the technical licensing process.

Read the complete briefing here

Map of the Belo Monte project


4 thoughts on “Brazil’s Belo Monte Dam project: Financial impact, indigenous peoples’ rights & the environment

  1. Reblogged this on Time for Action.

    Posted by Jim Wood | July 6, 2013, 13:25
    • water is a free body, it will find it’s own direction so many times with devastation as a result mans manipulation, Nature has it’s own way! man is a part of nature they can’t rewrite what they came from or anything else! leave the waters to run their own natural course, leave the Amazon as it is, the only people that can look after the biodiversity ecology & sustainability of the Amazon is the indigenous people, we rely on the Amazon as a planet, Please leave it as it is & stop mass production of palm oil at the cost of the trees that have been there along with the natural habitat of many species that only live in the Amazon, <3 & Peace

      Posted by Gillian Young | July 11, 2013, 18:53


  1. Pingback: The week on the EP’s Library blog: Migration, young voters & cultural events | Library of the European Parliament - July 12, 2013

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