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Opinion: Indigenous people ignored in talks over big dam in Brazil

"One project has galvanized the anti-dam movement in Brazil — the Belo Monte dam on the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon in Pará State. At a cost of roughly $16 billion, it is one of 30 large dams that have been announced for Brazil’s Amazon region.

At last month’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development here, it was hard to miss the irony of delegates gathering to promote a “cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all” as opponents of Belo Monte protested in the streets of Rio and Indians occupied the dam site.

In 2010, James Anaya, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people, urged that concerted efforts be made to ensure that “adequate consultations” were made with the Indians and that there be consensus on the project. Based on my talks with indigenous leaders, it’s clear these conditions have not been met."

Get the Story:
Charles Lyons: The Dam Boom in the Amazon (The New York Times 7/1)

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