Brazil approves massive Amazon dam project

Opponents say dam would harm rainforest, displace thousands


Brazil’s environmental agency has given the green light to the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the Amazon. After conducting what it calls a “robust analysis” of the impact the Belo Monte dam would have on the Xingu River and surrounding area, the agency granted the necessary permit to the Norte Energia consortium behind the project. Environmentalists and indigenous groups in the area oppose the project, arguing that a dam on the Xingu River – a tributary of the Amazon – will damage the world’s largest tropical rainforest, threaten the survival of indigenous groups could displace up to 50,000 people. Brazil’s government maintains that the dam is needed to meet the country’s rising energy demands. The Belo Monte dam would be the third largest in the world, behind China’s Three Gorges dam and Ithaipu, which is jointly run by Brazil and Paraguay.

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