Monday, February 13, 2012

what are 400,000 hectares and 40,000 people worth?

...That's what will be lost and/or dramatically altered with the inputting of the government approved Belo Monte hydro-electric dam in Brazil. 400,000 hectares (400 square kilometers) of the Amazon forest will be cleared for this project. Pardon me, but isn't the Amazon forest rather important? And these 40,000 people are from the Kayapo tribe, who live along the Xingu river in Brazil's northern region, will be forced to relocate as their homelands flood. Where will they go? How devastating will the effects of this dam be, on the forest, the river, the people, and the world's eco-system?

The Chief of the Kayapo tribe hears the final decision.

We can't reverse this action, once it's through. Once we clear that forest and flood these people out of their homes, kill nameless numbers of plant and animal species in that area of the world...that's it. We can't go back.

A petition has been started to stop this dam from being built. Use your voice for good: Amazon Watch

UPDATE: According to this at times unnecessarily sarcastic article, the photo is actually of Chief Raoni, an indiginous leader in the Amazon; apparently he's greeting an old acquaintance and has begun to cry ("as is customary" said my source....ahem....). HOWEVER. The article is helpful in reminding us of the following:

the president of Brazil approved the Belo Monte dam project, an 11,000-megawatt dam that is slated to be the third biggest in the world — after the Three Gorges in China and Itaipu, which is jointly run by Brazil and Paraguay. First proposed more than 30 years ago, Belo Monte has moved forward in part because it is a hydroelectric dam and Brazil has committed to lowering its carbon footprint. But if it’s built, the dam will wipe out an unknowable amount of biodiversity and have untold effects on displaced native people. It will also wipe out part of a rainforest that itself acts as a buffer against climate change. (my emphasis)

So there you have it. The photo is improperly linked to the issue, but the issue is still at hand.



SCMartens said...

The environment has been heavy on my heart lately... the world can be so ugly but the earth is unmatched in its beauty. We're ruining it, and we're giving up before ever really fighting. So sad.

Mama said...

This is unthinkable. I don't get why the world in general refuses to learn.