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License Denied To Brazil's Biggest Amazon Dam

Aug 08, 2016 07:29 AM EDT

Brazil's environmental protection agency has denied permission to build a giant hydroelectric dam in the Amazon rainforest because of how it could affect indigenous communities.

Building of the dam can affect nearly 10,000 Munduruku people around the river Tapajós. This dam can flood a large area and might also lead to a forced removal of at least some indigenous communities. Removal of the indigenous groups is an act that is strictly prohibited by the Brazilian constitution.

If the Sao Luiz do Tapajos (SLT) dam was built it would have been an 8,000-megawatt dam, the sixth-largest hydroelectric dam in the world and the second largest in the country. It was expected to cover a five-mile wide Tapajós river and drowns 376 sq km of the Amazon rainforest that hold thousands of people from indigenous communities.

The Munduruku Indians living in this area have found it a great relief that the project has been rejected. Earlier, the Muduruku community was greatly impacted by the Belo Monte dam. Indigenous groups who lived beside the Xingu river were affected by this. Different NGO's including Greenpeace has supported this campaign against the work of the Belo Monte dam.

With the decline of this project, Tribes will be able to safeguard the rainforest and continue to live on the land. New infrastructures that were planned will not be a problem to the loggers.

"The dam would only have brought terrible things for our people," "It was going to flood our forests and our cemeteries," said Cacique Celso Tawe, a leader of the indigenous Munduruku Indians to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Tawe also mentioned that his tribe played a huge role in defending the Amazon rainforest. Though the dam was meant for development, the poor people will only become poorer, and the livelihood of the community would have been greatly affected if the dam was built.

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