Wednesday, May 28, 2008

AAA Urges Brazil to Halt Construction of Dams


AAA's Committee for Human Rights, International Rivers, Survival International, and a number of other organizations have signed a letter urging the Brazilian government to abandon its plans to build hydroelectric dams in the Xingu River Valley and to engage in a discussion with local communities about environmental sustainability and infrastructure planning. The letter was the result of a 5-day gathering of over 1,000 Brazilian Amazon Indians and their allies who were protesting development on the Xingu River and its tributaries. Damming of the river will lead to flooding that will displace thousands, many of whom are indigenous peoples, and will also dry up more than 100 kilometers of the river that a number of indigenous groups depend on for survival. A number of smaller dams are also slated for construction, but the government has made no attempts to determine the potential impact these dams will have upon indigenous groups living in the area. All people have the right to realize their capacity for culture, and it is necessary for governments to consult with communities before undertaking development that threatens their way of life.

Links:
"The Xingu Forever Alive Letter [.doc]" (preliminary copy - not all signatories added yet)
Amazon Indians lead battle against power giant's plan to flood rainforest (The Independent)
Indians protest Brazil hydro dam project (AP)