BENEFITING: RAINFOREST FOUNDATION INC
BACKGROUND: The Xingu River is one of the Amazon’s most important rivers both in terms of its services to the inhabitants of the Amazon and the ecosystem. The Brazilian government is planning to build what would be the world’s third largest dam on the river.
PROBLEM: The dam, called the Belo Monte, would have tremendous effects on the lower and middle Xingu, directly impacting an area of more than 580 square miles and some 20,00 people living along the Xingu. Overall the dam would dry out the land, displace at least 40,000 people and deplete the fish population (a main source of food in the area). In addition the population of non-natives in the region would more than double, increasing the levels of deforestation even more in the area. The licensing process for the dam has been rushed, without proper observance of Brazilian environmental law and has left the indigenous people in the dark and without a voice on the issue.
WHAT WE NEED SUPPORT FOR: To conduct community meetings and workshops in order to provide information and answers to local communities on the dam’s impacts and their rights. And to support the indigenous peoples in their efforts to engage effectively with the government, electric company, media and general public on the issue.