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Outrage over Peru-Brazil Energy Agreement

Posted by Lindy on June 18, 2010

Six Dams will displace indigenous communities and threaten Amazon ecosystems

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed an energy agreement with Peruvian President Alan Garcia yesterday, which includes building around six hydroelectric power plants in the Peruvian Amazon to supply more than 6000 MW of power to Brazil.

“This accord will not guarantee clean and renewable energy for Peru. On the contrary, it will impose a series of negative environmental and social impacts such as displacement of indigenous people and deforestation in at least 5 departments of Peru, putting at grave risk the future of the Peruvian Amazon;” said Mariano Castro, former Executive Secretary of the Peruvian National Environment Council (CONAM) and lawyer with the Peruvian Society of Environmental Rights (SPDA).

One of the first projects to be built under the accord would be the Paquitzapango Dam on the Ene River, which would impact close to 17,000 Ashaninka indigenous people and threaten the Ashaninka Communal Reserve, as well as the Otishi National Park, both of which are legally,protected areas.

“The Paquitzapango dam is being planned without a dialogue between the Peruvian government and the people that would be impacted by those projects,” said Ruth Buendia Mestoquiari, an Ashaninka indigenous leader. “The Ene River is the soul of our lands, the river that feeds our forests, animals, plants, crops and, especially, our children.”

“Peru does not need these dams, we have close to 50,000 MW of renewable energy potential, such as wind, solar and geothermal, that does not include large dams. This deal will only benefit Brazil, and we are not going to let this happen,” said Engineer Alfredo Novoa Pena, the founder of Peruvian environmental organization Pro-Naturaleza.

Although the agreement has been signed by the presidents, it is likely to face legal hurdles in Peru. “As this agreement implies establishing changes in the legal framework for the construction of hydroelectric dams in Peruvian lands, it should be reviewed by Congress before approval,” said Cesar Gamboa, a lawyer with legal NGO Environmental Rights and Natural Resources (DAR).

The agreement does not contain provisions for the well-being of communities affected by the projects, their rights and participation in benefits of the projects.


One Response to “Outrage over Peru-Brazil Energy Agreement”

  1. ENERGY: Brazilian Dams in Peru’s Jungle, to Supply Brazil…

    LIMA, Jun 17, 2010 (IPS) – An energy deal that Peru and Brazil signed this week in the Amazon city of Manaus in Brazil is opposed by environmentalists and local indigenous communities in Peru where the planned hydroelectric dams will be built. What is….

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