Barro Blanco

Human Rights and Kyoto's Carbon Offsetting Scheme

Weni Bagama, speaking at the Human Rights in the CDM side event
The Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism continues to be rocked by controversy. At a meeting on human rights in the CDM, two representatives for the Ngäbe-Buglé indigenous community in Panama gave a powerful account of the negative impacts of the CDM-supported Barro Blanco Dam.

Chronology of Events for Barro Blanco Dam (Panama)

M10 protest on the Pan-American Highway, 2011
This chronology was compiled to provide a clear picture of the stakeholder activities surrounding the Barro Blanco Dam in western Panama since its inception. The sources of information include first-hand accounts, blogs, official documents, and media reports. While we hope this will provide a comprehensive and useful resource for those interested in the project, we cannot vouch for the accuracy of all the information listed here. We welcome any corrections and additions you may have. Compiled by Melissa Orozco, Latin America Communications Intern 1981General Omar Torrijos was forced to cancel

Panama Report Back by Task Force on the Americas

May 2011 protest on the Pan-American Highway
Friday, April 26, 2013
In February, participants from the first Task Force on the Americas delegation to Panama visited and took testimony from members of the Ngäbe-Bugle community near the Barro Blanco Hydroelectric Dam on the Tabasará River. Despite unresolved issues around a lack of consultation with the local indigenous peoples and allegations of human rights abuses, the reservoir created by the dam will likely start flooding fertile agricultural land and destroy the river’s fish and shrimp as early as May or June of this year. Hear from delegation participants at three community report-backs and learn more

World Water Day Marked By Death of Indigenous Anti-Dam Protester

M10 protest on the Pan-American Highway, 2011
On March 22 – World Water Day – a Ngäbe-Bugle indigenous man named Onesimo Rodriguez was found murdered, his body left in a nearby stream, after attending a protest rally against the 28.84 MW Barro Blanco Hydroelectric Project in western Panama. Tensions have been mounting in recent years as the dam draws closer to completion, despite the unresolved issues around the dam's impacts and the poor stakeholder consultation processes led by the project's proponents.

Stand with the Ngäbe-Bugle People of Panama!

Ngäbe on boulders containing petroglyphs, in the Tabasara River. The boulders will be drowned by the dam.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
The 28.84 MW Barro Blanco Hydroelectric Project in western Panama has spurred a number of protests by the Ngäbe-Bugle indigenous communities and their allies as a result of a lack of consultation and a failure of its financiers and the dam developer to recognize the impact the dam's reservoir would have on indigenous lands and livelihoods. The local community needs the attention and support of the international community now more than ever. Please stand with them in calling for a halt to the dam, support from UN experts on indigenous and human rights, and for the dam's financiers and proponen

A Visit to the Kiad and Quebrada de Caña Communities of the Ngäbe

Kiad boy holding baby.
Photojournalist Rick Gerharter visited the Ngäbe-Buglé communities in Panama in February. His delegation documented their stories and the potential impacts of the Barro Blanco Dam, which if completed, would flood the lands and threaten the livelihoods of over 5,000 indigenous inhabitants. Last Friday, a member of the Ngobe community was murdered and one left seriously injured after a protest against the dam and its human rights violations.

Submission Regarding Human Rights to the CDM

Monday, March 25, 2013
Submission on Views Regarding the Revision of the CDM Modalities and Procedures Pursuant to paragraph 10 of Decision 5/CMP.8, the Human Rights & Climate Change Working Group, Abibimman Foundation, Alianza para la Conservación y el Desarrollo, Asociación Interamericana para la Defensa del Ambiente, Carbon Market Watch, Center for International Environmental Law, Centro de Estudios Ecológicos de la República Argentina, Climate Concept Foundation, Colectivo Revuelta Verde, Earthjustice, Foundation for GAIA, Gujarat Forum on CDM, International Rivers, International-Lawyers.Org, Klima ohne

Hydro CDM Hall of Shame

Thursday, May 17, 2012
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is meant to catalyze climate-friendly and sustainable projects in low-income countries. Instead, it's provided massive subsidies to hydropower developers while increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Through deception and abuse of the system, at least two-thirds of all CDM projects are likely not additional, and more are slipping in each year. Despite attempts at reform, the CDM continues to approve egregious hydropower projects while delaying any improvements. In December 2011, an EU-commissioned report recommended the European Union consider banning credit

Stop Violence Against the Ngöbe Indigenous Peoples

Ngobe People Protesting- Cortesia de Patria Grande
A law that would let foreign companies build mines, dams, hotels, and other projects on Ngöbe-Buglé indigenous lands in Panama has the local indigenous people quite worried. US energy company AES is already building Chan 75 Dam, even though there was not meaningful consultation or fair compensation for communities. Several mines are already operating in their territories.

Illegal Construction of CDM Project Barro Blanco Continues

Save the Tabasara River
Save the Tabasara River ASAMCHI Along with CDM Watch, we recently reported about the heavily contested Barro Blanco CDM project in Panama. A month on, protests continue, as outlined in the eye-witness report below. The Barro Blanco project is a 28.84 MW hydroelectric power plant in the district of Tolé, in the province of Chiriquí, Panama. There has been serious concerns regarding the additionality of the project, the lack of adequate public consultation and human rights abuses involving the company GENISA against the Ngobe indigenous peoples. Concerns were officially submitted by nu


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