Amazon Forum to Focus on Human Cost of Green Economy

June 5, 2012

The Human Cost of a “Green Economy”

Affected peoples of Belo Monte and other mega-dams to hold protest summit around Rio+20

**Interviews and logistical information available upon request**


What: While Rio de Janeiro hosts some of the most powerful figures in global politics and economics at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, the Xingu River in the heart of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest will be the stage for ongoing popular protests against the Belo Monte dam complex. Protestors and affected communities will highlight the glaring gap between reality and the Brazilian government’s rhetoric about Amazon dams as a source of “clean energy” for a “green economy” in a series of festivities, debates and actions.

When: June 13-17
The gathering will be inaugurated on June 13th, a traditional day of festivities in Santo Antônio. Other activities include a public hearing to debate violations of human rights and environmental legislation in dam licensing and construction, a colorful street march and protests.

Where: Altamira and Santo Antônio, both located along the Xingu River.

Background: In Brazil and worldwide, large hydroelectric dams are being falsely deemed a source of "clean energy" critical to powering a “green economy.” Despite calls for “sustainable development” in the preparations for Rio+20, discussions have ignored the social and environmental implications of dam projects. The Belo Monte dam is the tip of the iceberg of an unprecedented wave of dam construction in the Amazon Basin fueled by narrow political and economic interests, with devastating and irreversible consequences for one of the world’s most precious biomes and its peoples.

Twenty-three years after the historic First Encounter of Indigenous Peoples of the Xingu in 1989 the Xingu+23 gathering reaffirms widespread resistance to the damming of one of the Amazon’s largest tributaries as a direct result of the Brazilian government’s refusal to abide by domestic legislation and international agreements regarding human rights and environmental protection. Hundreds of affected fishermen, small-scale farmers, indigenous peoples, social movements, academics, activists and other defenders of the Xingu River and other Amazonian regions will participate in the activities. Brazilian actor Sergio Marone of the Drop of Water Movement will coordinate a committee of renowned Brazilian artists and human rights activists.

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