Press Release

Fate of Mekong River Hangs in the Balance

Monday, March 14, 2011
In less than two weeks, the Governments of Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam will meet to discuss whether to approve the massive Xayaburi Dam, proposed for the Mekong River’s mainstream in Northern Lao PDR. Despite the advanced stage of decision-making, the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report was released to the public just days ago. "It’s little wonder that the EIA report hasn’t been made public until now given its abysmal quality,” says Ame Trandem, Mekong Campaigner with International Rivers. “The Mekong River is an international river and an internat

Regional Judge Overturns Ban on Construction of Controversial Belo Monte Dam

Saturday, March 5, 2011
Decision allows for forest clearance and start-up of dam construction to begin, despite violations of human rights and environmental legislation Brasília, Brazil – In yet another turn of events in the increasingly heated legal and political battle over the controversial Belo Monte dam complex, on Thursday the president of a federal regional court in Brasilia, Olindo Menezes, overturned a decision by federal judge Ronaldo Destêrro that prohibited initial construction to commence on the mega-project – slated to be the world's third largest dam - along the Xingu river in the heart of th

Dam-Affected People Deliver Half a Million Signatures to Stop Belo Monte

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Brasilia, Feb 8, 2010—Over half a million people, most of them Brazilians are calling on newly elected President Dilma to halt plans to construct the Belo Monte Dam. Outside the Brazilian Congress and the Presidential Palace this morning, several hundred people gathered in protest including indigenous chiefs in full tribal regalia and community leaders from the Xingu River Basin and delivered the petition signatures to the Dilma government. A delegation of leaders went inside the Presidential Palace around noon to present the petition, among them were Kayapó chiefs Raoni Metuktire and Meg

Developer Backing Out of Loan for Construction of Risky Belo Monte Dam

Thursday, February 3, 2011
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—After learning that the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) will not release funds from the $640 million bridge loan issued in late December unless Brazilian legislation is honored, the dam consortium Norte Energia, S.A. (NESA) is threatening to drop the loan and is now seeking private funders to finance initial construction on the Belo Monte Dam Complex in the Brazilian Amazon. This follows last week’s issuance of a “partial” installation license—non-existent within Brazilian environmental legislation—by Brazil’s environmental agency IBAMA, allowin

Brazil Green Lights Amazon Dam Disregarding Environmental Laws and Local Opposition

New Dilma Government approves fast-track forest clearance and commencement of controversial Belo Monte construction siteBrasília, Brazil (January 27, 2011)—The Brazilian government has issued a "partial” installation license allowing the Belo Monte Dam Complex to break ground on the margins of the Amazon’s Xingu River despite egregious disregard for human rights and environmental legislation, the unwavering protests of civil society and condemnations by its Federal Public Prosecutor's Office (MPF). The license was approved by Brazil’s environmental agency IBAMA despite overwh

New Chinese Dam Project Fuels Ethnic Conflict in Sudan

Friday, January 21, 2011
The Sudanese government has contracted Sinohydro to build the Kajbar Dam on the third cataract of the Nile. The project would flood lands of ancient Nubia and displace an estimated 10,000 people. With support from International Rivers, the affected communities are calling on the Chinese company to withdraw from the contract. They warn that if built, the dam could unleash a second Darfur conflict. Proposed to be built near Kajbar village in Northern Sudan, the new dam would generate electricity at a capacity of 360 megawatts. It would also create a reservoir of 110 square kilometers, submerge

Risky Business in the Amazon

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
New report reveals looming financial, legal and reputational disaster of Belo Monte, world's third largest dam projectBrasília and São Paulo, Brazil – The Belo Monte Dam Complex, slated to begin construction in April along the Xingu River in heart of the Brazilian Amazon, not only threatens ecological integrity and the livelihoods of indigenous peoples and other local communities but also presents tremendous risks for financiers, investors and the country's taxpayers, according to a new report issued by International Rivers and Friends of the Earth – Brazilian Amazonia.  The rep

NGOs Call for a Moratorium on BHP Billiton’s Congo Smelter

Thursday, December 16, 2010
International civil society groups have called on BHP Billiton to halt its plans for a US$5 billion aluminum smelter and the associated $3.5 billion Inga 3 hydropower scheme in Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the world’s most corrupt and under-developed countries. The proposed smelter would consume 2,500 MW of electricity, more than DR Congo’s entire current power supply.In a letter to the chairman of BHP Billiton, 14 African and international organizations urged the corporation to impose a moratorium on the project until the Congolese government first fulfills its commitments to brin

Nam Theun 2 Inauguration Hides Real Costs of Controversial Project

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
More than 100,000 people continue to suffer project impactsAmidst much fanfare, French President Nicholas Sarkozy and senior World Bank and Asian Development Bank officials are expected to attend a gala ceremony inaugurating the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project in Laos this week. But for the tens of thousands of people who are suffering the impacts of Nam Theun 2, there is little to celebrate.The project has displaced 6,200 indigenous people on the Nakai Plateau and affected more than 100,000 people living downstream along the Xe Bang Fai River. Funded by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank a

Bishop Krautler Receives 2010 Right Livelihood Award for Protecting the Amazon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Outspoken Critic of the Belo Monte Dam in Brazil, Bishop Erwin Kräutler, Receives "Right Livelihood Award" for a Lifetime of Defending the Amazon Rainforest and Indigenous PeoplesBelem, Brazil -- International Rivers and Amazon Watch celebrate the news that Bishop Erwin Kräutler will be one of four recipients of this year's Right Livelihood Award , often referred to as the "Alternative Nobel Prize." Bishop Kräutler has been an unwavering ally of indigenous peoples and social movements opposed to Brazil's Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River


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