World Rivers Review: Focus on Latin America – June 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cover Story: Amazon in Peril

The Amazon River accounts for one-fifth of the world's freshwater flow, and its floodplain is home to 60% of the world's remaining tropical rainforests. The basin's diverse ecosystems support an unparalleled array of biodiversity, and provide home to tens of thousands of indigenous people. Yet the Brazilian government sees the untapped hydropower potential of the mightly Amazon River as a tool for industrial and urban expansion, no matter the cost to the environment or the indigenous communities.

What's Inside

Articles on Latin America

  • Commentary: Monti Aguirre, Latin America Program Coordinator, talks about how rivers have wound their way through her life, connecting her childhood to her present-day work, and what keeps her going through the struggles. 
  • Rivers Under Seige: A map highlighting some of the leading threats to Latin America's rivers.
  • One Person, One Vote: Dam-affected communities across Latin America are coming together to record their voices on critical development decisions.
  • Green Energy Revolution: Solar hot water heaters take off in Brazil; a new report shows that Chile could meet its energy needs without building new dams; the "Energy Revolution" in Cuba has made blackouts, once common, a thing of the past.
  • Center Spread: interviews with Latin American River Guardians who have achieved successes in their struggles to protect their rivers.
  • Chile: Although dams are environmentally destructive, the Chilean government is taking a rubber stamp approach to the environmental review process. 
  • La Parota Victory: An interview with Rodolfo Chavez Galindo, the leader of the succesful movement to stop Mexico's La Parota Dam
  • Brazil: The country's national bank is using its economic power for political and financial gain throughout Latin America.

Articles on Other Topics

  • Making Waves: News and Notes on the Worldwide Movement to Protect Rivers 
  • News Briefs: All the river news that's fit to print