Make you Fink on Friday

Normally Make you Fink on Friday is a moan and a bitch session, but today not. In fact it is a collection of good news.

Belo Monte Dam on the Xingú River in Brazil

Turning this river into that lake

The Brazilian government was moving ahead “at any cost” with plans to build the third-largest dam in the world and one of the Amazon’s most controversial development projects – the Belo Monte dam on the Xingu River in the state of Pará.

Drowning hundreds of communities like this displacing 50,000 people

The Belo Monte dam complex dates back to Brazil’s military dictatorship and the government has attempted to build it through various series of national investment programs including Brasil em Ação and the Program to Accelerate Growth. Original plans to dam the Xingu have been greenwashed through multiple public relations programs over the course of two decades in the face of intense national and international protest.

Yesterday:

A judge in Brazil has ordered a halt to construction of a multi-billion-dollar dam project in the Amazon region.

Judge Carlos Castro Martins barred any work that would interfere with the natural flow of the Xingu river.

He ruled in favour of a fisheries group which argued that the Belo Monte dam would affect local fish stocks and could harm indigenous families who make a living from fishing.

The government says the dam is crucial to meeting growing energy needs.

Judge Martins barred the Norte Energia company behind the project from “building a port, using explosives, installing dikes, building canals and any other infrastructure work that would interfere with the natural flow of the Xingu river, thereby affecting local fish stocks”.

Judge Desterro said the Brazilian environmental agency, Ibama, had approved the project without ensuring that 29 environmental conditions had been met.

Sources: BBC News & Positive TV Read more.

Burma dam: Work halted on divisive Myitsone project

Burma’s president has suspended construction of a controversial Chinese-backed hydroelectric dam.

Myitsone Project - Power for China

In a letter read out in parliament on Friday, Thein Sein said the $3.6bn (£2.3bn) Myitsone dam was contrary to the will of the people.

The project fuelled fighting between the army and ethnic Kachin rebels.

Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who recently joined the anti-dam campaign, welcomed the move, seen as a rare victory for social activists.

The BBC’s South East Asia correspondent Rachel Harvey says it appears to be further evidence of the new leadership’s desire to seek legitimacy by being more open to public opinion.

Source: BBC News Read more

Bolivian President Evo Morales has suspended work on the road until a referendum is held.

However, a national furore over the construction has continued.

Half a million trees to fall through Indian territory (TIPNIS). Endangered and endemic species are found in the area to be deforested.

The proposed 300km (190-mile) road, financed by Brazil, would link Brazil to Pacific ports in Chile and Peru.

But it will also pass through an Amazon nature reserve that is home to about 50,000 people from three different indigenous groups.

About 1,000 protesters were staging a 500km (310-mile) march to the main city La Paz when riot police stopped them in the Yucumo region on Sunday.

Bolivians march against Evo Morales over jungle highway crackdown

Evo Morales was forced to reverse the decision to continue in the light of three government ministers resigning over the violence involved.

Source: BBC News, here too & Blue Channel 24 Read more

Opinion:

I am pleased with all this good news; it is beginning to show governments that the people want a say in the future. Governments have forgotten this, they have forgotten that they represent the people.

Hopefully, these projects can be resolved amicably.

I was particularly pleased with Burma’s decision, it has shown that the change of government is maybe leading the country on a better path after more than 30 years of dictatorship.

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