Google has composited satellite images from the past 28 years to make a massive, zoomable timelapse image.
Indigenous activists stage new protest at Amazon dam site
May 7, 2013
Some 200 indigenous activists and fishermen have been occupying the main construction site at Brazil’s controversial Belo Monte dam in the Amazon and are demanding government involvement in the negotiations. “We want to be heard. We want a close representative of President Dilma Rousseff to come and see us,” chief Valdemir Munduruku, one of the leaders of the occupation, told AFP by telephone Monday.
Five indigenous tribes are calling for legislation under which they would have to be consulted prior to any official decision affecting them with respect to the dam’s construction. “They should consult us but instead they are sending the police and soldiers. They are denying access to our lawyer,” the chief said.
A press spokeswoman for the Norte Energia consortium in charge of the dam’s construction in northern Para state confirmed the occupation Monday. “Work has stopped on the main site, where most of the turbines will be set up,” she said from Brasilia, adding that the protesters’ demands had been forwarded to federal authorities.
Six thousand workers have been idle for the past five days and Friday some 80 police arrived to protect the site. “Today we are going to leave the site to give a press conference and release a letter with our demands,” chief Munduruku said.
“You are pointing your weapons at our heads. Your soldiers and war trucks are besieging our lands. You are eliminating our fish,” said an excerpt from the letter. “What we want is simple. You must implement the law on prior consultation of indigenous people,” the letter concluded.
Protesters have accused Norte Energia of backtracking on accords signed in June after 150 indigenous people occupied the Pimental area for three weeks.
They are outraged because fishing in the area is no longer possible and there is no drinking water.
Belo Monte, which is being built at a cost of $13 billion, is expected to flood an area of 500 square kilometers (200 square miles) along the Xingu River, displacing 16,000 people, according to the government. Some NGOs have estimated that some 40,000 people would be displaced by the massive project.
Indigenous groups have made clear that the dam will harm their way of life while environmentalists (many of whom are indigenous people) warn of deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and irreparable damage to the ecosystem.
The federal government plans to invest a total of $1.2 billion to assist the displaced by the time the dam is completed in 2019. The first turbine is set to begin operating in 2015 and the last one in 2019.
The native peoples want their lands demarcated and non-indigenous people removed from them. They also are demanding better health care and access to drinking water.
Formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world, the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects. Although irrigation made the desert bloom, it devastated the Aral Sea.
The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting supports some of the deepest reporting (of all media) on the sweet spot between human, sociopolitical, and environmental crises.
This video shows the incredible work by Mujib Mashal, who for several months explored how international development aid lacks focus on its most important resource: water and water infrastructure. Afghanistan is an agricultural society, yet less than 5% of aid money goes to the water sector.
Mashal’s coverage of water in Afghanistan is an outstanding gift to the world.
Pulitzer Center grantee Mujib Mashal explains how trans-boundary water tensions with Iran and Pakistan cast a shadow on the development of Afghanistan’s mainly agricultural economy.
In his reporting project, he’s found water murder, violent threats against political officials, farmers’ reluctance to diversify from poppy production until there’s enough water, and an international reluctance to get involved. Only 5 percent of aid money flowing into Afghanistan goes to the water sector, despite clear needs for infrastructure. Read more here.
It’s Climate Science Communications Week at Climate Adaptation! For the entire week of Feb. 18 - 23, I’ll cover how climate change is discussed by the media, scientists, researchers, academics, and politicians. If you have sources or ideas on communicating climate change, send to: http://climateadaptation.tumblr.com/submit
What is Rio+20?
How did we get from 1992 to 2012? What are the countries discussing? Why is this a necessary forum?
The United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe provides this infographic to explain Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference currently happening in Rio de Janeiro.