Tag Archive for 'displacement of indigenous people'

China risks civil strife with support for foreign dams: activists

“Chinese support for controversial dam-building schemes around the world risks a backlash from affected communities and even violence due to a lack of transparency and the ignoring of residents’ wishes, activists said on Wednesday.

“Chinese companies and banks are becoming deeply involved in such projects in Africa and Asia, and despite a growing awareness they have to be more transparent and accountable, this frequently does not happen, the activists said.

“”We are dismayed to see a reckless role of many companies,” Peter Bosshard, policy director of California-based International Rivers, told the Foreign Correspondents Club of China.

“”There is still often a complete lack of transparency and consultation, particularly with civil society groups in the host countries,” he added.

“Beijing says that Chinese companies operating abroad have to comply with relevant national laws and that they must respect people there and the environment.

“Rights groups say this frequently does not happen.

“In Myanmar, Chinese companies are building or funding some particularly divisive dam schemes, Bosshard said.

“”If such huge infrastructure projects go forward, the (Myanmar) army takes over and occupies the villages,” he said.

“”There’s no question that the indigenous populations are very unhappy with these projects which they see as an extension of military rule in Burma, and that this will lead to serious conflict.”"

Read more: Reuter

3 Countries in South America Defending Local Rights Against Destructive Water Projects

Photo retrieved from: www.alternet.org

“South America is home to some of the most biodiverse, and ethnically diverse, regions in the world, but some of the precious water resources are being used to boost energy for some while threatening local ecosystems and the health and survival of thousands, if not millions, of others.

Here are three controversial projects that may boost energy or agricultural production, but not without tradeoffs. It sure does complicate the clean energy discussion—hydropower is cleaner than fossil fuels, but is it a perfect solution? Not if you ask the people living near the proposed dam sites.

Brazil

The Brazilian government is moving ahead on plans for the world’s third-largest dam, Belo Monte, despite years of protests from both local and international communities and organizations.

Critics say the project, to be built on a tributary of the Amazon, will ruin the local environment and displace 50,000 (mostly indigenous) people—if not threaten the survival of indigenous groups entirely. Despite the protests, President Lula da Silva gave the formal go-ahead last month.

Ecuador

A giant hydroelectric project funded by China would threaten Ecuador’s highest waterfall, San Rafael Falls, which sits in a crucial transition zone between the Andes and the Amazon.”

Read more: AlterNet