Thursday, June 16, 2011

Peru revokes permit for giant dam on Amazon tributary

Environment News Service: After years of community opposition, a 2,000 megawatt dam planned for construction on a major Amazonian tributary, has been cancelled, the government of Peru announced Tuesday. The dam was to have been built across the Inambari River in Madre de Dios province.

For the past 36 days, some 2,000 people in the Puno area blocked access roads to the region and held mass protests to convince the government to cancel mining concessions and the dam project. To appease the strikers, the government established a high-level commission to review the Inambari dam.

After a tense meeting with local communities on June 13, Commission Chair and Vice-Minister of Energy Luis Gonzales Talledo cancelled the project, stating that the Brazilian EGASUR consortium's rights to develop the project had been revoked.

"Although this resolution does not prevent the construction of all dams in the Inambari Basin, it is very important because it clearly cancels EGASUR's participation," said Aldo Santos, from the local nongovernmental organization Rural Educational Services, or SER.

"The resolution states that all future proposed projects must be subjected to prior consultation with local communities according to ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, which is an important precedent," said Santos….

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