• Bruce Rich
  • Environmental Forum
  • September-October 2012
  • p. 20

Brazilian activists at the Rio+20 conference [June 2012] protested the four-mile-wide Belo Monte dam in the Brazilian Amazon...The $16 billion Belo Monte project would divert most of the flow of the Xingu River, a major tributary of the Amazon, into two 75-kilometer-long, half-kilometerwide canals, excavating more earth than in the building of the Panama Canal, flooding more than 400 square kilometers of tropical rain forest, and displacing more than 20,000 people....Among scores of other vague promises, the Rio Conference agreement, The Future We Want, pledged to “renew our commitment to sustainable development...” Meanwhile, hundreds of Brazilian Amerindians, from several threatened tribes, occupied the Belo Monte dam site in a gesture of defiance and desperation. Was anyone inside the conference center listening? 

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