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Alcoa, the world's largest aluminum company, has announced plans to construct at least three large dams in the Brazilian Amazon. These dams will guarantee a supply of energy for Alcoa's Alumar plant in São Luis (a project of Alcoa, BHP Billiton, and Alcan), and will permit the plant's expansion. This comes at a time when Brazilian consumers have been required to cut back their energy consumption due to power shortages. Alcoa is the single largest consumer of electricity in Brazil, and its Alumar plant receives one-quarter of the energy generated by the Tucuruí dam, which has had an enormous impact on the rainforest and its inhabitants.
The dams planned by Alcoa will flood indigenous reserves, including the territories of the Surui-Aiwekar, Karajá, Apinajé, Gavião, Krahô, and Krikati peoples, as well as protected ecological reserves and other critical wetlands in the rainforest. Tens of thousands of families will lose their homes and livelihood, including family farmers, fisherfolk, babaçu palm nut gatherers, and ceramic makers.
Yet, no studies of the cumulative impacts of these and 13 other large dams planned for the Tocantins and Araguaia river system have been carried out. Indications are that these dams will destroy thousands of square kilometers of natural ecosystems along the river systems, and further spread poverty throughout the eastern Amazon.
Tell Alcoa to scrap plans for Amazon dams! Send a FREE FAX to Alcoa CEO Alain Belda, or first read more background on the issue: