Target: Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil
Goal: Stop construction of the Belo Monte Dam and the damage it would cause both Brazilian rainforests and indigenous communities living there
In violation of its own laws Brazil is currently building the world’s 3rd-largest dam inside the heart of the Amazon rainforest. If completed the dam would flood 1 million acres of rainforest, force over 20,000 people from their native homeland, contribute to the extinction of species of wildlife found only in this area while endangering many others.
Approval of the controversial Belo Monte Dam project was pushed through despite the fact that the process has violated Brazilian law and ignored years of protests. Brazil did not meet with indigenous communities affected by the dam project before approving it, violating its own constitution as well as international law. Three senior officials of Brazil’s environmental agency have resigned citing political pressure to approve the destructive project. With construction underway the company building the dam has failed to keep its agreement with the government to fund an action plan to mitigate the dam’s harm to the indigenous population.
Supporters argue that the dam will be an important source of green energy, but rainforest destruction caused by the dam would lead to significant increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Thus the dam would have to run at optimal levels for 41 years for it to cause less greenhouse gas pollution than creating the same amount of energy from burning fossil fuels.
Let Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff know you stand with the indigenous people of Brazil and demand that construction of the Belo Monte Dam be stopped immediately.
Dear President Rousseff,
I would like to urge you to stop construction of the Belo Monte Dam Complex being built on the Xingu River in light of its huge human and environmental costs. The displacement of communities living in the rainforest, loss of rare species and of vital old growth caused by the dam’s construction are simply unacceptable. Rather than provide clean energy this project will contribute to climate change through destruction of precious rainforest habitat. For all these reasons, and because indigenous people of the area were not consulted–their human rights violated–the international community cannot stay silent on this issue.
Brazil has an opportunity to demonstrate global leadership in protecting indigenous rights and the Earth’s climate by stopping construction of the dam and meeting with the indigenous people affected. The people of the world are watching. Please make the right decision.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit:via Flickr