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Aug 312010
 

From Green Right Now Reports

As opposition to the proposed Belo Monte Dam on the Amazon’s Xingu River grows, Amazon Watch and International Rivers have created a 10-minute Google Earth 3-D tour and video, narrated by actress Sigourney Weaver.  The production, entitled Defending the Rivers of the Amazon,  supports Brazil’s Xingu River Forever Alive Movement.

The Belo Monte Dam would be the third-largest hydroelectric dam in the world. It would divert the flow of the Xingu River, a significant tributary of the Amazon, to produce electricity for industrial mining operations in the region.

In the process, the dam’s reservoirs would flood 668 square kilometers and displace more than 20,000 people.  Late last week, the Brazilian government signed the concession to build the $17 billion-dollar project, ignoring local, national, and international opposition.

The tour and video illustrates the impact diverting the river along a 100-km stretch will have on the two indigenous tribes who have lived there for generations.   It also animates the flooding associated with the dam, impacts on the region’s spectacular biodiversity, and maps over 60 dams planned for the Brazilian Amazon over the next two decades.

Avatar director James Cameron also teamed up with Amazon Watch to produce a short feature, A Message from Pandora, that spotlights the battle to stop the massive Belo Monte Dam Complex.

The concept emerged when Weaver and Cameron visited the region in April. After speaking with some of the indigenous tribes and riverbank families who would be directly affected, Weaver commented that the Belo Monte Dam would be “a disaster for the Xingu River, for the rainforest, and certainly for all the indigenous people and families living along the river. Their way of life will disappear.”