Integration and Development Brazilian-style

Small Dams – from Heroes to Villains in Brazil

A recent Brazilian court decision to suspend construction of small hydroelectric dams along the Paraguay River has highlighted the doubts raised about a growing alternative source of energy that until recently was considered one of the most environmentally-friendly sources.

Indigenous Consultations in Peru to Debut in Amazon Oil Region

Peru will debut a new mechanism for prior consultation with indigenous peoples by seeking their approval for a new stage of oil drilling operations in the infamous Lot 1AB in the northeastern Amazon region of Loreto.

Ruling Against Thermoelectric Plant Sparks Debate

A Chilean Supreme Court decision ordering a halt to the construction of the Castilla thermoelectric power plant has sparked a debate over the country’s energy security.

In Uruguay, the Answer Is Blowing in the Wind

Uruguay needs to reinforce and expand its electric power grid to absorb the 1,200 megawatts of wind energy that it plans to generate by 2015.

Hydropower Dam to Flood Sacred Amazon Indigenous Site

The Sete Quedas or “seven waterfalls” on the Teles Pires River, which runs through the Amazon rainforest states of Mato Grosso and Pará in central Brazil, are a spiritual oasis venerated by several indigenous groups.

Belo Monte Dam Can No Longer Ignore Native Communities

A judicial order to halt construction of the Belo Monte dam in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest may be just one more battle in a long-drawn-out war in the courts over the controversial hydroelectric project.

Small-scale Fisherfolk in Rio de Janeiro – a Vanishing Species

"My sons will be anything, but never fishermen,” said 32-year-old Maicon Alexandre, the youngest of the leaders of Ahomar, a union of small-scale fisherpeople on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.

Americas Team Avoids Paraguayan Rights Groups

Paraguyan rights groups are disappointed at being denied access to a delegation of the Organisation of American States (OAS) sent in this week to discover the facts behind the impeachment and removal of President Fernando Lugo on Jun. 22.

Paraguay’s Isolation Grows

Paraguay’s isolation, following the impeachment and ouster of President Fernando Lugo 11 days ago,  has grown thanks to slender recognition for the new government and souring diplomatic relations with the neighbours.  

Venezuela’s Mercosur Entry Sparks Dissension

By simultaneously admitting Venezuela into its fold and suspending Paraguay’s membership, Mercosur has sparked dissension within the trading bloc that threatens the future legal architecture of the Southern Common Market. 

A small farmer in Macururé, in the semi-arid Northeast, in his new garden. Credit: Regional Institute for Appropriate Small Farming and Animal Husbandry

Cilantro Spices Up Coexistence with Drought in Brazil

Many grow lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, beets and other vegetables. But cilantro is ever-present in the gardens that are helping rural families weather the lengthy drought that is once again wracking Brazil’s impoverished Northeast.

The Gramacho dump, just before it was closed down.  Credit:Fabíola Ortiz/IPS

Brazil Closes Symbol of Environmental Degradation, Ahead of Rio+20

As Rio de Janeiro prepares to host the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which will discuss the green economy, the Brazilian city has put an end to one of its worst environmental sins: the enormous Jardim Gramacho garbage dump on Guanabara Bay.

Belo Monte Dam Hit by Friendly Fire

Those who made the final decision on the design of Brazil’s Belo Monte hydroelectric dam will face legal action in the future for the damages caused. This is the kind of warning one would expect from environmentalists, but in this case it comes from a surprising quarter: staunch supporters of hydropower.

Brazil Drives Energy Integration in South America

Energy integration in South America will be a reality "in the medium to long term," driven by hydropower and drawing on Brazil’s experience, predicts Altino Ventura Filho, secretary of planning in this country’s Ministry of Mines and Energy.

Energy: Chilean Community Wins First Round Against Brazilian Billionaire

Plans to build a massive thermoelectric power plant complex near an area of rich marine biodiversity has sparked fierce opposition from the small northern Chilean farming town of Totoral, which has now scored its first victory in court.

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