Belo Monte :
Chief Raoni's petition

BELO MONTE : the role of banks

BELO MONTE : the role of banks

It is instructive to observe that the World Bank was once involved in the Belo Monte project while advocating the respect of the UN specialized agency, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 169. In 1989, the Kayapo had organized a massive demonstration in Altamira against the project of a series of dams on the Xingu River. They had managed to convince the World Bank to cancel financing that project which finally came to a standstill.

On January 25, 2011, over 40 Brazilian and Latin-American civil society organizations challenged the World Bank’s decision to approve a $500 million expense on an environmental, sectoral policy loan in Brazil, in spite of an alarming lack of compliance with the lending arrangements. The main issue raised by the letter is the absence of new social and environmental safeguards by BNDES, the first public bank in Brazil, which finances Belo Monte among others. The letter from the civil society concludes that the current state of the World Bank’s decisions contradicts its operational policy and other standards of transparency and risk factors. The executive managers of the World Bank are therefore required to tackle these key issues prior to approval of the second funding installment.

On October 25, 2011, numerous civil society organizations wrote to the banks who were interested in financing the undertaking, warning them of the risks involved.

During Rio +20, a new demonstration was set up on June 19, 2012 by the Aboriginal communities outside BNDES. Several hundreds of people were present.

Another paradox to denounce: while BNDES is investing in projects for big dams that accelerate the destruction of the rainforest, it is participating in the creation of a safety fund for the Kayapo tribe. The bank, through its support fund for conservation and sustainable management initiatives of the rainforest, expressed its support to the project with $4 million. The fund will be managed by an organization called Conservation International.

-  by Valérie Cabanes (translated from French to English by Nadia Kadry) -

By threatening the heart of the amazon forest, the BELO MONTE dam is standing in the way of our future.

Say "no" to the Belo Monte dam - Sign Chief Raoni's petition