Photo: Amazon Dam
A Brazilian judge has blocked plans to build a huge hydroelectric dam in the Amazon rainforest because of environmental concerns.
Federal judge Ronaldo Desterro said environmental requirements to build the Belo Monte dam had not been met and also barred the national development bank from funding the project.
Environmentalists and local indigenous groups have been protesting the project saying it will harm the world’s largest tropical rainforest and displace tens of thousands of people. There have been several previous injunctions blocking the project but they have all been overturned.
President Dilma Rousseff’s government says the Belo Monte dam is critical for the development of the countries energy infrastructure. It will create jobs and provide electricity to 23 million homes.
Celebrities such as the singer Sting and film director James Cameron have joined environmentalists in their campaign against the project.
They say the 6km dam will threaten the survival of a number of indigenous groups and could make some 50,000 people homeless, as 500 sq km of land would be flooded.