By: Chris Arsenault
Date: August 5th 2016
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Indigenous people living in Brazil's rainforest have welcomed a decision by the national environment agency to cancel a proposed mega-dam in the Amazon which they say would have displaced communities while opening the sensitive region to logging.
Tribes will now be able to better protect the rainforest and continue living on the land because new roads and other infrastructure will not unlock the area's pristine landscape for loggers, said Cacique Celso Tawe, a leader of the indigenous Munduruku Indians.
His 12,000-strong community had been at the forefront of opposing the $9.4 billion Tapajós hydro-electric dam project, which would have flooded 376 square kilometers (145 square miles) of their ancestral land.
"The dam would only have brought terrible things for our people," Tawe said, following the decision on Thursday by Brazil's environmental regulator Ibama to halt the project.