Brazil’s Federal Environmental Agency (IBAMA) has officially announced the cancellation of licences for a key mega-dam project in the Amazon over concerns about environmental and social impacts.
The São Luiz do Tapajós dam project is one of several dam projects planned for the Tapajós basin but IBAMA said in a statement that its sponsors had failed to show the socio-economic viability of the project, which would flood indigenous lands and put at risk newly-discovered species of mammals.
The proposed 8000 MW, $5.8 billion project is being developed by a consortium of Eletrobras, Engie, EDF, Camargo Correa, Neoenergia, COPEL and Endesa Brasil.
The dam’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) identified eight mammals new to science and endemic to the region, including a new monkey, marsupial, rodents and bats. However it concluded that the 8 km-long dam would have no major environmental impacts.
Campaigners refuted the conclusions of the EIA and also said that the project’s impacts should be considered alongside those of at least six others planned for the same area.
IBAMA said it had identified a number of other social and environmental risks associated with the project, including impacts on biodiversity, aquatic ecosystems, migratory fish and fisheries.