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Sustainable Dam Development in Brazil: The Roles of Environmentalism, Participation and Planning

  • Agnes da Costa
Chapter

Abstract

The chapter explores the reforms of Brazil’s environmental and resettlement policies and the influence of domestic and external actors on its dam-related legislation and practices. It analyses two hydropower plant projects: Itaparica, built during the military regime; and Santo Antonio, a public–private project still under construction. The analysis begins with an overview of the relevance of hydropower to Brazil’s development plans since the military regime and of the central administration’s strategy of developing the country’s hydropower potential by maintaining a clean mix of energy sources for the supply of electricity. Domestic opposition to the authoritarian regime had culminated in the promulgation of a highly participation-oriented Constitution in 1988. The chapter then analyses decision-making processes in Brazil’s dam-related bureaucracy and the role allotted to civil society since then. By singling out two problem areas—Environmental Impact Assessment and resettlement—the chapter addresses changes in the normative framework and in practice. Case studies then consider these processes, taking Itaparica as a case where planning and participation did not lead to satisfactory implementation in resettlement terms; and Santo Antonio as a possible example for future projects as regards the involvement of affected people at earlier stages of the project cycle.

Keywords

Social Movement Environmental Impact Assessment Environmental Impact Assessment Hydropower Plant Public Hearing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

There is a large number of people whom I had the pleasure to interview and therefore contributed incommensurably to the end result of this chapter and to the conclusions I came to. I would like to first express my deep appreciation to them—thank you for your time, availability and willingness to share with me your experiences and opinions. I would also like to thank Marisete Pereira, Marcio Zimmermann, Dr. Elbia Melo and Dr. Maritta Koch-Weser for their constant encouragement and intellectual contributions in developing this text. Finally, a big thanks goes to Dr. Albert Cordeiro Geber de Melo who has supported my first presentation on this issue.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brazilian Ministry of Mines and EnergyBrasíliaBrazil

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