Amazon dam opposed by tribes fails to get environmental license

    by Anthony Boadle, Reuters
    Friday, 5 August 2016 10:35 BST

Munduruku Indian warriors navigate the Das Tropas river, a tributary of the Tapajos and Amazon rivers, as they search for illegal gold mines and miners in their territory in western Para state. REUTERS/Lunae Parracho

Brazil's environmental regulator Ibama decided on Thursday to shelve the environmental license request for a hydroelectric dam on the Tapajos River in the Amazon, a project that had been opposed by indigenous tribes and conservation groups.

Ibama's licensing office ruled the dam's backers had not presented information in time to show its social and environmental viability. They halted the 30 billion reais ($9.40 billion) project. In April, Ibama had suspended the licensing process that began in 2009 after criticism by Brazil's indigenous affairs department, Funai.

With installed capacity of about 6.1 gigawatts, the dam proposed by state-run Eletrobras, Brazil's largest power utility holding, and a group of other electricity companies, would have been one of Brazil's biggest.

But it would have flooded 376 square kilometers (145 sq miles) of Amazon rainforest that is home to some 12,000 Munduruku Indians, according to Greenpeace.

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