Category Archives: Hydroelectric dams

French anti-dam protester killed by police grenade

Another example of the misnomer of “less-than-lethal” weapons like concussion grenades. They may be less lethal, but still can be quite deadly, as this case in France shows.

TNT traces in slain France activist case

Press TV, 28 Oct  2014.

An investigation into the cause of the death of a French activist killed in clashes with the police has yielded traces of TNT used in police grenades.

Sending shockwaves throughout the country, the 21-year-old victim, Remi Fraisse, was killed on Sunday as security forces clashed with people protesting against a controversial dam project in the southwestern Tarn region.

To read the whole story and watch the Press TV story about this, click here.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Hydroelectric dams, Political Repression

Canada Now Leads Brazil in Deforestation

Scientists from the University of Maryland, Greenpeace, Global Forest Watch, and the World Resources Institute are tracking global forest decline and have announced that the rate of decline is accelerating.

Canada has now surpassed all other countries including Brazil as being responsible for loss of forest landscapes since 2000.  According to a story in the Ottawa Citizen published last week, the “main drivers are fire, logging, and energy and industrial development.”

Resource exploitation in the boreal forests of Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta are particularly devastating. Satellite imagery shows that the boreal forests in the area of the oil sands between Fort McMurray and Lake Athabasca has been almost totally devastated.


Lakes, like these in Northern Ontario dot Canada's boreal forests and contain 25 percent of the world's wetlands.  Photo- Jeff Wells

Lakes, like these in Northern Ontario dot Canada’s boreal forests and contain 25 percent of the world’s wetlands. Photo- Jeff Wells

According to Dr Nigel Sizer, director of the forest program at the World Resources Institute, “if this rate of degradation continues “business as usual will lead to destruction of most remaining intact forests in this century”

Canada leads world in forest decline, report says
By William Marsden, Ottawa Citizen. September 3, 2014.

WASHINGTON – The world’s virgin forests are being lost at an increasing rate and the largest portion of the degradation is in Canada, according to a new report.

No longer is Brazil the main villain in the struggle to stop forest destruction.

“Canada is the number one in the world for the total area of the loss of intact forest landscapes since 2000,” Peter Lee, of Forest Watch Canada, said in an interview.

He said the main drivers are fires, logging and energy and industrial development.

“There is no political will at federal or provincial levels for conserving primary forests,” he said. “Most logging done in Canada is still to this day done in virgin forests.”

Using satellite technology, scientists from the University of Maryland, Greenpeace, Global Forest Watch and the World Resources Institute have tracked changes in the earth’s forest coverage. The scientists discovered that the pace of decline is accelerating with more than 104 million hectares – about 8.1 per cent of global undisturbed forests — lost from 2000 to 2013.

Read the whole article here




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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, BREAKING NEWS, Campaign to STOP GE Trees, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Coal, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Fracking, Great Lakes, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Hydroelectric dams, Industrial agriculture, Keystone XL, Mining, Mountaintop Removal, Oil, Pollution, Tar Sands, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, Uncategorized, Water

More evidence against dams, in a week of dam stories

Carey Biron of Inter Press News (IPS) reported on a recent study by International Rivers showing that dams have a significant negative impact on the water quality and biodiversity of their surroundings. This comes after a week of news on dams, from Jacque Leslie’s excellent NYT op-ed at the start of the week to IPS’s story about the newest planned dam in Chile.

GJEP strongly opposes mega-dam projects as false solutions to the world’s energy needs and climate change.

Large Dams “Highly Correlated” with Poor Water Quality
By Carey L. Biron. IPS. August 29, 2014.

Large-scale dams are likely having a detrimental impact on water quality and biodiversity around the world, according to a new study that tracks and correlates data from thousands of projects.Focusing on the 50 most substantial river basins, researchers with International Rivers, a watchdog group, compiled and compared available data from some 6,000 of the world’s estimated 50,000 large dams. Eighty percent of the time, they found, the presence of large dams, typically those over 15 metres high, came along with findings of poor water quality, including high levels of mercury and trapped sedimentation.

To read more of Biron’s article, click here to go to the original.

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Mega-Dams in Sarawak threaten indigenous tribes with ethnocide

By Amanda Stephenson, July 3, 2014. Source: Counterpunch

Sarawak, Malaysia, is located on the island of Borneo, the third largest island in the world. Sarawak is home to thousands of endemic species, forty indigenous groups, and one of the largest transboundary rainforests remaining in the world.

The state is also suffering from one of the world’s highest rates of deforestation; only 5% of its primary forests remain. Now, Sarawak’s forests and their inhabitants face another threat: the damming of its rivers for hydroelectric power.

The Malaysian government and its state-owned energy utility Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) plan to build 12 large dams, due to produce 7,000 MW (megawatts) of electricity. Six of them are scheduled for completion by 2020. Continue reading

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Filed under Hydroelectric dams, Indigenous Peoples

Villager wins court battle against hydroelectric plant construction

June 26, 2014. Source: Cihan

Delal, who sold a cow so that he could sue the construction company, guards the area against development. Photo by DHA

Delal, who sold a cow so that he could sue the construction company, guards the area against development. Photo by DHA

An administrative court in the Black Sea province of Rize has ruled to halt the construction of a hydroelectric power plant (HES) that was being built on the Andon River, which provides fresh water to at least 3,000 people in the village of Küçükçayır.

Küçükçayır village was declared an environmentally protected site in 2011. The village’s residents held a protest in February against a HES being constructed near the river, closing the main road of the village for hours as part of their protest and not allowing construction equipment to operate at the site. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Hydroelectric dams, Victory!

Chile: HidroAysén dam project is scrapped

June 17, 2014. Source: WW4 Report

Photo from CBC

Photo from CBC

Chile’s environment, energy, agriculture, mining, economy and health ministers voted unanimously at a June 10 meeting to terminate plans for the $8 billion HidroAysén hydroelectric project, a complex of five dams that was to be built on the Baker and Pascua rivers in the Aysén region in southern Patagonia. Environmentalists and many area residents had vigorously opposed the project since it was first proposed in August 2007. HidroAysén supporters said the dams were necessary to meet energy requirements for the country, which currently gets about 40% of its power from hydroelectric projects. But Socialist president Michelle Bachelet, who began her second term on Mar. 11, has indicated that her government will push instead for more use of alternative sources and for the importation of liquefied natural gas. The companies behind the project—the Spanish-Italian electric energy consortium Endesa-Enel, which owns 51%, and the Chilean company Colbún S.A.—have 30 days to appeal the ministers’ decision. Continue reading

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Filed under Climate Justice, Hydroelectric dams, South America

Chile rejects Patagonian dam project, environmentalists hail victory

By Diego Cupolo, June 16, 2014. Source: Upside Down World


 Rio Baker, the sight of one of five proposed HidroAysén dams in Southern Chile – Photo by Diego Cupolo

Rio Baker, the sight of one of five proposed HidroAysén dams in Southern Chile – Photo by Diego Cupolo

After eight years of demonstrations and sometimes violent protests, Chilean environmentalists popped champagne bottles and celebrated outside the ministry building after officials rejected the controversial Patagonian dam project last week.

The decision halts development of what would have become Chile’s largest energy endeavor in history, the $8B HidroAysén hydroelectric project, which involved building five dams in two of South America’s widest rivers along with 1,600 km of power lines through pristine Andean valleys and fjords to carry energy to the nation’s central regions.

In a report by the Associated Press, Patricio Rodrigo, executive secretary of the Patagonia Defense Council, called the moment “the greatest triumph of the environmental movement in Chile.” Continue reading

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Filed under Hydroelectric dams, Victory!

Chao HidroAysén!

By Emily Jovais, June 11, 2014. Source: International Rivers

Photo from International Rivers

Photo from International Rivers

It’s not every day we celebrate a victory as significant and hard-won as today’s triumph in the eight-year campaign to protect Chilean Patagonia from the destructive HidroAysén dam project!

This morning, Chile’s highest administrative authority – the Committee of Ministers – made a unanimous decision to overturn the environmental permits for the controversial five dam mega-project, which was planned on the Baker and Pascua rivers. This highly anticipated resolution effectively cancels the project, ruling that assessment of the project’s impacts was insufficient to grant project approval back in 2011.

The Committee, which consists of the Minister of Environment, Health, Economy, Energy and Mining, Agriculture, and Tourism, evaluated 35 appeals which were filed by the Patagonia Defense Council and local citizens in response to the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment after it was approved in May 2011. Though it has taken more than three years, with meetings and decisions being repeatedly delayed and eventually passed on to the new administration, today’s decision is a recognition of the technical and procedural flaws surrounding HidroAysén as well as the significant impacts the project would have had on one of Chile’s most iconic regions.  Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Hydroelectric dams, Victory!, Water