By Marianela Jarroud, February 6 2013. Source: Inter Press Service
Panoramic view of Lake Neltume. Photo: Marianela Jarroud/IPS
SANTIAGO, Feb 6 2013 (IPS) - “This is paradise and they want to destroy it. This has had an enormous psychological impact on us,” says Guido Melinao, leader of the Mapuche indigenous community of Valeriano Cayicul, referring to the Neltume hydroelectric power plant project planned by the Spanish-Italian consortium Endesa-Enel.
The plant, to be built with an investment of 781 million dollars, would have an installed capacity of 490 megawatts and generate an estimated average of 1,885 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually.
In addition to the hydropower plant, which will be run with the waters of the Fuy River and empty into Lake Neltume, Endesa-Enel’s plans also include the construction of a high-tension power line to distribute the electricity through Chile’s Central Interconnected System. Continue reading
Filed under Biodiversity, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Hydroelectric dams, Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression, Water
By Hannibal Rhoades, October 1, 2012. Source: Intercontinental Cry
The Golden Mountains of Altai (Photo: mmmAleksei on flickr. Some rights reserved)
There was a jubilant response when IC reported, in July this year, that a new decree had been passed to facilitate the listing and protection of sacred sites on the Ukok plateau. Yet, even in disseminating this good news, the article imparted a warning against premature jubilation. Caution was advised on the basis that the Russian government may well ignore this new commitment and given disturbing recent developments in the Altai Republic this trepidation now seems prophetic.
New information emerging from the Ukok Quiet Zone Nature Park suggests that the positive legal steps taken in June this year constitute only a false dawn in the fight to protect this plateau region. A sacred place to Indigenous peoples and a UNESCO world heritage site, it is theoretically protected by both international and Russian federal law; however, an old threat has returned and it has been extended to include the Uch Enmek Nature Park.
This threat comes in the form of a new decree, passed by Altai Republic authorities on the 2nd of August, which has, once again, given gas giant Gazprom permission to begin construction on the Altai pipeline. Aleksander Berdnikov, a leader in the region, recently mitigated this in a much criticized move, saying that the new listings of sacred sites must be monitored to “prevent barriers to the construction of bridges, roads and other structures.” The new decree bafflingly contradicts June’s protective decree and Russia’s assurances to several environmental organisations that the “Golden Mountains of Altai” would enjoy better protection, just months after they were made. Continue reading