tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/hydroelectric%20power1 hydroelectric power news from mongabay.com 2014-09-19T05:42:12Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13802 2014-09-19T05:16:00Z 2014-09-19T05:42:12Z Brazil cancels Tapajos dam auction due to indigenous concerns Brazilian authorities have suspended the auction of the centerpiece of the massive Tapajos hydroelectric complex, reports Agencia Brasil. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13781 2014-09-14T23:08:00Z 2014-09-15T00:31:41Z Brazil's planned Tapajós dams would increase Amazon deforestation by 1M ha A plan to build a dozen dams in the Tapajós river basin would drive the loss of an additional 950,000 hectares of rainforest by 2032 by spurring land speculation and mass migration to the region, suggests a new study published by Imazon, a Brazilian NGO. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13659 2014-08-13T14:39:00Z 2014-08-13T15:03:01Z Unreal Thailand: stunning wildlife photographed in flooded Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0813.Asian-tapir-1-in-Khlong-Saeng-e1406263277651.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If someone told you there was a place where 200 million year old coral reefs had erupted from beneath the sea and were now draped in the oldest rain forest in the world, a place where marbled cats and clouded leopards prowl the sharp crags and their dark caves in search of dead bats and small prey, would you believe them? Jeremy Hance 9.058377 98.645914 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13620 2014-08-01T16:47:00Z 2014-08-01T18:04:46Z 2 prize-winning journalists will report on Amazon, 2 new prizes announced <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/laos/150/laos_1376.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mongabay.org's Special Reporting Initiative (SRI) program has recently awarded two different reporting prizes to journalists to tackle these vital and complicated issues in-depth. The non-profit has also launched a call for applications to two new SRIs: The social and environmental impacts of foreign development finance in the Amazon and Food spoilage and waste in Sub-Saharan Africa. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13249 2014-05-19T16:23:00Z 2014-05-19T16:24:39Z Dams be damned: study finds large dams are too expensive <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0519-congo-river-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hydroelectric power, supplied mostly from dams, provides approximately 20 percent of the world's electricity, an amount of energy equivalent to 3.6 billion barrels of oil. However, a recent study by researchers at Oxford University has found that large dams cost so much money and take so long to build that they may not be economically viable. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.555227 13.565246 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12938 2014-03-16T21:14:00Z 2014-03-19T03:09:26Z Controversial Amazon dams may have exacerbated biblical flooding <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0319bolivia-flood150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmentalists and scientists raised howls of protest when the Santo Antônio and Jirau Dams were proposed for the Western Amazon in Brazil, claiming among other issues that the dams would raise water levels on the Madeira River, potentially leading to catastrophic flooding. It turns out they may have been right: last week a federal Brazilian court ordered a new environmental impact study on the dams given suspicion that they have worsened recent flooding in Brazil and across the border in Bolivia. Jeremy Hance 9.1600 64.3857 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12535 2013-12-17T20:54:00Z 2013-12-17T21:08:13Z Africa to build world's largest dam, but who will benefit? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1217.9144975491_9d684dfa16_k.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Congo River traverses the continent of Africa, ending its journey in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where it spills 1.5 million cubic feet per second into the Atlantic Ocean. Now, plans are underway to harness this tremendous force of water in what promises to be the world's largest hydropower scheme, The Grand Inga. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12437 2013-11-22T19:20:00Z 2013-11-22T19:23:10Z Gold mine near controversial Belo Monte dam suspended A gold mining project proposed near the Belo Monte dam site in the Amazon rainforest has been suspended by a Brazilian court, reports Reuters. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12362 2013-11-12T16:25:00Z 2013-11-12T16:42:13Z Murum dam blockaders may be suffering human rights violations warns NGOs A coalition of nearly 30 organizations has sent a letter to top authorities in Sarawak and Malaysia warning them of possible human right violations against a group of indigenous Penan who are blocking roads to the construction site for Murum Dam. Over 100 indigenous people have been blocking a road for over a month as they demand more compensation and land after being forced to move from their traditional lands to make way for the 900 megawatt dam. Jeremy Hance 2.135659 111.27697 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12318 2013-11-05T23:59:00Z 2013-11-06T18:16:46Z Indigenous groups expel workers, blockade another dam in Sarawak <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1105-baram-protest150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hundreds of tribal people in Sarawak have started blockading a second big hydroelectric dam project being built by a government, which critics accuse of nepotism and corruption. Late last month around 200 native Kenyah, Kayan and Penan people chased away workers and set up a blockade on a road leading to the site of the proposed 1200 megawatt Baram dam. Rhett Butler 3.920301 114.290854 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12280 2013-10-29T23:58:00Z 2013-11-19T22:15:39Z Belo Monte dam suspended Construction on Belo Monte, Brazil's largest dam, was again halted by a federal court due to concerns over its license, reports Amazon Watch, an NGO that is mobilizing opposition to the project. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12145 2013-09-30T17:12:00Z 2014-02-22T02:07:18Z Has Brazil turned against its progressive environmental policies? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0507.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year, Brazil rolled back crucial parts of its landmark Forestry Code, potentially opening vast tracts of forest for destruction; it is also moving ahead on a number of Amazon dams, including the infamous Belo Monte, despite international condemnation and conflict with indigenous people. Meanwhile, a new law under consideration proposes allowing large-scale mining in protected areas. Given this a new paper in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science argues that Brazil has thrown off its once admired mantle of environmental legislation, imperiling hundreds of thousands of species in the most biodiverse country on Earth. Jeremy Hance -15.80001 -47.864525 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12135 2013-09-27T09:34:00Z 2013-09-27T09:38:03Z Borneo tribesmen block road as controversial rainforest dam impoundment begins Indigenous leaders have set up roadblocks in Malaysian Borneo to protest Sarawak's newest dam, report environmental activists who oppose the project. Rhett Butler 2.745874 114.079921 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12131 2013-09-26T18:10:00Z 2013-09-26T18:26:57Z 'Ecological Armageddon': mammals vanish entirely from forest fragments after 25 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0926.gibson3HR.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As tropical forests worldwide are increasingly cut into smaller and smaller fragments, mammal extinctions may not be far behind, according to a new study in Science. Tracking native smalls mammals in Chiew Larn Reservoir, Thailand for over 25 years, scientists found a stunning and rapid decline in mammal populations, until most forests were almost completely emptied of native mammals. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12102 2013-09-19T17:00:00Z 2013-09-19T17:31:07Z Judge halts construction of Amazon dam on Brazil's Teles Pires river A federal judge in Brazil has ordered the suspension of construction activities on the Teles Pires due to shortcomings in the environmental licensing process, including the project's impacts on three local tribes, reports International Rivers. Rhett Butler -9.340587 -56.776842 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12101 2013-09-19T05:58:00Z 2013-09-19T06:06:58Z Indigenous peoples resume occupation of Brazil's Belo Monte dam site 150 indigenous protesters have once again occupied the Belo Monte dam site in an effort to block the controversial project, reports Amazon Watch, an NGO that is helping lead the fight against the dam. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12086 2013-09-18T00:26:00Z 2013-09-18T01:17:34Z Hydro projects a front for logging in Vietnam Small hydroelectric projects in forested areas in Vietnam may be a front for logging operations in the country's national parks, reports Vietnam Net. Rhett Butler 15.14902 107.953978 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11936 2013-08-19T14:03:00Z 2013-08-19T14:15:05Z Iraq gets its first national park: just call it Eden Late last month, the Iraqi Council of Ministers approved the nation's first national park: the Mesopotamian marshes, which some scholars believe were the site of the historical Garden of Eden. The establishment of the park is a major milestone for a nation still plagued by violence with the park itself linked to the ravages of the Saddam Hussein regime. Jeremy Hance 31.601931 47.641296 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11759 2013-07-10T23:31:00Z 2013-07-11T01:42:50Z Activists raise alarm over park that will dispossess Borneo tribe of land Rights activists are warning that a proposal to classify islands forming in the midst of the Bakun Dam reservoir will further deprive indigenous forest people of their traditional land. Rhett Butler 2.752389 114.065337 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11564 2013-06-09T04:02:00Z 2013-06-09T04:10:16Z China to build $17B worth of dams in Indonesian Borneo Two Chinese companies &#8212; China Power Investment Corporation and Anhui Conch Cement &#8212; will invest $17 billion in dams in North Kalimantan, Indonesia's newest province located on the island of Borneo, reports the <i>Jakarta Globe</i>. Rhett Butler 3.535352 116.504087 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11562 2013-06-07T23:46:00Z 2013-06-07T23:52:40Z Indonesia’s Jatigede Dam Marred by Land Compensation Problems As Indonesia’s controversial Jatigede dam project moves closer to completion, West Java residents whose homes are set to be flooded for the planned 4,973-hectare reservoir brought their complaints to Jakarta, demanding that the country’s president step in to resolve land compensation issues. Rhett Butler -6.56187 107.826676 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11467 2013-05-22T17:02:00Z 2013-05-22T17:25:41Z Indigenous groups protest hydropower congress as controversy hits meeting in Malaysia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0522.saveriverprotests.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The opening of the International Hydropower Association (IHA) World Congress in the Malaysian state of Sarawak was marred today by indigenous protests and controversy after a local indigenous leader was barred from attending a pre-conference workshop. Over 300 people from local indigenous people protested the ongoing construction of around a dozen mega-dams in the state that threaten to flood traditional lands, force villages to move, and upend lives in the state. The Sarawak hydropower plans are some of the most controversial in the world&#8212;making the choice of Kuching, Sarawak for the IHA meeting an arguably ironic one&#8212;with critics contending that the dams are have been mired in political corruption, including kickbacks and bribes. IHA brings together dam builders, banks, and various related organizations worldwide every two years. Jeremy Hance 1.54202 110.320358 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11458 2013-05-21T15:59:00Z 2013-05-21T16:26:03Z China approves another mega-dam that will imperil endangered species Chinese environmental authorities have approved construction plans for what could become the world's tallest dam, while acknowledging that the project would affect endangered plants and rare fish species. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11455 2013-05-20T13:13:00Z 2013-05-20T19:13:48Z Biosphere conservation: monumental action is critical to avert global environmental crisis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/colombia/150/colombia_3027.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Human-caused changes to our biosphere&#8212;the global total of the world's ecosystems&#8212;are now so great and alarmingly rapid that human lives and societies undoubtedly face epic challenges in the near future as our biosphere deteriorates, planetary boundaries are reached, and tipping points exceeded. We may survive, we may painfully adapt, but it is a fair bet that grave hardship, loss, and sacrifice lay ahead. The nature and extent of impacts among human populations hinges on how successfully we respond to the biosphere crisis with extraordinary leadership, balanced solutions applied at global scales, and unprecedented cooperation&#8212;or not. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11427 2013-05-13T23:30:00Z 2013-05-14T01:37:30Z Rainforest tribe urges Norwegian king to recall energy executive <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0513baram150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In an unusual bid to stop a series of dams that will flood their rainforest home, a group of tribesmen in Borneo are urging King Harald V of Norway to call one of his subjects home. The subject is Torstein Dale Sjøtveit, a Norwegian citizen who is the CEO of Sarawak Energy, a Malaysian firm that is building several dams in the state of Sarawak. The hydroelectric projects are controversial because they require the forced displacement of indigenous communities and will flood large tracts of rainforest. Rhett Butler 3.383056 114.567778 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11425 2013-05-13T19:16:00Z 2013-05-16T00:39:36Z Deforestation will undercut effectiveness of rainforest dams <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0513belo-monte150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation may significantly decrease the hydroelectric potential of tropical rainforest regions, warns a new study published in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Science</i>. The study, used climate, hydrological, and land use models to forecast the impact of potential forest loss on hydropower generation on the Xingu River, a major tributary of the Amazon where the world's third largest dam &#8212; Belo Monte &#8212; is currently under construction. Rhett Butler -3.547688 -51.902161 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11361 2013-05-03T19:32:00Z 2013-09-19T06:05:59Z Tribesmen launch 'occupy' protest at dam site in the Amazon rainforest On Thursday roughly 200 indigenous people launched an occupation of a key construction site for the controversial Belo Monte dam in the Brazilian Amazon. The protestors, who represent communities that will be affected by the massive dam, are demanding immediate suspension of all work on hydroelectric projects on the Xingu, Tapajós and Teles Pires rivers until they are properly consulted, according to a coalition of environmental groups opposing the projects. Rhett Butler -2.868293 -51.994858 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11344 2013-05-03T02:15:00Z 2013-05-03T02:38:02Z Mekong region has lost a third of its forests in 30 years, may lose another third by 2030 The Greater Mekong region of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand and Vietnam will lose a third of its remaining forest cover by 2030 unless regional governments improve management of natural resources and transition toward a greener growth model, warns a new report issued by WWF. Rhett Butler 13.219224 105.984421 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11314 2013-04-29T14:19:00Z 2013-04-29T14:29:36Z Featured documentary: Damocracy, highlighting the battles over the Belo Monte and Ilisu dams A new short documentary highlights the battles over monster dam projects imperiling local people and wild rivers. Examining the Belo Monte dam in Brazil and the Ilisu dam in Turkey, the documentary argues that such hydroelectric projects cannot be deemed "green" energy as they overturn lives, livelihoods, and ecosystems. Jeremy Hance 37.525112 41.847389 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11289 2013-04-23T14:45:00Z 2013-04-23T15:07:07Z The river of plenty: uncovering the secrets of the amazing Mekong <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0423.6799022660_06814e41d7_h.boat.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Home to giant catfish and stingrays, feeding over 60 million people, and with the largest abundance of freshwater fish in the world, the Mekong River, and its numerous tributaries, brings food, culture, and life to much of Southeast Asia. Despite this, little is known about the biodiversity and ecosystems of the Mekong, which is second only to the Amazon in terms of freshwater biodiversity. Meanwhile, the river is facing an existential crisis in the form of 77 proposed dams, while population growth, pollution, and development further imperil this understudied, but vast, ecosystem. Jeremy Hance 18.033586 101.890783 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11253 2013-04-17T15:05:00Z 2013-04-17T15:42:04Z Judge halts military-backed dam assessment in Brazil's Amazon A federal court in Brazil has suspended the use of military and police personnel during technical research on the controversial São Luíz do Tapajós Dam in the Brazilian Amazon. The military and police were brought in to stamp down protests from indigenous people living along the Tapajós River, but the judge decreed that impacted indigenous groups must give free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) before any furter studies can be done on the proposed dam. However, the decision is expected to be appealed. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11245 2013-04-16T16:30:00Z 2013-04-16T16:45:56Z Yangtze porpoise down to 1,000 animals as world's most degraded river may soon claim another extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0416.yangtzeporpoise.WEB_105591.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A survey late last year found that the Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis) population has been cut in half in just six years. During a 44-day survey, experts estimated 1,000 river porpoises inhabited the river and adjoining lakes, down from around 2,000 in 2006. The ecology of China's Yangtze River has been decimated the Three Gorges Dam, ship traffic, pollution, electrofishing, and overfishing, making it arguably the world's most degraded major river. These environmental tolls have already led to the likely extinction of the Yangtze river dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer), or baiji, and possibly the Chinese paddlefish (Psephurus gladius), which is one of the world's longest freshwater fish. Jeremy Hance 29.118574 116.283188 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11244 2013-04-16T14:01:00Z 2013-04-16T14:13:25Z Iraqi who is bringing back the Garden of Eden wins top environment award <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0416.800px-Marsh_Arabs_in_a_mashoof.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The vast Mesoptomian marshes in southern Iraq were said to be the site of the original Garden of Eden. On their fringes have risen and fallen 12,000 years of Sumerian, Assyrian, Chaldean, Persian and Arab civilizations. Organized farming is thought to have begun here, as did the first cities and writing. In legend, Gilgamesh fell asleep on the water side and let slip from his fingers the plant of eternal youth. Abraham was said to have been born here and explorers like Sir Wilfred Thesiger made their name here. Jeremy Hance 30.700516 47.551346 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11177 2013-04-08T12:35:00Z 2013-04-08T12:45:45Z Indigenous group: Brazil using military to force Amazon dams <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_1873.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Amazonian community has threatened to "go to war" with the Brazilian government after what they say is a military incursion into their land by dam builders. The Munduruku indigenous group in Para state say they have been betrayed by the authorities, who are pushing ahead with plans to build a cascade of hydropower plants on the Tapajós river without their permission. Jeremy Hance -3.381824 -55.230103 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11150 2013-04-02T16:37:00Z 2014-02-28T10:06:52Z Proposed coal plant threatens Critically Endangered Philippine cockatoo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0402.Philippine-Cockatoo-photo-Peter-Widmann,-kfi.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One kilometer off the Philippine island of Palawan lies the Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary; here forest grows unimpeded from a coral island surrounded by mangroves and coral reefs. Although tiny, over a hundred bird species have been recorded on the island along with a major population of large flying foxes, while in the waters below swim at least 130 species of coral fish, three types of marine turtles, and that curious-looking marine mammal, dugongs. Most importantly, perhaps, the island is home to the world's largest population of Philippine cockatoos (Cacatua haematuropygia), currently listed as Critically Endangered. But, although uninhabited by people, Rasa Island may soon be altered irrevocably by human impacts. Jeremy Hance 9.22276 118.443933 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11099 2013-03-25T17:34:00Z 2013-03-25T17:44:09Z Indigenous protester killed by masked assailants in Panama over UN-condemned dam <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0325.boulders.panamadam.DSCF1153.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A Ngäbe indigenous Panamanian, Onesimo Rodriguez, opposing the Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam project was killed last Friday evening by four masked men. His body was then thrown into a nearby stream where it was discovered the following day. Onesimo Rodriguez was attacked with a companion in Las Nubes, after they had attended a demonstration in Cerro Punta, Bugaba, against the dam. His companion, whose identity is being withheld for security reasons, received serious injuries but managed to escape and is having his injuries tended to by the local indigenous community. Jeremy Hance 8.248612 -81.668859 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11038 2013-03-14T05:24:00Z 2013-03-15T05:27:07Z Tribe rejects payment from electricity company behind destructive Amazon dam Leaders of more than two dozen Kayapó indigenous communities have rejected a $9 million offer from Brazilian state energy company Eletrobras to fund development projects in their region due to the the firm's involvement in the construction of the Belo Monte dam, reports Amazon Watch, an activist group fighting the hydroelectric project. Rhett Butler -6.746441 -51.160583 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10847 2013-02-07T18:39:00Z 2013-02-24T00:22:29Z Investors beware: global land grabbing ends in 'financial damage' and human rights violations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0207.palmoil.liberia.image.php.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Investing in companies that flout local community rights in developing countries often leads to severe economic losses, according to a new report from the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI). A rising trend in "land grabbing" from Africa to South America by corporations and even foreign governments results in social instability, which can lead to large-scale protests, violence, and even murder, delaying and sometimes derailing projects. Such instability poses massive risk to any investor, not to mention supporting corporate entities that are accused of ignoring human rights. Jeremy Hance 27.176469 98.481445 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10723 2013-01-17T22:39:00Z 2013-01-22T16:31:02Z Fish unable to pass through dams in U.S. presents 'cautionary tale' for developing world Dams create a largely impenetrable barrier for fish even when the dams were installed with specially-built passages, according to a new study in Conservation Letters. The scientists found that migrating fish largely failed to use the passages in the U.S., resulting in far fewer moving through the state-of-the-art hydroelectric dams than had been promised. The researchers say that their findings are a "cautionary tale" for developing nations. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10687 2013-01-14T20:57:00Z 2013-01-14T20:59:26Z Malaysian candidate pledges to drop controversial dam in Sarawak if elected Malaysia's current opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has pledged to cancel the controversial Baram Dam in Sarawak if upcoming general elections sweep him into the office of Prime Minister. Ibrahim made the announcement while visiting the state of Sarawak, located on the island of Borneo, over the weekend, according to the indigenous rights NGO, Bruno Manser Fund. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10610 2012-12-24T01:16:00Z 2012-12-24T20:44:48Z Norway to send Guyana $45m for maintaining low deforestation rate Norway will pay Guyana $45 million for maintaining its low deforestation rate under a climate partnership between the two countries. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10554 2012-12-10T20:26:00Z 2012-12-10T20:30:52Z China plans over 300 dam projects worldwide A new report by the NGO, International Rivers, takes an in-depth look at the role China is playing in building mega-dams worldwide. According to the report, Chinese companies are involved in 308 hydroelectric projects across 70 nations. While dams are often billed as "green energy," they can have massive ecological impacts on rivers, raise local conflict, and even expel significant levels of greenhouse gases when built in the tropics. Jeremy Hance 18.669381 32.053292 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10541 2012-12-08T03:48:00Z 2013-05-03T19:37:33Z Dams are rapidly damning the Amazon Dam-builders seeking to unlock the hydroelectric potential of the Amazon are putting the world's mightiest river and rainforest at risk, suggests a new assessment that charts the rapid expansion of dams in the region. Rhett Butler -2.781195 -52.015457 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10489 2012-11-30T23:03:00Z 2012-12-03T19:53:05Z Brazilian bank approves $10.8 billion loan for controversial Amazon rainforest dam Brazil's National Development Bank (BNDES) on Monday announced it has approved a $10.8 billion (22.5 billion Brazilian reais) loan to the consortium that is building the controversial Belo Monte dam in the state of Par&acute; in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, reports International Rivers, a group that is campaigning against the dam. The loan in the largest in the bank's 60-year history, according to the group. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10412 2012-11-15T19:02:00Z 2012-11-15T19:09:52Z Penan suspend dam blockade, give government one month to respond to demands Members of the Penan tribe have suspended their month long blockade of the Murum dam in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, reports Survival International. However, according to the indigenous group the fight is not over: the departing Penan said the Sarawak government had one month to respond to demands for sufficient compensation for the dam's impact or face another blockade. Over 300 Penan people participated in the blockade, which stopped traffic leading to the construction site. Jeremy Hance 2.646292 114.366167 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10383 2012-11-13T08:39:00Z 2012-11-13T09:19:40Z Sarawak minister tells clean energy activists to 'stop breathing' A top minister in the Malaysian state of Sarawak has told activists campaigning for cleaner energy to 'stop breathing', reports <i>The Borneo Post</i>. Rhett Butler 5.876027 117.94462 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10370 2012-11-07T12:46:00Z 2012-11-07T13:36:14Z Controversial dam gets approval in Laos Laos has given approval to the hugely-controversial $3.5 billion Xayaburi Dam on the Mekong River, reports the BBC. The massive dam, which would provide 95 percent of its energy production to Thailand, has been criticized for anticipated impacts on the river's fish populations, on which many locals depend. Jeremy Hance 19.254027 101.814054 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10364 2012-11-05T14:35:00Z 2013-02-05T15:15:46Z New rare frog discovered in Sri Lanka, but left wholly unprotected <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/newfrog.srilanka.Polypedates_ranwellai.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sri Lanka, an island country lying off the southeast coast of India, has long been noted for its vast array of biodiversity. Islands in general are renowned for their weird and wonderful creatures, including high percentages of endemic species&#8212;and Sri Lanka, where scientists recently discovered a new frog species, is no exception. Jeremy Hance 6.697684 80.404415 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10353 2012-11-01T17:38:00Z 2012-11-03T01:40:05Z Artificial 'misting system' allows vanished toad to be released back into the wild <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/animals/150/animals_02633.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1996 scientists discovered a new species of dwarf toad: the Kihansi spray toad (Nectophrynoides asperginis). Although surviving on only two hectares near the Kihansi Gorge in Tanzania, the toads proved populous: around 17,000 individuals crowded the smallest known habitat of any vertebrate, living happily off the moist micro-habitat created by spray from adjacent waterfalls. Eight years later and the Kihansi spray toad was gone. Disease combined with the construction of a hydroelectric dam ended the toads' limited, but fecund, reign. Jeremy Hance -8.465384 35.66831 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10251 2012-10-09T19:35:00Z 2012-10-09T19:52:54Z Indigenous groups re-occupy Belo Monte dam in the Amazon Construction on Brazil's megadam, Belo Monte, has been halted again as around 150 demonstrators, most of them from nearby indigenous tribes, have occupied the main construction site at Pimental. Over a hundred indigenous people joined local fishermen who had been protesting the dam for 24 days straight. Indigenous people and local fishermen say the dam will devastate the Xingu River, upending their way of life. Jeremy Hance -3.184394 -52.210694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10236 2012-10-08T12:57:00Z 2012-10-08T18:22:51Z Indigenous blockade expands against massive dam in Sarawak <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/%5Benanblockade.sign.DSC_0162-(640x428).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous people have expanded their blockade against the Murum dam in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, taking over an additional road to prevent construction materials from reaching the dam site. Beginning on September 26th with 200 Penan people, the blockade has boomed to well over 300. Groups now occupy not just the main route to the dam site, but an alternative route that the dam's contractor, the China-located Three Gorges Project Corporation, had begun to use. Jeremy Hance 2.646292 114.366167 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10213 2012-09-27T15:10:00Z 2013-02-05T15:06:48Z World Bank agrees to fund project related to controversial Gibe III dam Originally refusing to provide funding to Ethiopia's controversial Gibe III hydroelectric dam, the World Bank has now announced plans to fund the power lines that will carry generated electricity away from it. In their official statement they report that the lines will "connect Ethiopia’s electrical grid with Kenya’s, create power-sharing between the two countries, reduce energy costs, promote sustainable and renewable power generation [and] better protect the region’s environment...eventually benefiting 212 million people in five countries." Jeremy Hance 6.847052 37.301323 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10090 2012-09-04T18:06:00Z 2012-09-04T19:19:44Z Tiger and cubs filmed near proposed dam in Thailand A tigress and two cubs have been filmed by remote camera trap in a forest under threat by a $400 million dam in Thailand. To be built on the Mae Wong River, the dam imperils two Thai protected areas, Mae Wong National Park and Huay Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10073 2012-08-29T00:33:00Z 2012-08-29T22:32:35Z Brazil's controversial Belo Monte back on track after court decision overruled Brazil's Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered work on the controversial Belo Monte dam in the Amazon to resume, overturning a lower court order that suspended the project less than two weeks ago. Construction activities by the Norte Energia, the consortium building the dam, resumed immediately, according to the Associated Press. Rhett Butler -3.184394 -52.210694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10064 2012-08-27T14:22:00Z 2012-08-27T14:32:36Z Mekong dam spree could create regional food crisis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/laos/150/laos_2420.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fish are a hugely important protein source for many people around the world. This is no more evident than along the lower Mekong River delta where an estimated 48 million people depend directly on the river for food and livelihoods. But now a new study in <i>Global Environmental Change</i> cautions that 11 planned hydroelectric dams in the region could cut vital fish populations by 16 percent while putting more strain on water and land resources. Jeremy Hance 19.254027 101.814054 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10060 2012-08-24T17:26:00Z 2012-08-29T22:32:13Z Construction of controversial Belo Monte dam stopped Belo Monte dam developer Norte Energia, S.A. has stopped all work on the Belo Monte dam after receiving formal notification of the decision last week by the Brazilian Federal Appeals Court to suspend the project, reports International Rivers. Norte Energia said it would take 'all available measures to reverse the decision.' Rhett Butler -3.184394 -52.210694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10046 2012-08-21T17:51:00Z 2012-08-22T12:59:22Z Chinook salmon return to Olympic National Park after dam demolished In March of this year the Elwha Dam, which had stood for 99 years, was demolished in the U.S. state of Washington. Five months later, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) made their way down 70 miles of long-blocked off habitat and entered Olympic National Park. Jeremy Hance 48.146217 -123.564481 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10037 2012-08-20T16:09:00Z 2012-08-26T19:00:11Z Recommendations to save India's Western Ghats creates political stir <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/400px-Lion-tailed_macaque_canine.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A massive expert panel report on the conservation of the Western Ghats has caused a political stir in India. The report, headed by noted ecologist Madhav Gadgil, recommends that the government phase out mining projects, cancel damaging hydroelectric projects, and move toward organic agriculture in ecologically-sensitive sections of the Ghats. The report, which was leaked after the government refused to release it, has yet to be implemented. Recently dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Western Ghats is one of India's largest wildernesses and home to thousands of species, many found no-where else. Jeremy Hance 14.785505 74.551391 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10032 2012-08-19T16:25:00Z 2012-08-19T19:42:06Z New bird discovered in Colombia imperiled by hydroelectric project In a little-known dry forest in Colombia, scientists have discovered a new species of bird: the Antioquia wren (Thryophilus sernai). First seen in 2010, scientists photographed the new wren and recorded its vocalizations, from which they determined that the wren was brand new to science, according to a new paper in Auk. Jeremy Hance 7.168685 -75.751963 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10021 2012-08-15T19:53:00Z 2012-08-29T22:33:06Z Belo Monte mega-dam halted again by high Brazilian court, appeal likely but difficult <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/12/0323belomonte150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A high federal court in Brazil has ruled that work on the Belo Monte dam in the Brazilian Amazon be immediately suspended. Finding that the government failed to properly consult indigenous people on the dam, the ruling is the latest in innumerable twists and turns regarding the massive dam, which was first conceived in the 1970s, and has been widely criticized for its impact on tribal groups in the region and the Amazon environment. In addition the Regional Federal Tribunal (TRF1) found that Brazil's Environmental Impact Assessment was flawed since it was conducted after work on the dam had already begun. Jeremy Hance -3.184394 -52.210694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9917 2012-07-26T15:58:00Z 2012-08-16T14:10:29Z Indigenous tribes hold 3 engineers hostage over Belo Monte dam Three engineers are being held hostage by the Juruna and Arara indigenous tribes as tensions rise over the on-going construction of the Belo Monte dam in Brazil, reports the Indigenous rights NGO Amazon Watch. The company building the dam, Norte Energia, has confirmed that three of its employees were being held against their will. Tribal groups in the region say the massive dam will upend their way of life, and that construction is already making travel along the Xingu river difficult. Jeremy Hance -3.184394 -52.210694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9840 2012-07-15T00:17:00Z 2012-07-24T16:56:12Z Controversial Xayaburi dam in Laos officially suspended Work on the controversial Xayaburi dam in the People's Democratic Republic of Lao has been suspended, reports Reuters. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9828 2012-07-12T14:28:00Z 2012-07-12T14:45:00Z Indigenous tribes end occupation of Belo Monte After occupying the construction site of the massive Belo Monte dam for 21 days, some 300 indigenous people have left and gone home. The representatives from nine Amazonian tribes abandoned their occupation after two days of meeting with the dam's builder, the Norte Energia consortium. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9801 2012-07-10T00:06:00Z 2012-07-10T00:15:01Z Indigenous leaders demand suspension of Belo Monte dam Indigenous leaders from six Amazon tribes have asked the Brazilian government to immediately suspend the installation license for the controversial Belo Monte dam, reports <i>Amazon Watch</i>, an activist group that is campaigning against the project. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9772 2012-07-03T17:46:00Z 2012-07-10T00:26:31Z Indigenous tribes occupy Belo Monte dam for over 10 days As of Tuesday, the occupation of Belo Monte dam by indigenous tribes entered its 13th day. Indigenous people, who have fought the planned Brazilian dam for decades, argue that the massive hydroelectric project on the Xingu River will devastate their way of life. According to a statement from the tribes, 17 indigenous villages from 13 ethnic groups are now represented at the occupation, which has successfully scuttled some work on the dam. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9729 2012-06-25T20:34:00Z 2012-08-05T13:18:51Z Dams are 'centerpiece of greenwashing' in the Amazon Brazil's ambitious plans to build 30 dams in the Amazon basin could trump the country's efforts to protect the world's largest rainforest, said a leading Amazon scientist speaking at the annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) in Bonito, Brazil. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9703 2012-06-20T00:36:00Z 2012-06-20T12:30:59Z Photo: Human canvas on Rio beach protests Brazil's dam-building spree in the Amazon Nearly 1500 people formed a human banner on a beach in Rio de Janeiro today to protest plans to build dozens of dams in the Amazon basin, reports Amazon Watch, an NGO campaigning against Brazil's controversial Belo Monte dam. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9694 2012-06-19T17:13:00Z 2012-06-19T17:30:29Z Sarawak tribe calls on German company to walk away from controversial dam Indigenous people from the Malaysian state of Sarawak have sent a letter to the German company, Fichtner GmbH & Co. KG, demanding that the consulting group halt all activities related to the hugely-controversial Baram dam, reports the NGO Bruno Manser Fund. Critics of the dam and it parent project known as the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) initiative, say the hydroelectric dam will displace 20,000 people and flood 40,000 hectares of primary rainforest. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9682 2012-06-16T01:36:00Z 2012-06-16T02:38:07Z Protesters dig canal through Belo Monte dam in Brazil (Photos) In an symbolic protest of the giant Belo Monte Dam, Friday morning some 300 locals dug a channel in an earthen dam that blocks a portion of the Xingu River and serves as the first step of the controversial hydroelectric project, reports Amazon Watch. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9574 2012-05-27T21:33:00Z 2012-05-27T22:10:39Z Tropical dams are a false solution to climate change Tropical dams emit considerably more greenhouse gas emissions than their temperate counterparts yet are being treated as a solution to climate change, warns a report published in <i>Nature Climate Change</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9544 2012-05-21T16:08:00Z 2012-05-22T03:15:51Z Charting a new environmental course in China <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/tnc.china.thumb.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) works in more than 30 countries and has projects in all 50 of the United States. The Conservancy has over one million members, and has protected more than 119 million acres of wild-lands and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide. TNC has taken an active interest in China, the world's most populated nation, and in many important ways, a critical center of global development. The following is an interview with multiple directors of The Nature Conservancy's China Program. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9475 2012-05-03T17:19:00Z 2012-12-02T22:30:15Z Exploring Asia's lost world <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/mccann.waterdragon.P1070954.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Abandoned by NGOs and the World Bank, carved out for rubber plantations and mining by the Cambodian government, spiraling into a chaos of poaching and illegal logging, and full of endangered species and never-explored places, Virachey National Park may be the world's greatest park that has been written off by the international community. But a new book by explorer and PhD student, Greg McCann, hopes to change that. Entitled Called Away by a Mountain Spirit: Journey to the Green Corridor, the book highlights expeditions by McCann into parts of Virachey that have rarely been seen by outsiders and have never been explored scientifically, including rare grasslands that once housed herds of Asian elephants, guar, and Sambar deer, before poachers drove them into hiding, and faraway mountains with rumors of tigers and mainland Javan rhinos. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9460 2012-05-01T14:43:00Z 2012-05-01T14:53:04Z Over 30 Yangtze porpoises found dead in China as population nears extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/800px-Neophocaena_phocaenoides_-Miyajima_Aquarium_-Japan-8a.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Six years after the Yangtze river dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer), or baiji, was declared "functionally extinct" by scientists, another marine mammal appears on the edge of extinction in China's hugely degraded Yangtze River. In less than two months, 32 Yangtze finless porpoises (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis), a subspecies of the finless porpoise, have been dead found in Dongting and Poyang Lakes in the Yangtze, reports the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9403 2012-04-18T21:15:00Z 2012-04-18T21:35:56Z Will mega-dams destroy the Amazon? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/12/0418belomonte150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than 150 new dams planned across the Amazon basin could significantly disrupt the ecological connectivity of the Amazon River to the Andes with substantial impacts for fish populations, nutrient cycling, and the health of Earth's largest rainforest, warns a comprehensive study published in the journal <i>PLoS ONE</i>. Scouring public data and submitting information requests to governments, researchers Matt Finer of Save America’s Forests and Clinton Jenkins of North Carolina State University documented plans for new dams in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9411 2012-04-18T19:21:00Z 2012-04-18T20:48:40Z Pictures: Destruction of the Amazon's Xingu River begins for Belo Monte Dam <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/12/0418belomonte150a.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Xingu River will never be the same. Construction of Belo Monte Dam has begun in the Brazilian Amazon, as shown by these photos taken by Greenpeace, some of the first images of the hugely controversial project. Indigenous groups have opposed the dam vigorously for decades, fearing that it will upend their way of life. Environmentalists warn that the impacts of the dam&#8212;deforestation, methane emissions, and an irreparable changes to the Xingu River's ecosystem&#8212;far outweigh any benefits. The dam, which would be the world's third largest, is expected to displace 16,000 people according to the government, though some NGOs put the number at 40,000. The dam will flood over 40,000 hectares of pristine rainforest, an area nearly seven times the size of Manhattan. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9344 2012-04-02T15:35:00Z 2012-04-02T16:13:50Z Judge suspends Brazilian dam that would flood sacred waterfalls A federal judge has suspended the construction of a 1,820 megawatt dam on the Teles Pires River in the Amazon. The judge found that indigenous communities were not properly consulted about the dam, which would flood a sacred site, known as the Seven Waterfalls, as well as imperil the livelihoods of indigenous fishermen. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9324 2012-03-28T16:46:00Z 2012-04-04T12:05:33Z Turkey's rich biodiversity at risk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/turkey.cagan.raptor.IMG_1449.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Turkey: the splendor of the Hagia Sophia, the ruins of Ephesus, and the bizarre caves of the Cappadocia. For foreign travelers, Turkey is a nation of cultural, religious, and historic wonders: a place where cultures have met, clashed, and co-created. However, Turkey has another wealth that is far less known: biodiversity. Of the globe's 34 biodiversity hotspots, Turkey is almost entirely covered by three: the Caucasus, the Irano-Anatolian, and the Mediterranean. Despite its wild wealth, conservation is not a priority in Turkey and recent papers in Science and Biological Conservation warn that the current development plans in the country, which rarely take the environment into account, are imperiling its species and ecosystems. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9304 2012-03-23T16:40:00Z 2012-03-23T17:31:05Z Belo Monte Dam: A spearhead for Brazil’s dam-building attack on the Amazon? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/12/0323belomonte150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Brazil’s Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River is now under construction despite its many controversies. The Brazilian government has launched an unprecedented drive to dam the Amazon’s tributaries, and Belo Monte is the spearhead for its efforts. Brazil’s 2011-2020 energy-expansion plan calls for building 48 additional large dams, of which 30 would be in the country’s Legal Amazon region1. Building 30 dams in 10 years means an average rate of one dam every four months in Brazilian Amazonia through 2020. Of course, the clock doesn’t stop in 2020, and the total number of planned dams in Brazilian Amazonia exceeds 60. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9215 2012-03-07T23:31:00Z 2012-03-07T23:44:47Z International Labor Organization raps Brazil over monster dam The UN's International Labor Organization (ILO) has released a report stating that the Brazilian government violated the rights of indigenous people by moving forward on the massive Belo Monte dam without consulting indigenous communities. The report follows a request last year by the The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for the Brazilian government to suspend the dam, which is currently being constructed on the Xingu River in the Amazon. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9126 2012-02-17T19:02:00Z 2012-02-17T19:34:38Z Brazil's plan to cut protected areas for dams faces constitutional challenge Federal public prosecutors in Brazil have challenged a plan to strip protected status from 86,288 hectares of land to make way for five new dams, reports International Rivers. The challenge is set to be heard by Brazil's Supreme Court. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9113 2012-02-15T02:26:00Z 2012-02-15T02:27:48Z Activists form network to fight Sarawak dam-building spree Last October indigenous groups, local people, and domestic NGOs formed the Save Sarawak's Rivers Network to fight the planned construction of a dozen dams in the Malaysian state on the island of Borneo. The coalition opposes the dam-building plans, known as the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) initiative, due to its impacts on indigenous and river communities, the destruction of pristine rainforest, and the degradation of the state's rivers. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9034 2012-01-31T16:18:00Z 2012-01-31T16:18:43Z Brazilian mining company connected to Belo Monte dam voted worst corporation The world's second largest mining company, Vale, has been given the dubious honor of being voted the world's most awful corporation in terms of human rights abuses and environmental destruction by the Public Eye Awards. Vale received over 25,000 votes online, likely prompted in part by its stake in the hugely controversial Brazilian mega-dam, Belo Monte, which is being constructed on the Xingu River. An expert panel gave a second award to British bank Barclay's for speculation on food prices, which the experts stated was worsening hunger worldwide. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8982 2012-01-19T19:58:00Z 2012-01-19T19:58:41Z Brazil begins preliminary damming of Xingu River as protests continue Damming of the Xingu River has begun in Brazil to make way for the eventual construction of the hugely controversial, Belo Monte dam. The Norte Energia (NESA) consortium has begun building coffer dams across the Xingu, which will dry out parts of the river before permanent damming, reports the NGO International Rivers. Indigenous tribes, who have long opposed the dam plans on their ancestral river, conducted a peaceful protest that interrupted construction for a couple hours. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8889 2011-12-22T16:31:00Z 2011-12-22T17:42:42Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2011 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Sunny_Skies_over_the_Arctic_in_Late_June_2010.NASA.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Many of 2011's most dramatic stories on environmental issues came from people taking to the streets. With governments and corporations slow to tackle massive environmental problems, people have begun to assert themselves. Victories were seen on four continents: in Bolivia a draconian response to protestors embarrassed the government, causing them to drop plans to build a road through Tipnis, an indigenous Amazonian reserve; in Myanmar, a nation not known for bowing to public demands, large protests pushed the government to cancel a massive Chinese hydroelectric project; in Borneo a three-year struggle to stop the construction of a coal plant on the coast of the Coral Triangle ended in victory for activists; in Britain plans to privatize forests created such a public outcry that the government not only pulled back but also apologized; and in the U.S. civil disobedience and massive marches pressured the Obama Administration to delay a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring tar sands from Canada to a global market. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8753 2011-11-28T15:10:00Z 2011-11-28T15:11:37Z Featured video: are hydroelectric dams a solution to climate change? A new video from NGOs International Rivers and Friends of the Earth International argues that a spree of dam building in the tropics is a false solution to the climate crisis. The video has been released to coincide with the UN's 17th Climate Summit now beginning in Durban, South Africa. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8729 2011-11-23T00:35:00Z 2011-11-29T07:05:22Z Brazilian dam-builder quits Peru project after indigenous protest A large Brazilian construction company has pulled out of a Peruvian dam project citing opposition from indigenous communities, reports International Rivers. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8670 2011-11-09T23:59:00Z 2011-11-10T01:31:48Z Indigenous do not have right to free, prior and informed consultation on Amazon dam, rules Brazilian court Indigenous communities do not have the right to free, prior and informed consultation on the Belo Monte dam because its infrastructure and reservoirs would not be physically located on tribal lands, ruled a Brazilian court. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8645 2011-11-06T20:05:00Z 2011-11-06T20:09:10Z The dam-maker: China involved in 289 dam projects worldwide China is currently involved in 289 hydroelectric projects worldwide, as reported by International Rivers. Most of the dams are built for hydropower, and over half are considered 'large' projects. The list includes completed dams, one currently under construction, and ones in initial planning stages. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8637 2011-11-02T19:58:00Z 2011-11-03T15:46:25Z Picture of the day: Mekong sunrise The Mekong River, the world's 10th largest, flows through six countries in East Asia: China, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8622 2011-11-01T19:14:00Z 2011-11-02T16:34:37Z Hydroelectric dam still a greenhouse gas source after 10 years Hydroelectric power is often promoted as green energy, yet dams, especially in the tropics, can be significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions. When built, reservoirs trap vegetation, which, as it rots, emits both methane and carbon into the atmosphere. A new study in Science of the Total Environment found that a dam in Lao PDR remained a significant source of greenhouse gas emission even a decade after construction. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8608 2011-10-27T20:48:00Z 2011-10-27T21:32:08Z Occupy Belo Monte: indigenous stage "permanent" protest against Amazon dam in Brazil Hundreds of people are participating in a protest against the controversial Belo Monte dam in Altamira, Brazil, reports <i>Amazon Watch</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8607 2011-10-27T18:02:00Z 2011-10-27T18:50:50Z Brazil boycotts OAS meeting after sharp human rights rebuke over giant Amazon dam Brazil refused to attend a hearing convened by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS) over the the controversial Belo Monte dam, reports Amazon Watch, a group campaigning against the hydroelectric project. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8561 2011-10-19T01:45:00Z 2011-10-19T01:47:15Z Belo Monte dam license 'illegal' rules Brazilian federal judge The environmental license for the controversial Belo Monte dam violates the constitutional rights of indigenous communities and is therefore illegal, ruled a federal judge in Brazil on Monday. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8560 2011-10-19T01:12:00Z 2011-10-19T01:22:19Z Brazil plans $120 billion in infrastructure investments in the Amazon by 2020 Brazil's push to expand infrastructure in the Amazon region will require at least 212 Brazilian reals ($120 billion) in public and private sector investment by 2020, reports <i>Folha de Sao Paulo</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8497 2011-10-04T19:32:00Z 2011-10-04T19:32:17Z Public opposition pushes Myanmar to suspend giant Chinese dam Large-scale opposition has pushed the Myanmar government to suspend construction of a massive Chinese dam. Being built on the confluence of the Mayhka amd Malihka rivers at the head of Irrawaddy River, the Myitsone Dam would have created a reservoir the size of Singapore and has already pushed 12,000 people off their land. China Power Investment Corporation, which is building the dam, has fired back at the Myanmar government saying their decision will lead to 'a series of legal issue'. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8483 2011-09-29T18:51:00Z 2011-09-29T19:35:03Z Judge: work must halt on monster dam, Belo Monte The decades-long fight over Brazilian megadam, the Belo Monte, has taken another U-turn after a judge ordered work to stop immediately since the dam would devastate vital fishing grounds for local people. In June the Brazilian government gave a go-ahead to the $11-17 billion dam, despite large-scale opposition from indigenous groups along the Xingu River and international outcry, including a petition signed by 600,000 people. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8428 2011-09-26T19:13:00Z 2011-09-26T19:19:54Z Dam puts wild coffee species at risk of extinction Coffee may be one of the world's most popular hot (and cold) drinks, however few coffee drinkers may know that there are dozens of different coffee species in the world and some are even endangered. Only discovered in 2004, Kihansi coffee (Coffea kihansiensis), makes its home in the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania. A new study in mongabay.com's open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science finds that the Kihansi coffee is nearing extinction due in part to a hydroelectric dam built upstream that has severely impacted the Kihansi River. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8423 2011-09-22T17:44:00Z 2011-09-22T17:57:35Z Tribal leader to the UN: Indigenous peoples of the Amazon are in danger Amazonian indigenous peoples and their traditional territories are living under constant threat. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8378 2011-09-09T20:07:00Z 2011-09-09T20:08:04Z Malaysian court blocks rainforest tribes' fight against mega-dam in Borneo Indigenous tribes in Borneo suffered a stinging defeat Thursday after Sarawak's highest court ruled against them in 12-year-long legal battle. Tribal groups had challenged the Malaysian state government for seizing indigenous lands in order to build a massive hydroelectric power plant, dubbed the Bakun dam, but the three-person top court found unanimously against the tribes. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8365 2011-09-06T13:51:00Z 2011-09-06T13:54:12Z Germany proves the promise of renewable energy: hits 20 percent renewables As many people in the United States question whether renewable energy is a viable alternative to fossil fuels, Germany now derives 20.8 percent of its electricity from renewable sources&#8212;a 15 percent increase since 2000, reports Der Spiegel. In contrast, the United States generates only 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, 6 percent of which comes from hydroelectric power, which some environmentalists see as unacceptably damaging. Jeremy Hance