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The Belo Monte Dam and a Call for Clean Renewable Energy in Brazil -Atossa Soltani and Caroline Bennett
The controversial Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River has led to serious debate about Brazil’s energy matrix. There is mounting evidence that Brazil does not need the ecologically and financially costly Belo Monte Dam, nor the other 60 large dams slated for the Brazilian Amazon over the next 20 years. Brazil could meet its power needs through less harmful energy alternatives and energy efficiency. The Brazilian government is predicting a business as usual scenario of doubling of its energy demand by 2020 to sustain current rates of economic growth. With the country hosting the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Earth Summit in June 2012, the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, this initiative is timelier than ever.
Atossa Soltani is Founder of Amazon Watch. Since 1991, Soltani has been leading international campaigns in defense of the world’s tropical rainforests. Before Amazon Watch, she directed campaigns at the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) to end logging in endangered ecosystems. Soltani began her environmental career in the late 1980’s as Conservation Director for the City of Santa Monica, CA.
Prior to diving into the organizational side of communications, Caroline Bennett worked as an Ecuador based photographer and multimedia journalist telling award-winning stories that shed light on social justice, cultural and environmental conservation, and the human condition. She brings an arsenal of multimedia munitions, commitment to visual storytelling and deep passion for the forests to the mission to defend the Amazon.