Friday, April 2, 2010

James Cameron, in real life, fights to save indigenous groups from massive dam construction in Brazil

By Jeremy Hance, www.mongabay.com
April 01, 2010

After creating a hugely successful science-fiction film about a mega-corporation destroying the indigenous culture of another planet, James Cameron has become a surprisingly noteworthy voice on environmental issues, especially those dealing with the very non-fantastical situation of indigenous cultures fighting exploitation.

This week Cameron traveled to Brazil for a three-day visit to the Big Bend (Volta Grande) region of the Xingu River to see the people and rainforests that would be affected by the construction of the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam. Long-condemned by environmentalists and indigenous-rights groups, the dam would destroy 500 square kilometers of pristine rainforest and force the relocation of some 12,000 people.

"For people living on the banks of the river, as they have for thousands of years, the damage done (by the dam) would destroy their way of life," Cameron said in a press conference following his trip, according to Agencia EFE. He asked the Lula Administration of Brazil to reconsider their decision to build the dam.

"There are always other solutions when good leaders play their part to solve a problem," added Cameron.

Earlier at a Forum in Manuas, Cameron pointed to a WWF Brazil study: "If Brazil were to invest a fraction of the cost of the dam in energy efficiency it could generate 14 times the energy of the Belo Monte Dam and have electricity savings of up to US$19 billion."

During his trip, Cameron met with several representatives of indigenous groups including the Juruna, Xipaia, Xikrin Kayap√≥. …

James Cameron, in real life, fights to save indigenous groups from massive dam construction in Brazil

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