Start Date

10-8-2010 3:30 PM

End Date

10-8-2010 5:00 PM

Description

In addition to my work coordinating the SIT study abroad program Amazon Resource Management and Human Ecology since 1998, I pursue personal interests in the relation of modern development projects and the social environmental conditions faced by local populations of the region. In 2005, I evaluated the environmental licensing and implementation of Alcoa´s (Aluminum Company of America) mine operation in Juruti, western Pará State, which started operation in 2009. I was invited by the communities impacted and the different actors involved to participate in the team in charge of developing methodologies to valuate the social-environmental externalities faced by the communities, and I am now involved in the team that will apply those methodologies to define the monetary value of those externalities and ways to compensate them. This negotiation process represents a new approach on how to consider socio-environmental consequences of mining projects in the Amazon and begins an important precedent in the current historical context of the region. It marks a new form of discussion of historical struggles, where more organized and active communities are leaving their social invisibility and appropriating themselves of the discussion on how they should be treated. The relevance of such precedent is increasing in the current scenarios for the region. The size and number of development projects as Alcoa are expected to grow in the future years following governmental plans to accelerate economical growth. The state of Pará in the Eastern Amazon has one of the world’s largest mining areas. In addition to the largest mines of iron (Carajás) and aluminum (Trombetas), there are multiple projects involving different minerals currently being implemented and expected to operate in the near future. The growth of the mining sector is increasing the demand for energy, creating a dangerous synergy. Pará that already has the fourth largest hydroelectric dam in the world (Tucurui) and has recently licensed the construction of a larger one (Belo Monte) is also proposing the construction of another two dams (Marabá and Itaituba) to supply mineral processing industries. With all those projects happening at the same time, it becomes urgent to have an at large analysis of their synergy and interaction upon the region and its population; an analysis that goes beyond the superficial macro-economic perspective and consider the uprising social and environmental demands.

 
Aug 10th, 3:30 PM Aug 10th, 5:00 PM

Large Mining Projects in the Amazon

In addition to my work coordinating the SIT study abroad program Amazon Resource Management and Human Ecology since 1998, I pursue personal interests in the relation of modern development projects and the social environmental conditions faced by local populations of the region. In 2005, I evaluated the environmental licensing and implementation of Alcoa´s (Aluminum Company of America) mine operation in Juruti, western Pará State, which started operation in 2009. I was invited by the communities impacted and the different actors involved to participate in the team in charge of developing methodologies to valuate the social-environmental externalities faced by the communities, and I am now involved in the team that will apply those methodologies to define the monetary value of those externalities and ways to compensate them. This negotiation process represents a new approach on how to consider socio-environmental consequences of mining projects in the Amazon and begins an important precedent in the current historical context of the region. It marks a new form of discussion of historical struggles, where more organized and active communities are leaving their social invisibility and appropriating themselves of the discussion on how they should be treated. The relevance of such precedent is increasing in the current scenarios for the region. The size and number of development projects as Alcoa are expected to grow in the future years following governmental plans to accelerate economical growth. The state of Pará in the Eastern Amazon has one of the world’s largest mining areas. In addition to the largest mines of iron (Carajás) and aluminum (Trombetas), there are multiple projects involving different minerals currently being implemented and expected to operate in the near future. The growth of the mining sector is increasing the demand for energy, creating a dangerous synergy. Pará that already has the fourth largest hydroelectric dam in the world (Tucurui) and has recently licensed the construction of a larger one (Belo Monte) is also proposing the construction of another two dams (Marabá and Itaituba) to supply mineral processing industries. With all those projects happening at the same time, it becomes urgent to have an at large analysis of their synergy and interaction upon the region and its population; an analysis that goes beyond the superficial macro-economic perspective and consider the uprising social and environmental demands.