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Belo Monte and the livelihoods of local communities

a research on the indirect impacts of the hydroelectric dam Belo Monte on the income, alimentation, and environment of fishermen families and Indigenous communities of the Middle region of the Xingu River

Belo Monte and the livelihoods of local communities

a research on the indirect impacts of the hydroelectric dam Belo Monte on the income, alimentation, and environment of fishermen families and Indigenous communities of the Middle region of the Xingu River

Samenvatting

With the construction of a hydroelectric dam, especially in a fragile region like the Amazon rainforest, many aspects of the environment are affected. (Santos, Barbosa, & Hernandez, 2009) People living in the Amazon, in the vicinity of these construction site, are often very dependent on natural resources, and in particular the river in which this dam is being constructed. This research focusses on the impact of the construction of the hydroelectric dam complex Belo Monte in the Xingu River, on the income, alimentation and environment of local fishermen families and indigenous communities of the Middle Xingu region (figure 2.1). The research question of this research is: “What are the consequences of the changes caused by the hydroelectric dam Belo Monte for the income, diet, and environment of the fishermen families in the middle Xingu River and the indigenous communities living along the Middle Xingu River?” This question was answered by answering the following sub questions: - To what extend did hydroelectric dam complex Belo Monte affect the sources of income and alimentation of the two target groups until now? - What are the alternatives of the two target groups, for adapting to the changes in the sources of income and alimentation? - What are the implications for the alimentation and income of the two target groups in the different alternatives, defined in sub question two? - What are the implications for the environment of the indigenous communities when the exploitation of these alternatives is intensified? The methods applied include interviews with fishermen, conducted in Altamira, and interviews conducted with the indigenous people of Muratu. The income of both groups has been affected negatively until May 2014. This is caused by the negative influences of the dam on fishing, hunting, and agriculture. The indigenous people of the Middle Xingu region are now more dependent on jobs, rather than self-sustaining. The alimentation of both groups changed as well. Both depend more on the city for their alimentation in May 2014, than they did before the construction of the dam. The indigenous communities will practice agriculture, hunt more, collect more NTFPs and have jobs, in order to adapt to the loss of income from (ornamental) fishing. They will be more dependent on outside sources for their income and alimentation. The health value of their alimentation will not be lower than it currently is, but it will be different from their traditional alimentation. The fishermen families do not know what their future sources of income and alimentation will be. The communication toward them about their options is bad; they do not know if it is possible to continue fishing or not. The health value of the diet of the fishermen families of the Middle Xingu will be lower. Their alimentation will consist of less fish, which is not compensated with other products. The environment of the indigenous communities will be affected by their actions, conducted to adapt to the changes. The increased hunting pressure will cause the number of animals of many hunted species to decrease. This causes a general decline in biodiversity in the fragments of the indigenous areas.

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OrganisatieVan Hall Larenstein
AfdelingBos- en Natuurbeheer
PartnersHogeschool Van Hall Larenstein
Jaar2014
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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