Ibama confirms delay on Belo Monte’s compensations

  The Brazilian Public Institute of Environment and Natural Renewable Resources – IBAMA released quietly last week its new report. This report evaluates the compliance of the compensation works in […]


The Brazilian Public Institute of Environment and Natural Renewable Resources – IBAMA released quietly last week its new report. This report evaluates the compliance of the compensation works in order to minimize the impacts of the Belo Monte project which is owned by Norte Energia. According to the agency, from the 23 items, only three have been completed, while seven were not. The remaining items are in intermediate categories such as “partially met”, “in service” or not evaluable. 

Among the conditions not accomplished, are important actions as the implementation of sanitation in the affected municipalities and implementation of health and education equipment. For example, the system of water supply and construction of 261 km of sewerage network in Altamira, the city most affected, should have been started in July 2011, but has not even started. 

In addition, the agency highlights the significant delay to start the implementation of urban drainage system in Altamira. “The works should have started in March 2012 and, to date, the Norte Energia is still in the planning phase of the project,” according to the report. 

Other conditions not accomplished concern the treatment for those affected by the dam. The company failed to perform a socioeconomic registration and release of the affected population; have not guaranteed the free access to this register and the contract prices of the affected properties and have not given full freedom of choice for the population regarding the types of compensation stipulated in the Basic Environmental Plan (PBA) of the work.

According to IBAMA, the non-fulfillment of the conditions/compensations can derail the granting of the Operating License (LO), which authorizes the filling of the reservoir at the time desired by the Norte Energia. If these license late, the company’s goal, triggering the first of 24 turbines in February 2015 may be compromised. So far, 30% of the Belo Monte construction have been completed.

IBAMA compares the difference in the speed of the construction of the dam and the fulfillment of the compensations conditions: “it is clear the gap between the construction of the Belo Monte and the implementation of the compensation measures, a fact compounded by continuous changes in the management of Norte Energia. It is evident that such a gap may be reflected in the delay in issuing the operating license for the project, and the subsequent filling of the reservoirs” according to IBAMA’s document.

“This delay shows what the real interest is in building Belo Monte, which is not, as has been said, to bring development to the region, but rather, to profit from the production of this energy, without questioning who it is serving,” says Antônio Claret member of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) in the region.

IBAMA analyzed the 3rd report of the Norte Energia to monitor the PBA, delivered in January this year. In a statement to the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, the Norte Energia said that “Since the company delivered the report on January 30, 2013, several actions have been performed in order to meet the demands of IBAMA.”



Man collects recyclables at the landfill in Altamira. PHOTO: Lalo de Almeida

Ibama also pointed out failures in the compensation for affected people in rural areas, with price differences, and which is driving the process of urban resettlement in Altamira. Regarding the resettlement, IBAMA warned that “the deadline period to complete the execution of the resettlement is now extremely short in relation to the date planned for the emission of the Operating License for the power house supplement, planned for end of 2014. Thus, in order to maintain the schedule issued by the operating license as in the PBA, and also to attend the affected population within minimal participatory premises and social consensus no activity of this project may be delayed anymore”.

Areas bought by the company for resettlement, on the outskirts of Altamira, only one is with the schedule in order to implement the project. In another of them, next to the landfill, Norte Energia accuses the municipality of Altamira to continue dumping waste into the area in irregularly.

The IBAMA’s report also criticizes the way the company is behaving regarding the housing offered to the victims – made ??of concrete and in single size of 63 m². The model houses were ready for visitation only in June, after the publication of the report. “This situation, coupled with the uncertainty of the areas for resettlement, the non-disclosure of the prices, standard of the size of homes in 63m ² (unlike the three different sizes advertised on the companies newsletter), lack of information on the resettlement process, and particularly unclear communication for the population, is creating instability and dissatisfaction among the affected population.” 

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| Publicado 21/12/2023 por Coletivo de Comunicação MAB PI

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