Author: Henkjan Laats
The dilemma in the Amazon region refers to the option of making a profit (at an accelerated rate) from the indiscriminate use of natural resources in the Amazon versus the option of sustainable management, while respecting the rights of native peoples and preserving biodiversity in the region. The conflicts regarding the construction of mega-hydro dams that make up the “Madera River Complex” reflect the many different opinions and world views among the local people, civil society organizations, companies and governments about the future of the Amazon region. As in other conflicts regarding the building of megainfrastructure projects in the Amazon region, no real dialogue has taken place between the parties involved. In Brazil representatives of civil society made unsuccessful attempts to prevent the construction of the San Antonio and Jirao
hydro dams. In Bolivia, despite the questioning of the local people and social organizations, the government is going ahead with its plans to build the Cachuela Esperanza hydro dam.