Measuring the Social and Environmental Impact of the UHE Belo Monte Dam Complex in Pará, Brazil

Director: Leah VanWey
Collaborator: Andrew Foster
Research Theme: Development, Institutions and Demographic Change
Location: Federative Republic of Brazil
Funding: Brown Seed Funding

In this interdisciplinary and collaborative project, VanWey coordinates a team that includes Andrew Foster and other colleagues from Brown, along with researchers from the Woods Hole Research Center, and Brazilian colleagues from the University of Campinas and the University of São Paulo.  The team will be evaluating the state of the Xingu River near Altamira, Pará, Brazil, before construction begins on what will be the world’s third largest hydroelectric project.  Research will evaluate the social and biological impacts of the new dam complex, which has the potential to generate power to speed development in the whole region, but also to displace tens of thousands of people from flooded areas, and create irreversible environmental impacts in one of the most biodiverse river systems in the world.