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The Impact of Hydroelectric Development on the Amazonian Environment: With Particular Reference to the Tucurui Project

Chris Barrow
Journal of Biogeography
Vol. 15, No. 1, Biogeography and Development in the Humid Tropics (Jan., 1988), pp. 67-78
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2845047
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2845047
Page Count: 12
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The Impact of Hydroelectric Development on the Amazonian Environment: With Particular Reference to the Tucurui Project
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Abstract

Brazil has begun to exploit the hydroelectric potential of Amazonia. The Tucurui Dam is the first of many large hydroelectric projects planned for Amazonian Brazil to be completed. Without doubt, the environmental impact assessment studies carried out at Tucurui have great value for planning future Amazonian (and other humid tropical) hydroelectric projects. A review of information on the environmental impacts of the Tucurui Project is presented together with observations made by the author during field visits to the Tocantins Basin and Belem region in 1981, 1983 and 1985. It is concluded that there is a need for more study of impacts downstream of Tucurui, also for some assessment of the effects of increasing the number of turbines operating there, and for an examination of why some predicted difficulties have not in practice been avoided. An attempt is made to gather together the available information on other hydroelectric projects under construction or proposed for construction in Amazonian Brazil.

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