Energy and ecology priorities collide on Beni River


Contradictions between the Bolivian government’s pro-environmental discourse and its desire to boost energy output loom large along the Cachuela Esperanza rapids on the Beni River, 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the Brazilian border. The rapids are in a region of dense tropical rainforest, grasslands and farms that ranks among the country’s most biodiverse, with its hundreds of species of fish and birds. In this corner of the western Amazon, numerous indigenous tribes live from hunting, fishing and the collection of Brazil nuts. But the region also offers vast hydroelectric potential that Bolivia, despite intense concern about environmental impacts, hopes to tap for internal consumption as well as for power sales to Brazil and perhaps other neighboring countries. Now, plans for a US$2 billion... [Log in to read more]

Would you like to Subscribe?