Rock star Sting has used his latest visit to Brazil to urge the government there to listen to the concerns of indigenous peoples over a proposed new hydro-electric dam in the Amazon.
He was speaking at a press conference in Sao Paulo where he was reunited with indigenous leader Raoni Metyktire who joined him in a similar campaign 20 years ago which attracted worldwide attention.
Indigenous tribes in the Amazon say the Belo Monte project, which would be the third largest hydro-electric dam in the world, poses a threat to their way of life. …
It proved to be an attention-grabbing combination of a rock star standing alongside the striking figure of an indigenous leader whose lower lip is expanded several centimetres by a traditional plate, a trademark of his tribe.
With renewed international attention on the cause of protecting the Amazon, the original hydro-electric project was abandoned, but now the Brazilian government is proposing a new scheme which they say is more environmentally friendly.
Critics have insisted the Belo Monte dam would still flood large areas of rainforest, have a major impact on fish stocks and undermine the way of life of thousands of indigenous people.
Speaking to the BBC, Sting said while the decision was for Brazilians alone, the debate had an impact far beyond South America’s largest country.
“This is the heart of the Amazon and what happens here affects the whole world,” he said.
“This was my intuition but now the science is backing that up, I mean substantial science is saying this is true.
“We need to save this forest.