Gender-Differentiated Impacts of the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam on Downstream Fishers in the Brazilian Amazon


Castro-Diaz, Laura, Maria Claudia Lopez, and Emilio Moran. 2018. “Gender-Differentiated Impacts of the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam on Downstream Fishers in the Brazilian Amazon.” Human Ecology 46 (3): 411–22.

Authors: Laura Castro-Diaz, Maria Claudia Lopez, Emilio Moran


The Belo Monte Hydroelectric dam on the Xingu River in the Brazilian Amazon will be the third largest dam in the world in power generating capacity (11 GW). Its construction has brought negative socioeconomic and environmental impacts for local fishers that far outweigh the benefits. We used a qualitative case study approach to explore perceptions among fishers in a community downstream from the dam of the impact of Belo Monte on their livelihoods and their fisheries. We found that fishers, who, although they were not displaced were neither consulted nor compensated, have been severely impacted by the dam, and that fishermen and fisherwomen are differentially affected. More attention needs to be given to downstream communities and the impacts they experience.

Keywords: hydroelectric dams, socio-ecological impacts, downstream communities, gender, Amazon fishers, Xingu River, Brazil

Topics: Development, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Brazil

Year: 2018

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