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Current International Update

International developments reported in the current issue of ELR's Weekly Update appear below. For previously reported international news, please use the filter function on the left. For older material reported between 2000 and 2010, visit the Weekly Update Archives.

Volume 46, Issue 3

BRAZILIAN JUDGE SUSPENDS DAM OPERATING LICENSE UNTIL COMMITMENTS TO INDIGENOUS GROUPS ARE MET

Country: Brazil

Construction of the third largest dam in the world, Brazil's Belo Monte dam, is complete but a judge suspended its operating license. Judge Maria Carolina Valente de Carmo ruled that the dam must fulfill obligations that it made in 2010 to the region’s indigenous groups before the dam can begin generating electricity. The dam is located on the Xingu River in the Amazon and was just weeks away from beginning operation.

INDONESIAN CITIZENS SUE ACEH GOVERNMENT TO SAVE RAINFOREST ECOSYSTEM

Country: Indonesia

A 2013 spatial plan exposed Sumatra’s Leuser Ecosystem to industrial development by the Aceh Government. Nine Aceh citizens filed a class action lawsuit last week against the plan, calling it illegal and requesting that Jakarta fulfill its promise to revoke it. The Leuser Ecosystem is one of Sumatra’s last intact rainforests.

CITES COMMITTEE EXTENDS EMBARGO ON MALAGASY WOOD

An embargo on trading Madagascar’s ebonies, palisanders, and rosewoods was extended by the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The illegal harvest and trade of Madagascar’s precious wood has a detrimental impact on the livelihood of people dependent on the forests and on the Malagasy ecosystem.