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International Update Volume 42, Issue 35

RESERVOIRS MAY WORSEN FLOODING

Chile

Large man-made reservoirs can increase the intensity of rainfall and may damage flood defenses, according to a study to be published in the journal Hydrology. Scientists studying data from 50 rain gauges in Chile found that rainfall patterns were much higher around bodies of water than in similar areas without them.

NORWAY CONTRIBUTES TO BRAZIL'S AMAZON FUND AS NATIONS FIGHT OVER MONITORING

Brazil, Norway

Norway will contribute $180 million in Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) funding to Brazil, even as the nations disagree over who should monitor carbon savings. Payments from Norway now total $670 million, out of $1 billion pledged by 2015, and Brazil's rate of deforestation has fallen nearly 70 percent from historic levels as it reduced the rate of loss by 27 percent from 2011 to 2012. However, the nations' disagreement over who should measure the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by trees is hampering efforts at forest protection.

CHINA RAMPS UP INTERNATIONAL MEGA-DAM CONSTRUCTION

China

Chinese companies are involved in over 300 hydroelectric projects in 70 countries, according to a new report analyzing China's role in new mega-dams worldwide. "The Chinese state-owned Sinohydro Corporation is now the largest hydropower company in the world," reads the report by International Rivers, which adds that the China Export-Import Bank is a major funder of large dams. Since 2008, the number of dams with Chinese involvement has grown by 300 percent, with many projects allegedly lacking stringent environmental or social policies.