Open Universiteit

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1820/9164
Title: Cumulative and Indirect Effects of Mineral-Energy Complexes in the Amazon Basin
Other Titles: Cumulatieve en indirecte effecten van mijnbouw-energie complexen in het stroomgebied van de Amazone (in English)
Authors: van den berg, Hilke
van Koningsbrugge, Dirk
Keywords: Amazonia, environmental effects, cumulative effects, cumulative impact assessment, indirect effects, mining, hydropower, mercury pollution, deforestation
Issue Date: Mar-2016
Publisher: Open Universiteit
Citation: van den berg, H., & van Koningsbrugge, D. (2016). Cumulative and Indirect Effects of Mineral-Energy Complexes in the Amazon Basin Dit onderzoek is uitgevoerd in opdracht van SOMO, Amsterdam, Nederland [Cumulatieve en indirecte effecten van mijnbouw-energie complexen in het stroomgebied van de Amazone (in English)]. (Unpublished BSc Bachelor’s Thesis Environmental Sciences), Open Universiteit, Heerlen, NL.
Abstract: In the Amazon basin mining activities are expanding, the resource frontier is moving deeper into the rainforest and plans exist to further increase the number of hydroelectric dams. Mineral-energy complexes (MECs) consist of energy and mining activities that are strongly connected to their operations. The direct effects on the environment of both the mining operations and hydropower plants are currently well researched. For this report, we examined the indirect and cumulative effects of MECs in the Amazon basin. Indirect effects are caused when additional activities are enabled or attracted by the presence of the MEC. Cumulative effects develop when environmental impacts accumulate over space and time. By a case study, we found links between the MEC, the influx of migrants, and the emergence of a network of roads. As a result of MECs indirectly contribute to deforestation and fragmentation. In addition, the electricity is for a large part used (and indirectly exported) by the aluminium industry. For the analysis of cumulative effects, we used a cumulative impact assessment (CIA), which is a widely used method to determine such impacts. This method focuses on ecosystem components that are affected by a development and assesses other stressors, conditions, and significance. This report reveals cause-effect relations between MECs and environmental components in the Amazon rainforest that are affected by cumulative impacts, including (1) climate change, (2) mercury contamination, (3) deforestation and (4) biodiversity. We conclude that both indirect effects and cumulative effects can be overlooked when licences are issued for the execution of these large projects and therefore should deserve more attention.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1820/9164
Appears in Collections:BSc Environmental Sciences

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