Chalillo Dam

A forum on the Chalillo dam controversy in Belize

March 10, 2003

On March 13, 2003, people on all sides of the Chalillo dam controversy will discuss the legal actions in Belize and the implications for Canadian public policy and governance of Canadian companies investing outside Canada.






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Video of the forum (Realplayer format, 2 hours 21 minutes) EnviReform University of Toronto’s Web site on the Forum WHEN:
Thursday, March 13, 2003, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. WHERE:
Vivian and David Campbell Room
Munk Centre for International Studies
University of Toronto
South Wing, Main Floor
1 Devonshire Place
Toronto, M5S 3K7

1:00 p.m. Opening Remarks and Introduction
John Kirton, Director, EnviReform Project
University of Toronto
1:15 p.m. Panel Session
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., senior attorney
Natural Resources Defence Council, and lecturer,
Pace University
– From Duke Energy (U.S.) to Fortis and
AMEC (Canada) in Belize

1:30-2:45 p.m. Panel Forum
Hevina Dashwood, Department of Political Science
Brock University
– Global Governance and Corporate Responsibility
Elizabeth Graham, Director, London Institute of
Archaeology; former Archaeology Commissioner of
Belize; and Director, Lamanai Project Belize
– When Cultural Heritage is at Risk: What Canadian
companies should be required to do before
threatening to flood the Macal River Valley

Ari Hershowitz, Coordinator, Latin America
Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
– International and Scientific Experts’ Views on
Canada’s Dam Project in Belize

Greg Malone, political satirist and hydro
activist, Newfoundland
– Fortis at Home and Away: What Fortis
Shareholders and Investors Need to Know

Sharon Matola, Director, Belize Zoo
and Tropical Education Centre
– Wildlife threats posed by the Chalillo dam
Gráinne Ryder, Probe International
– Aid for Chalillo in Whose Interest? Lessons from
the Canadian International Development
Agency’s Governance Crisis/Role in the
Macal River Controversy

FORUM BACKGROUND The Macal River Valley and its tributaries in Belize are the only known nesting sites for the world’s largest and most spectacular species of scarlet macaw. Plans by a Newfoundland-based power company, Fortis, to build a hydro dam in Belize’s Macal River Valley have generated international opposition for the last two years. The proposed dam has prompted two lawsuits and a Supreme Court of Belize order for public hearings to be held before the Belize government makes a final decision on the dam’s fate this year. The project’s environmental assessment was paid for by the Canadian International Development Agency and conducted by Toronto-based engineering multinational, AMEC. The purpose of this forum is to bring together people on all sides of the Chalillo dam controversy for a dialogue on the legal actions in Belize and the implications for Canadian public policy and governance of Canadian companies investing outside Canada. The forum will be moderated by Professor John Kirton, and is jointly sponsored by the Munk Centre for International Studies, the EnviReform Project, the Centre for International Studies, the Department of Political Science and the Masters of International Relations Programme, the Program on Water Issues, University of Toronto. Forum speakers include Robert F. Kennedy Jr., senior attorney with the Washington-based Natural Resources Defense Council, key government and industry representatives, and leading members of the Canadian environmental community. Students and faculty members with an interest in environmental and global governance issues are encouraged to attend.

Black howler Monkey

The proprosed 35-metre high dam would flood almost 1,000 hectares of lush rainforest, home to some of the world’s most endangered species. This undisturbed jungle is one of the last large havens for Belize’s national animal, the tapir, for jaguars (which roam 40 miles a day in search of food) and for river otters, freshwater crocodiles, howler monkeys [right], ocelots, and scarlet macaws, fewer than 200 of which remain in Belize. Please RSVP to Mary Lynne Bratti, at
or telephone (416) 946-8901. Space is limited.

Categories: Chalillo Dam

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