Inter-American Development Bank

A movement’s shifting stage

Jane Bussey
The Miami Herald
August 1, 2003

Environmental activists “pitted against some of the world’s biggest energy companies over megaprojects in the Third World” are increasingly staging their battles in countries that fund such projects in environmentally fragile areas of Latin America.


On Wednesday, as an environmentalist campaign gathered steam against public funding for the $2.6 billion Camisea Gas Project in Peru, the Inter-American Development Bank delayed by a week a vote to approve a $75 million loan for the pipeline. A decision for a $200 million loan is also pending at the Export-Import Bank.

And this week in London, global environmental groups fighting a proposed hydroelectric dam in Belize argued before the British Privy Council in what the activists said was the first environmental case in the council’s history.

The trend to fighting internationally funded energy projects through global efforts is not new. But over the past decade, under pressure from environmentalists and other nongovernment organizations, multilateral development banks and other agencies have gone from little public scrutiny in some of the most environmentally damaging white
elephants to incorporating environmental and other impact assessments into their decision making.

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