The international community has long kept a sharp and critical eye on every major encroachment on the 'lungs of the earth'. But plans by the Brazilian government to build the world's third largest dam on the Xingú, a tributary of the Amazon, has triggered an unparalleled wave of protest.
Celebrities such as movie director James Cameron have joined the cause. Never have the Indian tribes whose land is directly threatened had so much public support. Now demonstrations have even started in Europe. In February, 2010, the Brazilian government gave the official go-ahead for the Belo Monte hydro-electric plant. With the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games on the calendar, Brazil has given energy supplies a top priority.