From the construction of the Trans-Amazon Highway in the 1970's to the current construction of the third largest hydroelectric dam in the world at Belo Monte, the Brazilian Amazon has experienced the impact of large-scale infrastructure projects. When announced, all these projects purported to be the means to achieve progress, national integration, and economic development. The outcomes after several decades are less clear: national indebtedness, significant social and environmental impacts, and regional development taking second place to other goals such as energy production and national GDP. Solutions are suggested to reduce the negative impacts and achieve the goal of improved livelihoods and sustainable development without giving up on national development goals.
Road-building; hydroelectric dams; development; sustainability; infrastructure; socio-environmental impacts