• Mon. May 27th, 2024

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Lawsuit Challenges Wind Project Threatening Lear’s Macaw Habitat

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A joint action lawsuit filed at the state and federal level in Brazil argues for the immediate suspension of environmental licenses that were illegally granted for the Canudos Wind Complex.

Last week, both federal and state-level public prosecutors in Brazil filed a lawsuit to nullify licenses for the Canudos Wind Complex, a wind power project under construction in habitat essential to the survival of the Endangered Lear’s Macaw. The lawsuit asserts that Environmental Impact Assessment and public hearing laws were not followed before construction began. If the lawsuit is successful, Voltalia’s wind project could be required to take steps to mitigate its environmental harm, or it could be relocated out of Lear’s Macaw habitat.

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) applauds the Brazilian Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the State of Bahia, Brazil for filing the lawsuit to support the Lear’s Macaw, other local Endangered species, and the livelihoods of communities in the region.

Lear’s Macaws. copyright Michiel Van Den Berg, from the surfbirds galleries

The area where 28 wind turbines are currently under construction is formally recognized for its environmental importance as a Key Biodiversity Area and Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) site. With Brazilian partners, ABC has supported successful efforts to conserve the Lear’s Macaw in the area for decades, including the expansion of the Canudos Biological Station Reserve. If the Canudos Wind Complex isn’t relocated, however, it could undermine years of progress toward saving this species from extinction.

ABC and other organizations have been fighting the Canudos wind project for years. Most recently, in December 2022, more than 70 local community groups submitted a formal complaint to the United Nations to relocate the project due to threats to their traditional livelihoods and to the Lear’s Macaw.

The joint action lawsuit is posted online and can be publicly viewed in Portuguese here.