We are reaching the critical stage to stop one of the biggest atrocities committed in one of the most beautiful rivers in Portugal. This is a struggle spanning several years already, although all the effort made to preserve the Tua River Valley, it’s natural and cultural wealth, has been contradicted by the political and economical forces organized to expropriate us from a universal common good.
Construction work for the dam has already started! The Tua river valley is encompassed within the Alto Douro Vinhateiro Region – a World Heritage Site that celebrated 10 years of UNESCO classification last December – and is now under the threat of being completely destroyed. We must act. We must work together to preserve a Heritage that is all of ours.
The building of the Tua valley dam is part of the National Dam Plan, an energy strategy created by the last government proposing building 10 news dams of high hydroelectric potential. Most civil society organizations protested against this, since it defines the biggest environmental assault being committed in the country. In spite of all the effort invested by these organizations, the economic interests that drive the companies involved have overcome all the legal challenges set in their course.
We need all the help we can get to stop the Foz-Tua dam. So then we make an Open Call for a wide mobilization of people and organizations to protect and valorize the World Heritage and the Sustainable Development of the People.
The 14 of March celebrates the International Day of Action for Rivers. The rivers Tua, Sabor, Tâmega and all the threatened rivers must not be forgotten. We want to mark this date with an event where our voice will be heard. From the 10 to the 18 of March 2012 we will organize a camp for the preservation of the Tua Valley and the public censorship of the proponents of this deadly project.
This camp seeks to bend over this historical moment for the region, when it’s on the brink of loosing the potential for grounded development, and share the reality and culture of a community living in communion with the river valley for so long. Simultaneously the camp will be a place for networking, skill sharing and debating environmental, social and political ideas and concerns. It will also be a platform for protest, alongside the people and places most directly affected, to call for the immediate suspension of the building work. We cannot allow the construction of this dam to condemn the Tua River Valley region with loosing the World Heritage status, the flooding of the 125 year old train line, so we walk against the building of the EDP dam.
The camp is being organized by a constellation of volunteers. We need all the help from associations and individuals that wish to participate in the organization of this camp. This is a self-organized camp and we ask for everyone to organize actions and materials for the Tua, against the dam. Support could take several forms:
- broadcasting campaign material, invitations, other information;
- organizing collective transportation to Trás-os-Montes;
- collecting materials such as tents/marquees/wooden structures/composting toilets/cooking equipment//paints;
- getting involved in planning meetings/proposing workshops;
- helping in the kitchen staff, searching for local food suppliers and and preparing everyday meals
- contributing with donations;
The impacts that the dam will cause are numerous and irreversible. Here are some:
- the drowning of a historic train line of local populations, the only transport suitable for people and goods in this region, that has also enormous turistic potential and is therefore instrumental for economic and social development;
- the forfeiting of a common asset at a huge capital cost with zero total gain;
- the irreversible destruction of farm land, ecosystem balance, natural and human landscapes, social, ecological and economical sustainability;
- the loosing of the UNESCO World Heritage Site classification (see ICOMOS report on EDP dam impacts on UNESCO World Heritage);
- the unmeasurable loss of visitor flux and wealth generation for the region;
- the violation of the Water Quality Directive, an action plan by the European Union to ensure water protection.
All hands are welcome! Let’s not allow the Tua River Valley to flood!
Actua Camp, 10 to 18 March 2012, Foz-Tua, Trás-os-Montes
Actua pelo Tua Art Contest // Use Your Art // every art form accepted
Exhibition // 14 March Foz-Tua // On going call out for entries