The broad objective of this project is to examine the impact of the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam, and to contribute to the scientific area known as Human Ecology. This study will not be the study of an isolated case, since there are many dams being built in Brazil and elsewhere by countries seeking energy independence. 147 dams are planned in Amazonia, 69 of them in Brazil. The themes to be investigated represent important scientific and policy challenges: how to respond to the rapid increase in infectious water- and vector-borne diseases to the rapid but temporary increase in the human population and the resulting difficulties in health, food, and residential provisioning; how to respond adequately to the changing labor market, changes in land use, and the flow of investments; and last but not least, how to ensure lasting regional economic development. The project will make use of innovative methods such as annual cellphone re-interviews after initial face to face interviews with over 2,000 households selected by stratified random sampling procedures; the use of satellite data to assess land use and land cover and environmental changes; and examination of processes rarely studied before such as how temporary migrants invest in the agricultural sector or in urban-industrial firms. The results will have immediate value to the agencies responsible for providing social and health services in the region. They have shown great interest in the study and have already shared surveillance data on various diseases. University faculty in the Altamira area with whom the PI met this past March 2012 are also interested in this collaboration and will be part of the team in the field and in publications thereafter. Collaboration with faculty at NEPAM/UNICAMP faculty and with faculty at the Federal University of Santa Catarina will further strengthen the team and the breadth and scope of the project. This thematic project is being formulated in response to the call for proposals from FAPESP's Excellence Chairs, envisioning a long-term commitment of the PI to collaborate with NEPAM/UNICAMP faculty and students in a scientific project that is new and yet consistent with interests of NEPAM.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: