A port owned by a mining company in northeast Brazil is helping the local economy but polluting the region.
The Ponta da Madeira terminal was established in 1986 by Vale for the shipment of iron ore while simultaneously guaranteeing job stability for young people in Itaqui-Bacanga, an impoverished location in Brazil.
“Company trains arrive at the port, transporting minerals from Carajas, a huge mining province in the eastern Amazon region that has made vale the world leader in iron ore production,” said Global Issues. “The port also exports a large proportion of the soya grown in the centre-north of Brazil.”
However, George Pereira, the secretary of the Itaqui-Bacanga Community Association (ACIB), said Vale and other companies located around the area brought the wrong type of development into the region.
“We have more money in our pockets but no water to drink, because the rivers are polluted,” said Pereira. He believes that sanitation and education developments are more important for the community.
According to the article, ACIB was ironically created by Vale a decade ago to clean up the Itaqui-Bacanga area. However, Vale’s own creation is being awfully easy on the corporation.
On the other hand, Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) calls Vale the worst corporation in the world today.
The organization claims that the mining company is also among the largest producers of raw materials and has reported a profit of $17 billion in 2010.
But a FoEI study also found that Vale failed to help keep the environment clean.
“Despite setting out in 2008 its intention to cut its carbon dioxide emissions, Vale emitted – according to tis own figures – 20 million tons of CO2 in 2010, an increase of a third on 2007 levels (15 million tons),” said FoEI.
Moreover, FoEI also said that Vale has representatives both in the Brazilian government and the UN delegation who work hard to promote policies that “undermine global action on the climate crisis”.
Although Vale was able to create jobs for the impoverished in Itaqui-Bacanga, the company is actually causing more damage to the earth in the long run.
– Juan Campos
Sources: Global Issues, Friends of the Earth International