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Baleia Wind Power Complex in Ceará, Brazil

Traditional communities of Ceara's coastline receive widespread support to stop a wind power complex in their territory. Despite public hearings, Ceara's environment agencies approve the project.


In 2002 the Federal Gogernment of Brasil created the         Incentive Program of Alternative Sources for Electric Energy, as a crucial part of the so-called (and failed) Accelerated Growth Project (PAC). Since then, the State of Ceará has received great attention as a space to foster the development of alternative sources of energy, and particularly of wind power.  By the year 2010, Ceará was positioned as the state with the highest number of wind farms in the country, encompassing 17 projects with an installed capacity of 500 MW.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Baleia Wind Power Complex in Ceará, Brazil
State or province:Ceará
Location of conflict:Itapipoca
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Large-scale wind energy plants
Land acquisition conflicts
Aquaculture and fisheries
Specific commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Installed capacity: 109.2 MW

Level of Investment for the conflictive project128,500,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:1,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/2012
Company names or state enterprises:FURNAS from Brazil
Relevant government actors:Federal Government of Brazil
Secretaria de Meio Ambiente do Ceará
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:-Rede Brasileira de Justiça Ambiental (RBJA)
-Fórum em Defesa da Zona Costeira Cearense (FDZCC)
-Rede de Educação Ambiental do Litoral Cearense (REALCE)
-Campanha Nacional pela Regularização dos Territórios das Comunidades Tradicionais Pesqueiras
-Rede Nacional de Advogadas e Advogados Populares no Ceará (RENAPCE)
-Rede Estadual de Assessoria Jurídica Universitária (REAJU)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Explicit use of the notion of "environmental racism"
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Other Environmental impacts, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Noise pollution
Other Environmental impactsDamage to dunes in the beaches and to lagoons
Health ImpactsPotential: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..)
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The consortium received the license to start the construction phase of the Complex. Complaints of local communities and other supporting organizations were not considered in the 2014 hearing. The notion of "environmental racism" is explicitly used by the communities.
Sources & Materials

Carta Denúncia das Comunidades prejudicadas pela implementação do Complexo Eólico Baleia/CE

Combate Racismo Ambiental 11/11/2014
[click to view]

Mapa de Conflictos Envolvendo Injustiça Ambiental e Saúde no Brasil.

Case: Agricultores familiares e pescadores artesanais de Itapipoca lutam por seus direitos territoriais, políticos e ambientais

[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Vídeo Denúncia produzido pelo Instituto Terramar traz depoimentos de representantes de comunidades da zona costeira do Ceará impactadas negativamente pelo avanço da implementação dos parques eólicos. Os relatos nos mostram que embora a energia eólica seja reconhecida como um tipo de “energia limpa” ela chega de forma criminosa para as populações tradicionais.
[click to view]

Meta information
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2210
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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