Wind Farms in the Sustainable Development Reserve of Ponta do Tubarão, Brazil

Artisanal fishermen and traditional communities who managed to obtain a Sustainable Development Reserve are now affected by the construction of wind farms destroying dunes and lagoons.


The Sustainable Development Reserve of Ponta do Tubarao  (SDR-PT) was created in 2003 after one decade of activists and local communities struggling against different attempts to develop projects in the area (including a Tourist Resort and shrimp hatchery activities along the mangroves). The SDR-PT is located in the northern coast of Rio Grande do Norte, in the Guamaré and Macau Municipalities. It covers a total area of 12,940 ha and is considered as a high-importance biological region in Brazil. Inside the SDR-PT, traditional populations inhabit with livelihoods and culture strongly attached to the territory. These communities assure their subsistence throughout artisanal fishing and collecting shellfishes, communitarian tourism, as well as small-scale agriculture and animal farming.

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Basic Data
NameWind Farms in the Sustainable Development Reserve of Ponta do Tubarão, Brazil
ProvinceRio Grande do Norte
SiteMacau and Guamaré municipalities
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Establishment of reserves/national parks
Land acquisition conflicts
Aquaculture and fisheries
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsALEGRIA I and II

New Energy Options Power Generation

Guamaré municipality in Minhoto Beach

Alegria I (31 Vestas wind turbines – total capacity 51.15 MW)

Alegria II (61 Vestas wind turbines – total capacity 100.65 MW).

Total installed capacity: 151,9MW

Total area of about 1,900 ha

The overall project is avoiding the emission of 120,000 tons of CO 2 per year.



Guamaré municipality

9 GE Energy Turbines – Installed capacity 14.4 MW
Project Area (in hectares)1,900.00 ha
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population~ 4000
Start Date01/01/2010
Company Names or State EnterprisesNew Energy Options Geração de Energia from Brazil - Developer
Bioenergy from Brazil - Developer
Relevant government actorsInstituto de Desenvolvimento Sustentável e Meio Ambiente do Rio Grande do Norte

Administrative Council of the Sustainable Development Reserve of Ponta do Tubarao
International and Financial InstitutionsBanco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES) from Brazil
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersLocal fishermen (no formal organization, it seems)

University scientists
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Refusal of compensation
Interviews of affected local people by national/regional media
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
OtherDestruction of dunes
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Government arguments supporting a "clean" investment
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Both windfarms still operate in this area. Although there is high discontent among local communities, there is still no visible organization against such projects.
Sources and Materials

Patrícia Pereira Mattos, Itamar de Morais Nobre, Magdi Ahmed Ibrahim Aloufa, RESERVA DE DESENVOLVIMENTO SUSTENTÁVEL: AVANÇO NA CONCEPÇÃO DE ÁREAS, Soc. & Nat. 2011

[click to view]


Mapa de Conflictos Envolvendo Injustiça Ambiental e Saúde no Brasil.

Case: Pescadores artesanais e agricultores familiares têm seu modo de vida comprometido por usinas eólicas

[click to view]

Energia limpa e fundamentos sujos.

Claudio Guerra. Fala Rio Grande Blog. Published 10/07/2011, Consulted 03/01/2016
[click to view]

Moradores regaem a usinas eólicas.

Ricardo Araújo. Tribuna do Norte. Published: 08/01/2012, Consulted 03/01/2016
[click to view]

"Energia limpia" é alvo de ambientalistas. (Excellent information).

Wilston Tosta. Estadão. Published 06/02/2013, Consulted 03/01/2016
[click to view]

Other Documents

Fisherman and windmills (Wilton Junior) Source
[click to view]

Windmills along the coastline (Wilton Junior),energia-limpa-e-alvo-de-ambientalistas-imp-,1037986
[click to view]

Traditional communities and windmill installations (Wilton Junior) Source:,energia-limpa-e-alvo-de-ambientalistas-imp-,1037986
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSofia Avila-Calero
Last update29/03/2017