Impacts of the Fundão Dam failure

Authors: Sánchez, Luis Enrique, Alger, Keith, Alonso, Luiza, Barbosa, Francisco, Brito, Maria Cecília, Laureano, Fernando, May, Peter, Roeser, Hubert, Kakabadse, Yolanda,

On 5 November 2015, a large dam containing 52 million m3 of iron mining residues (tailings) collapsed in Mariana, Brazil. The collapse prompted both an emergency response, including assistance and compensation to affected people, and a short- and long-term set of mitigation measures structured in 42 programmes. These actions, determined by a group of government agencies, aim to restore and enhance the environmental quality and well-being of the affected populations. Requirements and guidelines for mitigation were established. In the first of a series of publications, the independent Rio Doce Panel presents its views and recommendations for moving towards sustainable and resilient mitigation of the impacts of the dam failure. The key message from the Panel is: mitigation efforts should lead to a positive and lasting legacy for present and future generations.