Andritz named by Jagger over rain forest dam plan

The first wife of Mick Jagger who is now a European goodwill ambassador has come to Vienna to highlight the fact that the Austrian firm Andritz is involved in a controversial project to build a huge dam in the Amazon rainforest.

Bianca met husband to be Mick Jagger at a party after a Rolling Stones concert in September 1970 in France and they married while she was four months pregnant. In May 1978 she filed for divorce on the grounds of his adultery with model Jerry Hall.

In addition to her extensive charitable works, Jagger had a public reputation as a jet-setter and party-goer in the 1970s and early 1980s, and was a close friend of pop artist Andy Warhol.

And she is now a Europe Goodwill Ambassador, Founder and Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, Member of the Executive Director’s Leadership Council of Amnesty International USA, and a Trustee of the Amazon Charitable Trust which led her to visit Vienna.

She is campaigning against the planned Belo Monte, a project which has been strongly criticized by indigenous people and numerous environmental organizations in Brazil plus organizations and individuals around the world. Belo Monte’s 668 square kilometres (258 sq mi) of reservoir and will flood 400 square kilometres (150 sq mi) of forest, about 0.01% of the Amazon forest.

Though argued to be a relatively small area for a dam’s energy output, this output cannot be fully obtained without the construction of other dams planned within the dam complex. The prognosed area of reservoir for the Belo Monte dam and the necessary Altamira dam together will exceed 6500 km2 of rainforest.

While she was here Jagger also left two ministers. He said: “as long as it was a bit of hope that we need to continue to campaign as strongly as possible against  Belo Monte.”

Austrian WWF manager Hildegard Aichenberger said there was no doubt the importance of the rainforest to Austria. She said: “The only reason that the climate catastrophe that everyone has been predicting has not happened yet is that we still have the rainforests.

Jagger arrived in Austria to put the spotlight on Andritz which is involved in the project and said that she hoped that investors in the firm would consider putting their money elsewhere until had a more environmentally friendly and responsible policy about projects like the dam.

She did not meet representatives from the firm but she did meet ministers Nikolaus Berlakovich and Michael Spindelegger.