Articles by Xavier Bartaburu

Brazilian taxpayers subsidizing Amazon-clearing cattle ranches, study shows

A new study shows taxpayer money is helping to prop up the beef industry in Brazil, one of the primary drivers of deforestation in the country. For every dollar of tax revenue collected from the industry, only 20 cents effectively goes to society — the rest goes back to producers in the form of incentives, easy credit, and even debt forgiveness.
Yanomami community in northern Brazil saying ‘Go away, mining companies’. Image by Victor Moriyama/ISA.

The mining map: Who’s eyeing the gold on Brazil’s indigenous lands?

Applications to mine on indigenous lands in the Amazon have increased by 91% under the Bolsonaro administration. Among the applicants are mining giant Anglo American, small-scale cooperatives whose members are embroiled in a range of environmental violations, and even a São Paulo-based architect.
Yanomami community in northern Brazil saying ‘Go away, mining companies’. Image by Victor Moriyama/ISA.

As bioethanol demand rises, biodiversity will fall in Cerrado, study says

An area half the size of Switzerland in Brazil’s Cerrado biome could see its biodiversity plummet as sugarcane farms expand to meet global demand for bioethanol, a new study says. Researchers calculated that some parts of the Cerrado could see up to 100% loss of mammalian species richness; endangered animals like the maned wolf and the giant anteater will be the most affected.

$3 million and an official apology: Brazil’s Ashaninka get unprecedented compensation for deforestation on their land

An unprecedented court settlement guaranteed reparations to the Ashaninka people of the state of Acre, in the Brazilian Amazon, whose lands were deforested in the 1980s to supply the European furniture industry. The indigenous people only agreed with the negotiation because it included an official apology and a recognition of their "enormous importance as guardians" of the Amazon.

Brazilian government office responds to Fearnside’s BR-319 oil & gas commentary

On 9 March 2020, Mongabay published a commentary written by Philip M. Fearnside on the “Solimões Sedimentary Area”, an oil and gas project that would implant thousands of wells spread over the western portion of the Brazilian Amazon. EPE, the Brazilian Energy Research Office, sent a response to Mongabay claiming “conceptual mistakes.” Fearnside, now, comments on these claims.