Agribusiness desperately wants Grainrail built, but it poses a clear threat to 20 indigenous territories, and to the livelihoods of Amazonia’s truckers. A battle could be brewing.
Articles by Sue Branford and Maurício Torres
President elect Jair Bolsonaro signals his government will be strongly pro-business, likely bringing major setbacks for the environment, indigenous groups and social movements in Brazil.
Brazil has plans for an expansive Amazon and Cerrado rail network, including two transcontinental Atlantic to Pacific lines, but development likely depends on China.
Brazil’s elections have brought an apparent surge of violence, with indigenous groups, quilombos and rural minorities fearful as the right’s rhetoric grows more hostile.
Soy farmers see Grainrail as salvation; traders ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Amaggi see it as profit; but the Amazon railway could harm habitat and indigenous communities.
Interviewed by Mongabay in 2016, Aluisio Sampaio is the most recent victim in a growing wave of Amazon violence against socio-environmental activists.
“We used to go into the forest to tap copaiba oil but we had no good way of selling it. The regatão [traveling river trader] paid us whatever he liked…
A surge in Amazon deforestation is trending this year, with a 22 percent rise from August 2017 to May 2018. Experts say land thieves and politics may be at the heart of the problem.
Gold mine owners have polluted a river in Brazil’s Tapajós basin and placed a price on the heads of resisting Munduruku leaders. A federal raid in May failed to stem the conflict.
Most oil palm production in Pará state has so far been on degraded lands, but researchers warn a coming Brazilian oil palm boom could result in large-scale Amazon deforestation.
Brazil’s bancada ruralista has attached a wave of riders to bills in Congress that could overthrow the nation’s environmental and indigenous protections. There is a high chance of passage.
In a win for the environment, the Supreme Court ruled against the use of executive orders to reduce conservation unit size. Also, Brazil conserved 1.2 million hectares last week.
Thirty-eight environmental and social groups are demanding an end to indigenous intimidation by a dam building consortium on the Teles Pires River that includes Chinese and Portuguese firms.
Most environmentalists expect more deforestation in the Amazon and elsewhere due to last week’s high court ruling upholding the constitutionality of much of the 2012 New Forest Code.
Land rights of Quilombolas, former slave communities, protected by high court ruling that rejects ruralist-backed lawsuit. The settlements have a strong record of protecting forests.
In 2018, expect more Amazon assaults by the Temer administration, as indigenous and environmental resistance builds, with court rulings and October elections adding uncertainty.
President Temer, pressed by the ruralist lobby, attacked indigenous and traditional land rights, conserved lands, and Amazon forests this year, and retreated from Brazil's Paris climate goal – analysis.
Brazil is fast-tracking the Ferrogrão grain railway planned for the Tapajós Basin without prior environmental review, and despite protests from indigenous groups.
As COP23 negotiators meet in Bonn, indigenous and rural leaders warn that time is running out to protect global forests — a crucial hedge against perilous global warming.
Brazil’s Temer has forgiven 6o percent of $3.5 billion in fines for environmental crimes, so long as perpetrators pay other 40 percent. No new means of enforcement was announced.
- 7 convicted of killing Honduran indigenous activist Berta Cáceres
- Five wildlife conservationists held by Iran could face the death penalty
- Peru cracks down after environmental defenders’ murders
Indonesias forest guardians
- Smartphone app helps indigenous communities fight deforestation
- Papuan chef Charles Toto serves up sustainability and environmental protection in a platter
- In eastern Indonesia, a forest tribe pushes back against miners and loggers
- The nature of conservation evidence: Imperfect, but good enough (commentary)
- Google searches reveal public interest in conservation is rising
- Forest communities pay the price for conservation in Madagascar
- Amazon indigenous groups and truckers ally to oppose Brazil’s Grainrail
- Extreme floods on the rise in the Amazon: study
- Santo Antônio mega-dam on Brazil’s Madeira River disrupts local lives
- For elusive Javan rhinos, camera traps are a benevolent Big Brother
- First wild Sumatran rhino in Borneo captured for breeding campaign
- Jaw-dropping footage: conservationists catch Javan rhino in mud wallow
- Amid lack of enforcement, fishermen take the fight to blast fishing
- In an Indonesian village, compressor diving for fish is a dangerous business
- Indonesian fish farmers get early-warning system for lake pollution