The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that slaughterhouses are among the outbreak hotspots for the disease because of the low temperatures and crowded production lines. But they are also ideal locations for the emergence of new viruses due to the contact between humans and the blood and entrails of cattle.
Mongabay series: Amazon Illegal Deforestation
In a befuddling move, the Bolsonaro administration last Friday cut all agency funding to fight deforestation and put out fires in the Amazon and Pantanal, then reversed the decision; even as both biomes burned.
An area nearly 5 times that of New York City’s land area has burned so far in 2020, most of it recently deforested, and now illegally burned over, to make way for new cattle pastures and croplands.
The Kayapó Mekrãgnoti Indigenous people have launched a blockade of the BR-163 highway, a key Brazilian commodities shipment route, mostly in protest over lost funding to prevent reserve invasions.
The historical record shows that Indigenous reserves are only safe from invasion by illegal deforesters once fully protected by government — protections rapidly eroding in Bolsonaro’s Brazil.
As the 2020 Amazon fire season moves toward its August peak, hundreds of blazes — almost all in Brazil, mostly illegal, and some on conserved lands — have been detected: Report.
While individual investors have no idea where their money is applied, large finance firms camouflage participation in companies that foment tree-cutting in the Amazon.
For two years, regions of Brazil that depend on precipitation fed by Amazonian vegetation have seen rainfall below historical averages, impacting crops and harvests. A recent bulletin from a federal agency points to agribusiness itself as one of the drivers of this pattern.
Most of the fires in the Amazon rainforest last year were associated with industrial agriculture, according to a study cross-referencing NASA satellite data with corporate supply chains.
Jan Erik Saugestad, executive vice president of Norway’s Storebrand Asset Management, who has led an international pressure campaign against deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, says the government must back up its promises with action to reverse the rising trend.
Just days after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro got the bad news that the Amazon 12-month deforestation rate has risen 96% since he took office, his administration fired the researcher overseeing monitoring.
The International Finance Corporation injected $85 million into Minerva, even though it was aware that the company’s activities involved deforestation, child labor and land conflict risks. In recent years, Minerva has become Latin America’s largest meat exporter. But doubts remain over whether it has strictly complied with envi-ronmental and social compensation guidelines specified in its contract.
Censorship, persecution, and dismissals of supervisors have become the norm in Brazil’s environmental agencies since Jair Bolsonaro took office. Now, prosecutors are seeking the dismissal of his environment minister, Ricardo Salles, alleging "countless initiatives that violate the duty to protect the environment."
Soaring gold prices, brought on by the economic meltdown and COVID-19 uncertainty, have led to a rapid, largely un-policed, expansion of illegal gold mining in the Amazon.
An exclusive study shows that 114 properties have been certified inside indigenous territories awaiting demarcation in the Brazilian Amazon, spurred in large part by a recent statute that leaves these reserves unprotected from such illegal land grabs.
Land grabbers, landed estate owners and even oil companies stand to benefit from a new guideline released by FUNAI, the federal indigenous affairs agency, which opens up 237 indigenous territories in Brazil for sale, subdivision and speculation.
The illegal harvesting of valuable Brazilian wood is rife as loggers supply the EU, US and other nations. Mongabay goes deep into the rainforest to meet some of the workers illegally felling trees.
A bill in Congress on the verge of passage this week would allow land grabbers to self-declare their ownership of government land, ultimately converting vast stretches of Amazon rainforest to cattle ranches.
Some 600 indigenous people have seen their crops die due to the expansion of agribusiness in the state of Pará, Brazil. The streams used by the Munduruku have also been damaged, if not dried up.
Four Alter do Châo volunteer firefighters were charged last year with setting Amazon fires; the police lack evidence, while locals say the real suspects — landgrabbers — are likely still on the loose.
The pandemic is spreading across the Brazilian Amazon, but that isn’t slowing deforestation or land grabbing or a political crisis which has left the rainforest without adequate field surveillance.
One of the Amazon’s most deforested regions, Lábrea, in Brazil, is remote, poorly policed and suffering from a land tenure crisis. As a result, land grabbing, illegal logging and murder are routine.
Beef served to UK military personnel in the Middle East was sourced from a Brazilian company whose suppliers have illegally deforested more than 8,000 hectares of land, including in the…
Brazil’s environmental agency IBAMA has stepped up efforts to fight environmental crimes during the COVID-19 crisis. But the fate of these operations is now uncertain, following the firing of IBAMA’s enforcement director.
$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.
Agribusiness proponents in the Brazilian states of Rondônia, Acre and Amazonas plan to create a joint agricultural area, Amacro, inspired by the successful multi-state Matopiba region that is now the country’s grain-growing heartland.
Invasions of indigenous reserves continue to escalate in the Brazilian Amazon amid the rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the country, exposing how indigenous people are vulnerable to increased violence and infection amid a reduction in environmental oversight.
Illegal gold mining led to deforestation of thousands of hectares of forests inside indigenous reserves in the Brazilian Amazon, according to new satellite image analysis by the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP). Mongabay had exclusive access to the report prior to its release.
More than a decade of illegal gold mining around the upstart town of La Pampa in the Peruvian Amazon has tainted local water supplies, razed forests adjacent to a world-class…
In 2019, suspect exports of rare wood to Europe, the US and beyond were legalized, likely prompting soaring damage to the Amazon rainforest and new attacks on indigenous people by illegal loggers.
- Solomon Islands environmental defender faces life sentence for arson charge
- Threatened species caught in crossfire of ongoing land conflict in Myanmar
- Under cover of COVID-19, loggers plunder Cambodian wildlife sanctuary
- Brazilian Amazon protected areas ‘in flames’ as land-grabbers invade
- ‘Tamper with nature, and everyone suffers’: Q&A with ecologist Enric Sala
- New paper highlights spread of organized crime from global fisheries
- Study: Chinese ‘dark fleets’ illegally defying sanctions by fishing in North Korean waters
- Game changer? Antarctic ice melt related to tropical weather shifts: Study
- Game changer: NASA data tool could revolutionize Amazon fire analysis
- The view from above: How do we know what’s really burning in the Amazon?
- Rise in Amazon deforestation slows in August, but fires surge
- Survival of Indigenous communities at risk as Amazon fire season advances
Land rights and extractives
- With its mining boom past, Australia deals with the job of cleaning up
- Mining industry releases first standard to improve safety of waste storage
- Canada not walking the talk on its miners’ abuses abroad, campaigners say
- New report asks, do land titles help poor farmers?
- Indonesian fishers opposed to dredging project hit by ‘criminalization’ bid
- Life as an Amazon activist: ‘I don’t want to be the next Dorothy Stang’
- In Philippines’ Palawan, top cop linked to assault on environmental officer
- Deaths, arrests and protests as Philippines re-emerges from lockdown
Indonesias forest guardians
- Why I stand for my tribe’s forest: It gives us food, culture, and life (commentary)
- Reforesting a village in Indonesia, one batch of gourmet beans at a time
- Restoring Sumatra’s Leuser Ecosystem, one small farm at a time
- Indigenous Iban community defends rainforests, but awaits lands rights recognition
- Failure in conservation projects: Everyone experiences it, few record it
- On a wing and a prayer? Evidence for ways to conserve bats (commentary)
- Audio: The sounds of a rare New Zealand bird reintroduced to its native habitat
- Eavesdrop on forest sounds to effectively monitor biodiversity, researchers say
Southeast asian infrastructure
- Paper giant APP’s Sumatran road project cuts through elephant habitat
- Study revealing New Guinea’s plant life ‘first step’ toward protection
- Indonesian case highlights potential for long-term harms of corruption
- Indonesia approves coal road project through forest that hosts tigers, elephants