Almost a fifth of Brazil’s soy and grains already flow down Amazonia’s rivers. Now a boom in private river port construction, with little government oversight, further threatens the region’s waterways.
Mongabay series: Amazon Infrastructure
On November 5, 2015 an iron ore mine tailings dam owned by Samarco, a joint venture of Vale and BHP Billiton, two of the world’s largest mining firms, collapsed in Mariana, Brazil. Life along Rio Doce has not been the same since.
The planned 650 MW dam on the Rio Branco in Brazil’s Roraima state is scheduled to become operational in 2028; it could do extraordinary socio-environmental harm.
The reconstruction of the BR-319 highway — a north-south cut through what remains of Brazil’s Amazon forest — is being fast tracked by Pres. Bolsonaro, but the project risks huge socio-environmental impacts.
Jair Bolsonaro and 6,000 of his appointees come from Brazil’s military, which historically sees Amazon infrastructure and development as vital to national security and to averting foreign invasion: Analysis.
Brazil’s current 10-year Energy Expansion Plan calls for three more large dams in Amazonia by 2029, and the country’s 2050 National Energy Plan lists many more — putting the environment at risk.
In 2009, traditional Brazilian Amazon communities and Catholic nuns brought the transnational mining company to the negotiating table and galvanized Amazonia’s land rights struggle.
The Bailique Archipelago is located at the mouth of the Amazon, where the mighty river meets the Atlantic Ocean in the Brazilian state of Amapá. It comprises eight estuarine islands…
A new study finds that the four fish species most commonly consumed by Indigenous and riverine communities in northern Brazil contain the highest concentrations of mercury, up to four times in excess of WHO recommendations.
A wave of planned “mega” infrastructure projects across the tropics of Latin America threatens the region’s forests and the biodiversity and carbon they contain, a group of scientists warned Aug.…
Low carbon investment in agriculture, industry and energy shows better economic prospects than business-as-usual scenario, raising hopes Brazil will add environmental priorities to COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
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.
While MRN, a mining firm makes big profits working within, and harming, a Brazilian conservation unit, traditional people can be fined for collecting Brazil nuts and fishing sustainably in a nearby protected area.
Gold mining can demolish Amazon rainforest in just a few days. New research finds that the impacted forest does not recover even 3-4 years after a mine is abandoned.
Brazilian NGO flyovers show that indigenous reserves — including Munduruku lands in the Tapajós basin — are being illegally invaded and deforested by miners likely funded and directed by elite land speculators.
Juma Xipaya, a young indigenous woman, medical student and fierce activist, fought the Belo Monte dam and exposed corruption; now she lives in daily terror of two thugs in a white pickup.
“Based on the high probability of failure of the proposed tailings dam, the Volta Grande Gold Project should be rejected by the Brazilian regulatory authorities without further consideration.”
The Brazilian riverine communities of Boa Nova and Saracá say they’ve endured decades of environmental harm brought by MRN, the world’s fourth largest bauxite mining company.
A planned industrial shipping channel would destroy vital fish habitat at the Lourencão Rocks on the Tocantins River in the Brazilian Amazon, while also likely wrecking traditional fishing livelihoods.
In recent years, five of the most powerful international banks and investment funds have financed oil exploration in the region where the Amazon River begins. These business ventures are impacting indigenous communities and countless species of fauna and flora.
Mineração Rio do Norte (MRN) arrived in Boa Vista on the Trombetas River in 1979. While the mining company made big profits, traditional people say it has given back little while doing great harm.
Pixaim is one of the remaining quilombos on the Atlantic coast, an Afro-Brazilian settlement already gravely impacted by upstream dams. Now climate change could doom it.
Boa Vista Quilombo — an Afro-Brazilian community of runaway slave descendants — lacks basic health services, but COVID-19 is now just a half mile away, infecting MRN mining company personnel.
Scientists studying the impact of 75 road projects in five countries in the Amazon Basin have found that they could lead to 2.4 million hectares (5.9 million acres) of deforestation. Seventeen percent of these projects were found to violate environmental legislation and the rights of indigenous peoples.
President Jair Bolsonaro has revived a plan, conceived in the 1970s, to extend the BR-163 highway, the main soy corridor in Brazil, north to the border with Suriname. The Trombetas State Forest, one of the four conservation units the road would cut through, stores 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide — more than Brazil’s entire emissions in 2018.
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.
A court in Brazil has granted the Kinja indigenous people an unprecedented right of reply to racist invective, in a move that legal experts say could be a game changer against rising discrimination by President Jair Bolsonaro’s government.
Conserved areas, indigenous and traditional communities are being put at risk by illegal roads rapidly being built in the Amazon’s Purus / Madeira basin, while authorities do nothing.
Nearly 4,000 requests have been submitted for mining-related activities on 31 indigenous reserves and 17 protected areas in Brazil, according to recently obtained data from the nongovernmental Socio-Environmental Institute (ISA) and the National Mining Agency.
On Jan. 25, 2019, the Brumadinho dam collapsed, releasing a slurry of water containing the waste products, or tailings, from the Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine in southeastern Brazil.…
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Land rights and extractives
- Peruvian Indigenous groups thwart oil drilling in their territory — for now
- Years after defeating a giant gold mine, activists in Colombia still fear for their lives
- Court allows referendum on mining in the Ecuadoran Andes to go forward
- Madagascar shuts down ‘illegal’ gold mine but activists remain in legal limbo
- 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
- A Malagasy community wins global recognition for saving its lake
- In mangrove restoration, custom solutions beat one-size-fits-all approach
- World’s protected areas lack connections, recent study finds
- Failure in conservation projects: Everyone experiences it, few record it
Southeast asian infrastructure
- Activists in Malaysia call on road planners to learn the lessons of history
- Road-paving project threatens a wildlife-rich reserve in Indonesia’s Papua
- Planned road projects threaten Sumatran rhino habitat, experts say
- Deforestation threatens to wipe out a primate melting pot in Indonesia