The imminent election this month of far right Jair Bolsonaro as Brazil’s new president poses threats to the environment, indigenous people, and the global climate.
Mongabay series: Amazon Infrastructure
Mongabay begins a new series in which our contributors drive the BR-319 highway into one of the Amazon’s most remote wild areas – a region facing rapid deforestation.
Five candidates lead the polls for Brazil’s presidency, with a vote 7 October. Mongabay offers some of what’s known, and what’s not, about their environmental positions.
“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 bill, which experts say could pass, would set a 5-year deadline for land dispute resolution in protected areas. If not resolved by then, a conserved area’s protected status could be revoked.
Billions in backing for infrastructure by international development finance institutions (DFIs) triggered large-scale Andes Amazon deforestation from 2000-15 – a trend now poised to hit the Amazon basin: study.
Current Brazilian government policies could increase deforestation and carbon emissions, costing the nation $2-5 trillion dollars more to meet its Paris Climate Agreement pledge.
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.
The Netherlands for more than a decade has quietly supported Brazil’s plan for the Northern Corridor; road, rail and port projects that would do major harm to the Amazon, harm the Dutch disregarded.
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 January 2018, two officials announced an end to plans for Brazilian mega-dams; both have since been replaced, and to date, no planned dams have been cancelled.
“What’s going to drive you off this land is hunger,” an official from ICMBio, the Chico Mendes Institute of Biodiversity Conservation, cautioned fishing families and settlers living along the mid-reaches…
Brazil is reporting its CO2 emissions within U.N. guidelines, but the nation’s true carbon releases due to forest degradation, wildfires and other key sources could be far higher.
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.
The Temer administration ignored UN letters warning of threats to land defenders and environmentalists, and condemning Brazil’s record number of activist murders.
Nearly 100,000 small hydropower dams exist or are planned worldwide, and science has done little to study or inform policymakers about cumulative environmental impacts.
Study: 142 existing and under construction Andean dams are fragmenting the Amazon, putting ecosystems at risk and impacting up to 30 million people. Another 160 dams are planned.
The Norwegian mining giant has denied a new toxic spill in Brazil at its Alunorte aluminum refining facility, but admits to a “clandestine pipeline to discharge untreated effluent.”
Operational in 2016, the Belo Monte mega-dam has done lasting damage to forests, fisheries, livelihoods, and indigenous and traditional communities (photo story).
A recent study finds that when parks and reserves don’t do a good job of safeguarding the forest they contain, they’re more likely to be stripped of their status as…
As Venezuela sinks into chaos and violence, Pres. Maduro rushes to salvage its sinking economy by selling off the nation’s natural legacy in the Orinoco Mining Arc – analysis.
Venezuela has proposed the Arco Minero and Petro cryptocurrency, backed by the nation’s oil and mineral wealth, as solutions to its economic crisis. Critics say it won’t work.
Experts say 2017 Brazilian wildfires were caused not principally by drought, but mostly set by people, and worsened by human-caused forest degradation. Agency budget cuts worsened the crisis.
In 2016, President Maduro declared the Arco Minero; today thousands of indigenous people are being impacted by a mining boom that endangers their lives and culture.
Flood pulses, important to Amazon basin aquatic and terrestrial ecology, are being severely impacted by both large and small hydropower dams.
In 2018, expect more Amazon assaults by the Temer administration, as indigenous and environmental resistance builds, with court rulings and October elections adding uncertainty.
In a major policy shift, the Brazilian government says it is abandoning plans for new mega-dams in the Amazon basin, a victory for conservationists and indigenous groups.
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.
A new study of dung beetles offers evidence for the need to adopt new forestry practices creating a patchwork of highly logged sites and intact forest reserves.
- ‘On the edge’: Endangered forest cleared for marijuana in Paraguay
- ‘Betting on impunity’: Brazilian Amazon under attack despite logging crackdown
- Indonesia struggles to restore peatlands as fires strangle national parks
- Marijuana cultivation whittling away Madagascar’s largest connected forest
- Game changer? Antarctic ice melt related to tropical weather shifts: Study
- Dorsal de Nasca: Peru pledges to create a huge new marine reserve
- Science-backed policy boosts critically endangered Nassau grouper
- Vanishing sea ice in the Arctic could shake up seabird migrations
- Brazil bows to pressure from business, decrees 120-day Amazon fire ban
- Brazilian court orders 20,000 gold miners removed from Yanomami Park
- World’s biggest trade deal in trouble over EU anger at Brazil deforestation
- Discovery of fish never recorded in the Amazon shows richness of Brazil’s Calha Norte
Land rights and extractives
- Cook Islands to grant seabed mining exploration licenses within a year
- Deep-sea mining: An environmental solution or impending catastrophe?
- Locals stage latest fight against PNG mine dumping waste into sea
- Mining company pressing to enter Ecuador’s Los Cedros Protected Forest
- In Philippines’ Palawan, top cop linked to assault on environmental officer
- Deaths, arrests and protests as Philippines re-emerges from lockdown
- In Brazil, COVID-19 outbreak paves way for invasion of indigenous lands
- On anniversary of nun’s murder Amazon land rights activists at high risk
Indonesias forest guardians
- 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
- On the island of Java, a social forestry scheme creates jobs at home
- 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
- Experts see environmental, social fallout in Indonesia’s infrastructure push
- Bornean farmers and fishers brace as a new port opens in their midst
- Indonesian levee project serves industry over community, study says
- Forest clearing proceeds for dam in Sumatra despite locals’ land claims