Brazil

With damming of the Tapajos river, a whole world of biodiversity, beauty and indigenous cultures will be destroyed forever. Photo: Canoe on the Tapajos by Clairex (CC BY-NC-SA).

European companies line up to bid for Amazon megadam

Zachary Davies Boren
Greenpeace Energydesk
| 13th April 2016
Disregarding revelations of systemic political corruption in Brazil's hydropower sector, President Dilma Rousseff is ploughing ahead with a cascade of giant dams on the mighty Tapajos river. Among the companies touting to win huge construction contracts are France's EDF and Engie, and Germany's Voith and Siemens - in a consortium led by Brazil's Electrobras, which stands accused of high-level corruption over four other dam projects.

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Insecticide spraying in Brazil, 2014. Photo: Malova Gobernador via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Zika, microcephaly, and pesticides: half-truths, hysteria, and vested interests

Claire Robinson
GMWatch
| 26th February 2016
Those who dare suggest that pesticides might be implicated in Brazil's microcephaly outbreak are being furiously attacked as irrational, nonsense-spouting 'conspiracy theorists', writes Claire Robinson. But the attackers have an uncanny ability to get their own facts in a twist. And among them are writers linked to industries with huge economic interests in the matter.

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Since 2014, the insecticide Pyriproxyfen has been use to kill mosquitos in water tanks in Brazil. Water tank in Bahia state, northeast Brazil. Photo: Francois Le Minh via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Argentine and Brazilian doctors suspect mosquito insecticide as cause of microcephaly

Claire Robinson
GMWatch
| 10th February 2016
With the proposed connection between the Zika virus and Brazil's outbreak of microcephaly in new born babies looking increasingly tenuous, Latin American doctors are proposing another possible cause: Pyriproxyfen, a pesticide used in Brazil since 2014 to arrest the development of mosquito larvae in drinking water tanks. Might the 'cure' in fact be the poison?

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The densely conditions in Brazil's 'favelas', like this one in São Paulo, and the need for water tanks and containers, create idea conditions for Aedes mosquitos. And as the world warms, the mosquitos' range is expanding. Photo: Fernando Stankuns via Fli

Hotter planet helping spread of Zika virus mosquitos

Nadia Pontes
| 10th February 2016
The Aedes mosquitos that carry the Zika virus and dengue fever are not just perfectly adapted to life in cities, writes Nadia Pontes. They are also being helped along by warming climates which increase their range. It's time to get serious about the health implications of a hotter planet.

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Still from video footage taken by a Brazilian government task force during a chance encounter with a Kawahiva tribe member in his rainforest home. Photo: FUNAI.

Brazil must save Amazon's Kawahiva tribe from genocide

Lewis Evans
| 8th February 2016
The Kawahiva, an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon rainforest, face extinction unless Brazil's government acts to secure their legal rights to land, security and to remain undisturbed by outsiders, writes Lewis Evans. The decree that would achieve this vital goal has been sitting on the Minister of Justice's desk since 2013. Let's make sure he signs it soon, before it's too late.

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Construction of the São Manoel Dam in the Brazilian Amazon. Photo: International Rivers via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Saying 'No!' A last chance for the world's forests

Bill Laurance
James Cook University
| 5th February 2016
Roads, mines, dams, power lines, pipelines and other infrastructure projects are fast eating into the world's 'core forests', writes Bill Laurance. These rare and precious places where wildlife and ecological processes can flourish undisturbed must come before the evanescent gains of 'development'. To save what's left, governments and funders must learn the word 'No!'

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Aedes Aegypti mosquito feeding on human blood. Photo: James Gathany via jentavery on Flickr (CC BY).

Pandora's box: how GM mosquitos could have caused Brazil's microcephaly disaster

Oliver Tickell
| 1st February 2016
In Brazil's microcephaly epidemic, one vital question remains unanswered: how did the Zika virus suddenly learn how to disrupt the development of human embryos? The answer may lie in a sequence of 'jumping DNA' used to engineer the virus's mosquito vector - and released into the wild four years ago in the precise area of Brazil where the microcephaly crisis is most acute.

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Devastating fire last year in the cerrado savanna region, one of Brazil’s most threatened biomes. Photo: José Cruz/ABr via Wikimedia (CC-BY).

Brazil: as forest fires rage, new laws will open gates of hell

Jan Rocha
| 14th January 2016
Never mind Brazil's COP21 promises to cut its carbon emissions, writes Jan Rocha. New laws passing through Congress will encourage deforestation by removing safeguards and opening up indigenous territories to mega-projects. Serious drought is already contributing to a big increase in forest fires.

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Erika Berenguer examines recently burned primary forest. Photo: Jos Barlow, Author provided.

18,000 fires rage in Brazil's Amazon rainforest

Jos Barlow
Erika Berenguer
| 2nd December 2015
It's not just Indonesia's forests and peatlands that are burning - the Amazon is suffering almost as badly, with over 18,000 fires last month in Brazil alone, write Jos Barlow & Erika Berenguer. The future is looking hot and fiery.

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Area of Bento Rodrigues, Minas Gerais state, affected by the release of mine tailings from the failed dams. Photo: Agência Brasil Fotografias via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Tailings dam breach - 'the assassination of Brazil's fifth largest river basin'

Ana Luisa Naghettini
Geraldo Lopes
| 19th November 2015
Brazil has suffered its biggest ever industrial disaster, write Ana Luisa Naghettini & Geraldo Lopes. Breached and overflowing dams have released a massive slug of toxic muds and tailings from iron mining into the country's fifth largest river system that provides drinking water for downstream cities, destroying ecosystems in rivers and vast areas of biologically fragile ocean.

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Burning forest in the Amazon at Flona do Jamanxim. Novo Progresso, Pará, Brazil. Photo: Leonardo F. Freitas via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Amazon - illegal loggers set Indigenous forest ablaze

Luana Lila
Greenpeace Brazil
| 28th October 2015
Deep in the Brazilian Amazon indigenous people have been protecting their reserve from illegal loggers, writes Luana Lila. The loggers took their revenge by kindling one of the Amazon's biggest fires ever, destroying almost 200,000 hectares of rainforest.

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Aerial view of the Amazon rainforest, near Manaus, an area affected by fracking licences. Photo: Neil Palmer / CIAT for CIFOR on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Brazil to auction Amazon fracking licences

The Ecologist
| 6th October 2015
Brazil is about to auction hundreds of fracking blocks across the country - extending deep into the Amazon forest including the territories of remote and vulnerable indigenous peoples. Registered bidders include BP, Shell and ExxonMobil.

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Guarani man Semião Vilhalva lies on the ground, murdered by ranchers' gunmen last weekend. Photo: still from video by Marcelo Zelic via Facebook.

Brazil: Guarani man murdered by ranchers' gunmen

The Ecologist
| 2nd September 2015
Guarani man Semião Vilhalva was murdered by ranchers' gunmen last weekend after his community reoccupied parts of their ancestral land from ranchers. Thousands of Guarani Indians holding on to tiny patches of their ancestral land are living in constant fear of forcible eviction.

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Jairo Restrepo among the wild flowers of Spain. Photo: JuanFran Lopez.

Defending life! Jairo Restrepo, organic revolutionary

JuanFran Lopez
Ragmans Lane Farm
| 27th July 2015
Jairo Restrepo is a leading champion of organic farming in Brazil, writes JuanFran Lopez, and now his influence has spread across the world. His mission too has expanded to include campaigning for the rights of small scale farmers, and an even wider project of economic, technological and societal transformation to put people at the centre of political power.

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Indigenous representatives of multiple ethnicities were barred from Brazil's Congress building last 16th December when they gathered to oppose PEC 215. Photo: Ninja Midia via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Não a PEC 215! No to Brazil's plan to open indigenous lands to industrial exploitation!

Chris Lang
REDD Monitor
| 15th July 2015
Last December Brazil's indigenous Peoples defeated the PEC 215 constitutional amendment that was meant to open up their territories for agribusiness, mining, power generation and industry, writes Chris Lang. But now, thanks to 'Chainsaw Queen' Kátia Abreu, minster of agriculture, it's back on the agenda ... and resistance is growing once again.

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Dwarfed by a human hand. Photo: Marcio Pie (CC BY-NC-SA).

Seven new species of tiny frog found in Brazil's cloud forest

Miranda Dyson
The Open University
| 9th June 2015
The Atlantic rainforest of Brazil is a biodiversity treasure, writes Miranda Dyson - as exemplified by the discovery of seven minute and beautiful frogs. But with the forest already reduced to under a tenth of its original extent, and going fast, they and countless other species may not survive much longer.

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Sunrise on the Balbina hydroelectric dam in Brazil’s Amazon region. Image: Seabirds via Wikimedia Commons.

Deepening drought forces Brazil to embrace solar power

Jan Rocha
| 6th April 2015
Without water to feed its hydroelectric dams, drought-hit Brazil is turning to solar power - dubbed 'a fantasy' by the country's president just a few years ago, writes Jan Rocha. Now thousands of megawatts of floating solar panel 'islands' are to be installed on dam reservoirs.

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A dry branch of the Atibainha reservoir, part of the Cantareira system of reservoirs that serves Sao Paulo, 26th February 2015. Photo: Clairex via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Brazil's ravaged forests are taking their revenge

Robert Hunziker
| 2nd March 2015
Thanks to massive deforestation along Brazil's Atlantic coast and the Amazon, São Paulo's reservoirs are at just 6% of their capacity and water rationing is in place. But this is just the beginning of a long term drying process that could be recreated around the world as forests are laid waste and hydrology disrupted.

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Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, Presidente da Associaç;ão Hutukara Yanomami. Photo: Joelle Hernandez via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

'The Falling Sky' - words of a Yanomami shaman

Sue Branford
| 17th February 2015
This powerful book by Davi Kopenawa and Bruce Albert reveals to us the world view of the Yanomami shaman, writes Sue Branford - together with many uncomfortable insights about the horrors of mainstream modern society, seen from an indigenous viewpoint as a form of organized madness that's driving the world to destruction.

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Aerial view of the Amazon Rainforest, near Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. Photo: Neil Palmer / CIAT for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Five steps to save the Amazon

Jan Rocha
| 22nd December 2014
As Brazil's climate gets drier, caused by deforestation in the Amazon and elsewhere, writes Jan Rocha, a Brazilian climate expert proposes five-point 'battle plan' to save the world's greatest tropical forest, before it's too late.

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