Brazil

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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The Carajas railroad, almost 900km long, connects the Grande Carajas iron and manganese mine in the heart of the Amazon to coastal port of San Luis.

Brazil - 10% of national parks and indigenous lands face mining threat

Luke Parry
| 7th November 2014
Legislation put forward by Brazil's re-elected President Dilma Rousseff would open up to 10% of protected areas to mining, writes Luke Parry. The effect would be to gut nature conservation in Brazil, already in a perilous state due to underfunding and growing pressure for the development of mines, dams, farms and plantations.

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The Balbina Dam reservoir. Photo: via Greenpeace.

Brazil's giant dam programme is a climate disaster

Helle Abelvik-Lawson
Greenpeace
| 28th October 2014
Brazil's newly elected Dilma Rousseff is committed to completing the disastrous Belo Monte dam, writes Helle Abelvik-Lawson. Worse, she looks certain to press ahead with the industrialisation of the Amazon, with 61 hydroprojects in the pipeline. And new scientific findings about the massive climate impacts of tropical forest dams are not about to stop her.

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Texaco's signature, written in oil, at Lago Agrio in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr.

Latin American progressives and environmental duplicity

Daniel Macmillen
| 26th October 2014
Left wing governments across the Americas are faced with a dilemma, writes Daniel Macmillen - high social spending programs financed by income from destructive mining and hydrocarbon extraction - or a slower but sustainable development path that puts ecology, equity and justice first. Their answer - a constant pushing back of the resource frontier.

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Cattle are still driving deforestation in the Amazon - but a new wave of cash crop agriculture for palm oil and other commodities is on its way. Photo: Kate Evans for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) via Flickr.

Palm oil - the new threat to the Amazon

Alex Kirby
| 20th October 2014
Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has been sharply reduced in recent years, writes Alex Kirby. But analysts say that palm oil and other cash crops are set for a major expansion, while high demand for beef, and administrative chaos, may undermine efforts to reform the ranching sector.

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'Mata Atlântica' in Brazil's Serra da Gandarela national park. But there are few large forest areas like this one remaining. Mostly the Atlantic forest habitat is fragmented by farms, roads and towns. Photo: Frederico Pereira via Flickr.

Saving Brazil's Atlantic forest on a shoe string

Cristina Banks-Leite
| 18th September 2014
As Brazil prepares for elections next month, conserving its remaining Atlantic Forest is a hot issue, writes Cristina Banks-Leite. Ecologists want to preserve more native habitat, while farmers want to expand their acreage. But there is one solution that ought to please everyone.

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Ashaninka traveling by boat from eastern Peru to visit neighbors in Acre state, Brazil. Photo: © Mike Goldwater / Survival.

Assassination in the Amazon

Oliver Tickell
| 11th September 2014
Four Indian leaders who have opposed illegal logging in their forests have been shot dead in eastern Peru as they traveled by boat to an indigenous meeting in Brazil. The murders followed pleas to Peruvian authorities for protection, and warnings by Brazilian officials that the Indians were in extreme danger.

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Suzano's eucalyptus plantations in Urbano Santos, Brazil, specifically planted to satisfy the EU's projected future biofuel demand.

EU biofuel demand is driving land grabs in the Global South

Oliver Munnion
| 11th September 2014
With the EU projected to source most of its 'renewable' energy by burning biomass, its policies are leading to widespread land-grabbing and forest destruction, writes Oliver Munnion. And because many of the biomass projects are purely speculative, 'sustainability standards' will do little or nothing to improve practice on the ground.

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Drought - what drought? Fountains in Sao Paulo disguise the reality that power and water will soon be running catastrophically low. Photo: collectmoments via Flickr.

Drought hits São Paulo - what drought?

Jan Rocha
| 29th August 2014
São Paulo, South America's biggest city, is suffering its worst drought in over a century, writes Jan Rocha, with rivers and reservoirs running dry. But the state's politicians are seeking re-election. And for them, it's as if nothing is happening - never mind that water and power cuts affecting millions are looking inevitable.

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Uncontacted Indians making contact with a settled Ashaninka community near the Brazil-Peru border, June 2014. Photos: © FUNAI.

Peru: uncontacted tribe flees massacre in the Amazon

Alice Bayer
Survival International
| 22nd August 2014
Survivors of a previously unknown Amazon tribe have escaped gunmen in Peru, seeking refuge with settled indigenous communities in Brazil. But as Alice Bayer reports, their problems are far from over. Many remain under threat in Peru, and even the refugees are at risk of common but potentially lethal infections.

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A fall armyworm caterpillar in a sweetcorn cob. Photo: Judy Baxter via Flickr.

Brazil: GMO 'Bt corn' no longer resists pest attack

The Ecologist
| 2nd August 2014
GMO corn varieties that express insecticidal Bt toxins are failing in the field, with reports of infestations of the fall armyworm on Bt corn in Brazil and the USA. Now the EU is poised to approve one of the failing varieties for use on European farms.

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Some 90 miles off the Sao Paulo coast, Ilha da Queimada Grande looks very pretty from far away. But up close, it's terrifying. Photo: Prefeitura Municipal Itanhaém.

Great snakes! Football fans, explore at your peril

Natasha Geiling
| 15th July 2014
Brazil's Ilha de Queimada Grande is the only home of one of the world's deadliest, and most endangered, snakes, writes Natasha Geiling. Just the place for Brazil's disgraced football team to escape the wrath of furious fans, if they can only get a permit ...

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The Belo Monte dam construction site. Photo: Programa de Aceleraç;ão do Crescimento via Flickr.

Brazilians have far more to protest about than the World Cup

Steffen Böhm
Rafael Kruter Flores
| 20th June 2014
It may all be over for England, but for Brazil, the battle is only just beginning. Anger over the vast cost of the World Cup - well over $10 billion - and its huge social impacts, is spilling over into a wider fury at massive mega-projects than enrich elites, trash the environment, and leave the poor poorer.

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Davi Koponawa at home in the forest. Photo: Survival International.

Ours is a path of survival for the whole planet

Liam J Shaughnessy
| 17th June 2014
As the World Cup gets under way in Brazil, Yanomami shaman Davi Kopenawa told Liam J Shaughnessy about the very different world he inhabits, deep in the Amazon rainforest - a world of bright spirits, ancient knowledge, union with nature. And a world under threat.

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The blockade of the Amazon Highway near the Belo Monte construction site. Photo: Xingu Vivo.

Brazil: Amazon Indians shot at Belo Monte dam site

Xingu Vivo
The Ecologist
| 30th May 2014
This week 20 Amazon Indians walked to the Belo Monte dam site to demand the company keep its promises to compensate indigenous communities. Police shot them with 'rubber bullets' and stun grenades, wounding four. Tensions are rising ...

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Curitiba bus stop. Photo: mariordo59 via Flickr.com.

Curitiba: the Greenest city on Earth

Brian Barth
| 15th March 2014
Football fans around the globe have their eyes set on Curitiba, Brasil this year, the site of the 2014 World Cup. But as Brian Barth reports, eco-savvy urban planners have been studying Brasil's seventh largest city for decades ...

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