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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. more...
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. more...
Another hot, dry night falls on Sao Paulo. Photo: Rafael Vianna Croffi via Flickr (CC BY).

Megacity drought: Sao Paulo withers after dry 'wet season'

Leila Carvalho

26th June 2015

After four years of low rainfall Brazil's commercial capital, Sao Paulo, is suffering from a grim combination of high temperatures and water shortages, writes Leila Carvalho. And now the drought has given rise to a lethal plague of dengue fever. more...
Some 300 indigenous Guajajara and Awá-Guajá people blockade the Carajás railroad in October 2012 to call for the repeal of Brazil's Ordinance 303, which abolished the need for indigenous consultation for major infrastructure projects deemed integral to

'Deadly' trans-Amazon railway sparks fear among rainforest tribes

The Ecologist

16th June 2015

A proposed $30 billion railway line linking the the Peruvian and Brazilian coasts threatens devastation to forests and indigenous tribes that lie along its route, and will add to wider pressures on land and forests. more...
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. more...
A truck pulls into the Enviva Ahoskie wood pellet plant that supplies Drax power station, loaded with whole trees. Photo: Dogwood Alliance.

End support for Drax: stop subsidies for biomass power and phase out coal!

The Undersigned

22nd April 2015

Hundreds of millions of pounds meant to be spent on green energy will soon be lavished on Britain's biggest coal fired power station to reward it for burning 7 million tonnes of wood pellets a year - meant to be 'renewable' but actually driving biodiversity loss and even worse for climate change than coal. DECC must stop this madness! more...
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. more...
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. more...
Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, Presidente da Associação 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. more...
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. more...
A Matsé leader in the Peruvian Amazon pledges to attack oil workers intruding into the tribe's territory with spears, bows and arrows. Photo: David Hill.

'It's war!' Peru-Brazil indigenous people pledge to fight Amazon oil exploration

David Hill

8th December 2014

Peru - host of the COP20 UN climate conference now under way in Lima - is facing rebellion by a 3,500 strong indigenous people deep in the Amazon committed to fighting oil exploration in their forest territory, writes David Hill, following the government's failure to consult Matsés communities or respect their rights. more...
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. more...

Brazil: 1/25 of 64
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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. more...
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. more...
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. more...
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. more...
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. more...
'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. more...
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. more...
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. more...
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. more...
Davi Koponawa outside the Palace of Westminster, London. Photo: Survival International.

Brazil: death threats stalk Amazon shaman Davi Kopenawa

The Ecologist

30th July 2014

As gold miners face eviction from Yanomami territory in the Brazilian Amazon, a rising tempo of death threats have been directed against the shaman Davi Kopenawa following his successful campaign. more...
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 ... more...
Fuleco has inspired millions of plastic  armadillos, but the animals themselves have received scant benefit. Photo: Tânia Rêgo / ABr, CC BY-SA.

Brazil and FIFA have failed to protect their World Cup mascot

Robert Young

12th July 2014

The choice of the armadillo as World Cup mascot could have led to great conservation gains in Brazil, writes Robert Young. Results so far are deeply disappointing - but it's not too late for FIFA and Brazil to create a natural endowment to be proud of for decades to come. more...
The Belo Monte dam construction site. Photo: Programa de Aceleração 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. more...

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