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91% of all deforestation in the Amazon occurs to make way for cattle ranches like the one shown here. Photo: Jai Mansson via Flickr (CC BY-SA)

Eat less meat to reforest the Earth!

Laura Kehoe

27th April 2016

How do you solve a problem like deforestation? By a change of diet, writes Laura Kehoe. Scientists have discovered that we can feed the world and stop destroying forests by eating less meat. If we all went vegetarian that would reduce deforestation by 94%. And if we went the whole way to veganism enough land would be freed up for a new forest the size of the Amazon, and allow a widespread shift to organic farming systems. more...
Returning hair samples to a Yanomami community after testing for lead content. Photo: © Marcos Wesley / ISA.

Amazon Indians at risk in mercury poisoning crisis

Sarina Kidd / Survival International

5th April 2016

Illegal gold mining in the Amazon has a devastating effect on indigenous peoples, writes Sarina Kidd. First the miners bring disease, deforestation and even murder. Then long after they have gone, communities are left to suffer deadly mercury poisoning. Now the UN has been called on to intervene. more...
Never again! Texaco-Chevron's toxic oil legacy at Lago Agrio in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr (CC BY).

Ecuador's next Amazon oil battle: Indigenous Peoples on the front line

Kevin Koenig / Amazon Watch

4th April 2016

The rights of nature and of indigenous communities are enshrined in Ecuador's constitution, writes Kevin Koenig. But down in the Amazon the government is going full speed ahead with oil extraction on indigenous territories whose owners are committed to keeping their forests and waters pollution-free. A mighty battle is brewing that looks certain to come to a head this year. more...
The land contaminated by the oil spill in Mayoriaga. Photo: Forest Peoples Programme

Peru: Amazon tribe orders oil company out after devastating spills

Vanessa Amaral-Rogers

9th March 2016

The indigenous Wampis people of the Peruvian Amazon have demanded the immediate closure of a Petroperú oil pipeline after a series of devastating spills, writes Vanessa Amaral-Rogers. The company has already been found guilty of 'negligence' after previous oil spills contaminated the Wampis land and rivers. more...
Jaguar at Pilpintuwasi, near Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazon. Photo: worldsurfr via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

The Shaman's cure: a Gaian awakening

Peter Bunyard

2nd March 2016

An encounter with a Colombian shaman led Peter Bunyard on a spiritual journey into and beyond the living, breathing, transpiring Amazon rainforest, providing key insights into the essential role of the great tropical forests in the workings of Gaia. He emerged re-energised from his visions - and inspired to redouble his efforts to save our wondrous planet. more...
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. more...
An Amazonian Grey woolly spider monkey feeding in the treetops. As a important seed disperser, it is essential to the forest ecology - and its capacity to store carbon. Photo: UEA.

Hunting in the Amazon threatens rainforest carbon

The Ecologist

27th January 2016

The over-hunting of wildlife in the Amazon has an unexpected knock-on effect: the reduced seed dispersal reduces the forest's capacity to store carbon in its biomass, increasing emissions from apparently 'intact' rainforest areas. more...
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 Decmber 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. 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...
Indian tribes from the Xingu region protest at a Public Hearing for the Belo Monte dam in September 2009. Behind them stands a detachment from Brazil's National Security Force. Photo: J.Gil via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Occupy Amazonia? Indigenous activists are taking direct action - and it's working

Marc Brightman

17th March 2015

The indigenous peoples of the Amazon are employing the tactics of the Occupy movement against oil companies, gold miners and illegal loggers, writes Marc Brightman. Their methods are home-grown: lacking the protection of the state, they have always had to fight their own battles. But recent campaign successes owe much to outside support. We must maintain, and strengthen, our solidarity. more...
The future Amazon? Keep on deforesting the Amazon, and Leticia in the Colmbian rainforest, which currently gets 2500mm of rain a year, could get as little rain as Israel's Negev Desert, with 20mm. Photo of the Negev by Francois BESSONNET via Flickr (CC BY

Without its rainforest, the Amazon will turn to desert

Peter Bunyard

2nd March 2015

Mainstream climatologists predict a 15% fall in rainfall over the Amazon if it is stripped of its rainforest. But the 'biotic pump' theory, rooted in conventional physics and recently confirmed by experiment, shows that the interior of a forest-free Amazon will be as dry as the Negev desert. We must save the Amazon before it enters a permanent and irreversible dessication. 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...

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The author at an oil production site in Ecuador. Photo: David Poritz.

Certified-responsible oil and gas - we need it now!

David Poritz

21st October 2014

The oil and gas industry is disrupting communities and damaging ecosystems worldwide, writes David Poritz. Tough, independent social and environmental standards for the industry can bring urgently-needed improvements to company practices - even where government regulation has failed. 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...
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. more...
The road is up to 60 metres wide. Photo: Finer M, Pappalardo SE, Ferrarese F, De Marchi M (2014) / geoyasuni.org.

Ecuador: oil company has built 'secret' road deep into Yasuni National Park

David Hill

6th June 2014

Ecuador's state oil company PetroAmazonas has, in secret, built a road deep into the heart of the world-famous Yasuni National Park in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest, writes David Hill - violating promises and threatening uncontacted indigenous tribes. more...
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 ... more...
A giant tree of the Congo basin rainforest. Photo: Corinne Staley via Flickr.com.

Congo rainforest 'browning' as temperatures rise

Tim Radford

30th April 2014

Scientists have found that the world's second greatest rainforest, the Congo, is losing its green, writes Tim Radford. As temperatures rise and rainfall reduces, the forest canopy is taking on a browner hue, and this could be an early signal of worse damage to come. more...
A 2008 aerial survey shows the Amazon tribe near the group now dispersed by drug traffickers. Photo: Gleison Miranda / FUNAI.

Brazil - drugs gang 'disappears' isolated Amazon tribe

Joel Zinn

5th April 2014

Members of a Brazilian tribe isolated from outside contact have been scattered by drug traffickers armed with sub-machine guns, writes Joel Zinn, following an armed takeover of a nearby government post. more...
Soy on former forest, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Photo: Jeff Belmonte via Flickr.com.

Brazil extends Amazon protection from soy farms

The Ecologist

3rd January 2014

Amazon threat from soybean expansion delayed for a year - but 8 million hectares of unprotected forest at risk from 2015 pending new measures. more...
Nanti people on river bank. Photo: © Anonymous / Survival.

Gas company: Amazon tribes vulnerable to 'massive deaths'

David Hill

20th January 2014

Amazon tribes in Peru's rainforest are at risk of 'massive deaths' from new diseases to which they lack immunity, gas company Pluspetrol admits - as it tries to expand its Camisea gas project into a Reserve for isolated indigenous people. more...
Yagua Indians in the Peruvian Amazon. Photo: chany crystal via Flickr.com.

Peru - gas expansion in Amazon 'indigenous reserve'

David Hill for The Guardian

14th January 2014

Peru is to expand its Camisea gas project although it threatens uncontacted Amazon tribes with extinction, reports David Hill. The decision also ignores UN pleas to stop the operations. more...
Kayapo Indians on a road block to stop the Belo Monte Dam in the Brazilian Amazon. Photo: International Rivers via Flickr.com.

Amazon forest loss risks water security across South America

Paul Brown.

30th December 2013

Water, food supplies and energy production are all in jeopardy as the Amazon forest is felled for profit. And as Paul Brown writes, the damage is spreading well beyond Amazonia itself ... more...

Brazil deforestation up 28%

The Ecologist

16th November 2013

After a significant drop in the last several years, the annual deforestation rates in Brazil raised 28% for the period August 2012-July 2013, according to INPE, the Brazilian Spatial Institute. more...

Amazon: 441 new species discovered in four years

Oliver Tickell

23 October 2013

"Most of the recently discovered plants and animals are thought to be endemic to small parts of the Amazon rainforest." more...

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