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Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Deforestation Down 66% From Last July In Lula’s Brazil

The Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest on the planet. It is home to more animal and plant species than any terrestrial ecosystem, including one-third of the world’s tropical trees. This diverse sanctuary is also one of the last refuges for jaguars, pink river dolphins and harpy eagles, according to WWF. Brazil has an Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Amazon by 2030, and since President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took office at the start of this year, deforestation has fallen dramatically. The country’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Marina Silva said that deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon in Brazil dropped 66.11 percent in August.

Venezuela Proposes Joint Task Force For Amazon Rainforest Recovery

Venezuela has proposed actions that unite economic and sustainable development to restore the vital regeneration of the Amazon rainforest, to be accomplished with the support and union of all South American countries, according to vice president of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez, speaking at the Fourth Amazon Summit 2023, taking place in the city of Belém, Brazil. “We are called to coordination and union,” Rodríguez stated this Tuesday, August 8, during a presentation at the summit. “Surely, unity is the work that binds us for vital regeneration.

Nearly 2,000 Illegal Miners Evicted From Venezuela’s Amazonas State

Approximately two thousand illegal miners have been evicted from Yapacana National Park, located in the state of Amazonas, as part of the National Bolivarian Armed Force’s (FANB) Operation Autana 2023 aimed at protecting the Amazon rainforest. “The FANB, as a whole, acts in the defense of the Amazon, of the national parks,” said Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro during the broadcast of his Con Maduro + program this week. “Do you know how many illegal miners there are in that area? More than ten thousand. We have already evicted almost two thousand.”

Lula Faces Powerful Opposition As He Seeks To Protect The Amazon

Surrounded by thousands of supporters, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (known simply as “Lula”) was sworn into office on Jan. 1, 2023, at a colorful inauguration ceremony held at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. It was not Lula’s first time assuming the highest office of Latin America’s largest country. He was first sworn in two decades ago and served two terms as Brazil’s president from 2003 to 2010. The 67-year-old is a true veteran of Brazilian politics: He was the presidential candidate of the leftist Workers’ Party in 1989, 1994 and 1998, losing each time. In the October 2022 elections, he narrowly defeated the right-wing populist incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, with 50.9% of the vote.

Study: Ecological Collapse Could Happen Much Sooner Than Expected

Without a doubt, the landscape of our planet is changing. Arctic sea ice is melting, rainforests are being razed for agriculture, deserts are expanding and meadows are appearing in places that have been covered in snow for thousands of years. In some parts of the world, tipping points have already been surpassed, and in others, the danger of that happening may come sooner than we might think. According to The Conversation, more than 20 types of ecosystem have already experienced “regime shifts” and more than 20 percent — including the Amazon rainforest — are on the precipice of it.

Lula Recognizes Six New Brazilian Indigenous Reserves

The Amazon rainforest plays a critical role in the mitigation of climate change, but in recent years it has been the target of a steep increase in deforestation. A demarcation decree by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil has established six new Indigenous reserves in the South American country where no mining will be permitted and restrictions will be placed on logging and commercial agriculture. The lands include an extensive area of about 1.5 million acres of Amazon rainforest. The decree was signed on the last day of the 19th Terra Livre gathering, attended by thousands of Indigenous peoples in the country’s capital city of Brasília.

Lula Launches Raids Against Illegal Miners In Amazon

With Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva warning his administration "will not allow illegal mining on Indigenous lands," the government announced Wednesday that environmental special forces destroyed at least one helicopter, an airplane, and a bulldozer used by "mining mafias" in the territory of the Yanomami people in the Amazon rainforest this week. The raids aimed at removing illegal mining operations involving tens of thousands of ore and gold miners from the region began on Monday, just over a month after the leftist president, known as Lula, took office. The Guardian reported that the special forces set up a base near the Uraricoera River, which illegal miners used during right-wing former President Jair Bolsonaro's administration. "The Yanomami want peace—that is all they want. And this is what we are going to give them."

President Maduro Calls For Summit In Defense Of The Amazon

On Saturday, November 5, the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, announced the proposal for a South American summit in defense of the Amazon rainforest. Upon his arrival in Egypt to participate in the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), President Maduro said that he discussed the issue with his Colombian counterpart, Gustavo Petro, and the president-elect of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. “We have proposed to Petro and Lula to soon hold a South American summit in defense of the Amazon and to reactivate the Defense Treaty Organization to make concrete proposals so that humanity and governments commit to finance the recovery of that region,” he explained.

NATO In The Amazon: Petro Plays With Fire

NATO recently expanded to Sweden and Finland, has been de facto incorporated in Ukraine, and may extend to Georgia. Now, NATO’s entry into the Amazon is in the works under the aegis of newly elected President Gustavo Petro of Colombia. NATO is a primary instrument of US imperial dominion. It is Washington’s praetorian guard projected on a global scale. Earlier this month, President Petro invited US and NATO military forces into the Amazon on the pretext that the imperial war machine could be repurposed as “police” aimed at protecting the environment instead of the old ruse of the war on drugs. He proposed deployment of US Black Hawk helicopters to put out fires. Previous to the environmental alibi, the pretext for militarization of the jungle was narcotics interdiction. Petro described his “conversation with NATO” as “strange,” but hastened to add “that’s where we are.”

The Amazon’s Last Chance

Brazil went to the polls yesterday under unusual political circumstances: Lula, the Workers’ Party (PT) candidate and champion of the poor, confronted an extreme right-winger, racist, misogynist, homophobic, and pro-dictatorship ex-army captain Jair Bolsonaro. Lula won the first round with 48.42% of the vote and looks set to win in the second round. But Bolsonaro, defying polls’ predictions, performed better than expected, scoring 43.2%. The background is important here. Brazil’s elite managed both to impeach PT president Dilma Rousseff in 2016 on false charges of fiscal improprieties (now fully exonerated) and to jail former president Lula, thus eliminating him from the 2018 presidential race. This emboldened Brazil’s establishment, who turned these successes into a push to ostracise the PT.

The Wide Role Brazil’s Military Has Played In Amazon’s Destruction

In the Brazilian Amazon, as deforestation reaches record levels and rivers are increasingly polluted, the illegal gold mining contributing to these problems continues largely unabated. The response of the government has been to increase military action to curb environmental crimes in Brazil. Far from achieving this purpose, however, the military intervention has only led to tragedies in the region, directly or indirectly. A source from the Brazilian Amazon wrote to us at Revista Opera two years ago to warn us about something strange that was going on there: illegally mined gold was being sold at the same price as legally mined gold. “If the nugget is a big one,” said the source, “they give the miner extra [money].”

Steven Donziger: A Tale For Our Times

29 years ago, in 1993, Steven Donziger, a New York lawyer, visited Ecuador and saw communities who lived their lives with their bare feet and hands permanently covered in oil sludge and other pollutants, whose agriculture was ruined and who suffered high levels of mortality and birth defects. He started a class action against Texaco in the United States, representing over 30,000 local people. Texaco, confident that they had control of Ecuador, requested the US court to rule that jurisdiction lay in Ecuador. It also set about obtaining the agreement from the Government of Ecuador to cancel any liability. In 2002 the New York court finally agreed with Texaco (now Chevron) that is had no jurisdiction and the case moved to Ecuador, much to Chevron’s delight.

Indigenous Peoples Set Up Protest Camp In Brasilia

From August 22 to 28, the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) and its regional organizations will carry out a national mobilization to defend their ancestral territories. On Sunday, the Indigenous peoples established a camp in Brasilia where the headquarters of the State functions are located. Throughout the week, they will carry out demonstrations to reject President Jair Bolsonaro and prevent the Supreme Court of Brazil (STF) from approving the "Time Frame", which is a norm related to the demarcation of their ancestral lands. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Francisco Cali Tzay asked the Supreme Court to reject a legal proposal promoted by private companies, which are only interested in exploiting the natural resources found within the Indigenous territories.

Amazon Rainforest Is Releasing More Carbon Than It Stores

Over the last several years researchers have said that the Amazon is on the verge of transforming from a crucial storehouse for heat-trapping gasses to a source of them, a dangerous shift that could destabilize the atmosphere of the planet. Now, after years of painstaking and inventive research, they have definitively measured that shift. In a study published Wednesday in Nature, a team of researchers led by scientists from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research, reported results from measuring carbon concentrations in columns of air above the Amazon. They found that the massive continental-size swath of tropical forest is releasing more carbon dioxide than it accumulates or stores, thanks to deforestation and fires. “There is no doubt that the Amazon is a source,” said Luciana Gatti, the lead author of the study.

Under Bolsonaro, Attacks On Amazonians Have Skyrocketed

The Bolsonaro government is committed to handing over Amazonian land to Brazilian and foreign capitalists. As their exploitation continues, violent conflict over land and water in the Amazon has escalated — increasing 8% in 2020, to the highest levels in the 35 year history that this reporting has been conducted. Many of these attacks are from the state itself.
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