Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Brazil Backs Off Controversial Plan to Open Amazon Forest to Mining

Popular
Brazil Backs Off Controversial Plan to Open Amazon Forest to Mining
A stretch of the Jari River inside the Renca Reserve in Amapá state. Daniel Beltrá / Greenpeace

The Brazilian government announced Monday that it has reversed President Michel Temer's decree last month to open up a protected Amazon reserve to mining.

Temer's controversial proposal had allowed mining in the National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca), a 17,800-square-mile nature reserve the size of Switzerland that's known to be an essential carbon sink. The area is believed to be rich in gold, manganese, iron and copper.


Temer's decree had been met with widespread international condemnation over fears of deforestation. The country's congress even called it the "biggest attack on the Amazon in 50 years," the Guardian reported. A judge suspended the president's plan just a few days later.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy said in its statement that the government has re-established the conditions of area based on a document that created the reserve in 1984.

The Amazon is Earth's biggest rainforest and is estimated to be home to 10 percent of Earth's known species and several indigenous tribes.

Greenpeace Brazil's Marcio Astrini cheered the reversal. "It is victory of society over those who want to destroy and sell our forest," he said.

"Renca," however, "is just a battle," he noted.

"The war against the Amazon and its different peoples, promoted by Temer and big agribusiness, is still on."

Indeed, the Ministry of Mines and Energy signaled in its announcement that the fight is not over yet.

"The country needs to grow and generate jobs, attract investment to the mining sector, and even tap the economic potential of the region," it said.

A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A plastic bag caught in a tree in New Jersey's Palisades Park. James Leynse / Stone / Getty Images

New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Sept. 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill to boost clean energy while phasing out the use of coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators that are known pollutants and contribute to the climate crisis, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington comforts Marsha Maus, 75, whose home was destroyed during California's deadly 2018 wildfires, on March 11, 2019 in Agoura Hills, California. Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

By Governor Jay Inslee

Climate Week this year coincides with clear skies in Washington state for the first time in almost two weeks.

In just a few days in early September, Washington state saw enough acres burned – more than 600,000 – to reach our second-worst fire season on record. Our worst fire season came only five years ago. Wildfires aren't new to the west, but their scope and danger today is unlike anything firefighters have seen. People up and down the West Coast – young and old, in rural areas and in cities – were choking on smoke for days on end, trapped in their homes.

Fires like these are becoming the norm, not the exception.

Read More Show Less
Four more years will be enough to cement in place Trump's anti-environmental policies and to make sure it's too late to really change course. Enrique Meseguer / Pixabay

By Bill McKibben

To understand the planetary importance of this autumn's presidential election, check the calendar. Voting ends on November 3—and by a fluke of timing, on the morning of November 4 the United States is scheduled to pull out of the Paris Agreement.

President Trump announced that we would abrogate our Paris commitments during a Rose Garden speech in 2017. But under the terms of the accords, it takes three years to formalize the withdrawal. So on Election Day it won't be just Americans watching: The people of the world will see whether the country that has poured more carbon into the atmosphere than any other over the course of history will become the only country that refuses to cooperate in the one international effort to do something about the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch