Stories written by Mario Osava
Mario Osava has been an IPS correspondent since 1978, first from Portugal, then from Brazil starting in 1980. He has covered events and processes all throughout Brazil and has recently been engaged in covering major infrastructural projects that reflect opportunities for development and South American integration. | Twitter |

Giant Itaipú Dam and Bacteria Join Forces for Clean Energy and Environment

"It used to be complicated, I would have lunch with the flies," recalls Pedro Colombari, laughing, on his 400-hectare farm where he fattens 5,000 pigs and raises 400 cattle outside of a small town in southern Brazil.

Slavery Modernises, Adapts to Stay Alive in Brazil

"Slave labour is not declining; it has taken on new forms and is growing; it expanded to new sectors where it did not previously exist," said Ivanete da Silva Sousa, an activist in the fight against modern-day slavery in northern Brazil.

Synergy with Hydropower Plants Boosts Biogas Production in Brazil

Fomenting biogas production among agricultural producers may seem at first glance to be a distraction from the purpose of Itaipu, the giant hydroelectric power plant shared by Brazil and Paraguay, but in fact it is part of their energy business strategy.

Solar and Biogas, the Perfect Agroenergy Duo in Brazil

"They're the ideal duo," because the combination of solar and biogas sources makes it possible to provide electricity around the clock, one during the day and the other at night, says Anelio Thomazzoni, a pig farmer who has become a producer of clean energy in southwestern Brazil.

Water Is Worth More than Milk in Extrema, Brazil

"They called me crazy" for fencing in the area where the cows went to drink water, said Elias Cardoso, on his 67-hectare farm in Extrema, a municipality 110 km from São Paulo, Brazil's largest metropolis.

Combining Biogas and Solar, the Best Energy Deal in Brazil

"Biogas is the best energy, it has no contraindications," and if you combine it with solar it becomes "the best energy business," at least in Brazil, says Anélio Thomazzoni.

In Southern Brazil, Need Becomes an Environmental Virtue

The state of Santa Catarina in southern Brazil is the largest national producer and exporter of pork and this year it also leads in exports of chicken, of which it is the second-biggest producer in the country.

Biogas Makes Pig Farming More Sustainable in Southern Brazil

Biogas has the potential to provide 36 percent of the electricity consumed in Brazil or replace 70 percent of diesel if purified as biomethane, according to the Brazilian Association of Biogas and Biomethane (Abiogas).

Amazon Fires Heat Up Political Crisis in Brazil

August is the month of major political crises in Brazil, but no one suspected that an environmental issue would be the trigger for the storms threatening the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, just eight months into his term.

Producing Energy from Pig and Poultry Waste in Brazil

Romário Schaefer is fattening up 3,300 pigs that he receives when they weigh around 22 kg and returns when they reach 130 to 160 kg - a huge increase in meat and profits for their owner, a local meat-processing plant in this city in Brazil.

Producing Clean Energy from Pigsties in Brazil

Pigs, already the main source of income in this small municipality in southwestern Brazil, now have even more value as a source of electricity.

The Long Struggle Against the Stigma Surrounding Hansen’s Disease

At the age of 80, Yohei Sasakawa continues to travel around the world to promote solutions for some of the challenges facing humanity, such as Hansen's Disease or leprosy, wars and disabilities, factors of stigma and exclusion.

Early Detection is the Solution for Hansen’s Disease

On Jun. 27, Faustino Pinto was in Geneva, Switzerland, where he spoke to people at the United Nations about the fight against Hansen's Disease and the stigma surrounding it, at a meeting during the 41st session of the Human Rights Council.

Prejudice and Discrimination, the Uncured Ills of Leprosy

“The ambulance team refused to take my sick friend to the hospital because he had had Hanseniasis years before," said Yohei Sasakawa, president of the Nippon Foundation, at one of the meetings held during his Jul. 1-10 visit to Brazil.

A Lifelong Battle Against the “Disease of Silence”

Yohei Sasakawa has dedicated half of his 80 years of life to combating the "disease of silence" and is still fighting the battle, as president of the Nippon Foundation and World Health Organisation (WHO) goodwill ambassador for elimination of leprosy, formally known as Hansen's Disease.

Japan Boosts Complex Fight to Eliminate Leprosy in Brazil

When cases of Hansen's disease, better known as leprosy, increase in Brazil, it is not due to a lack of medical assistance but to the growing efficacy of the health system in detecting infections, contrary to the situation in other countries.

The Amazon Seeks Alternatives that Could Revolutionise Energy Production

A large steel wheel, 14 meters in diameter and 1.3 meters wide, could be the energy solution of the near future, generating 3.5 megawatts - enough to supply a city of 30,000 people, according to a company in the capital city of the state of Amazonas in northwest Brazil.

Militarised Government Attempts to Resume Mega-projects in Brazil

Two military-inspired initiatives are leading Brazil's new government, which includes a number of generals, down the path of mega-projects, which have had disastrous results in the last four decades.

People Affected by Leprosy in Latin America Unite for Their Rights and Their Voice

With the decision to found a regional coalition to promote rights and greater participation in national and international forums and decisions, the First Latin American and Caribbean Assembly of Organisations of People Affected by Hansen's disease, popularly known - and stigmatised - as leprosy, came to an end.

People Affected by Leprosy Still Face Stigma in Latin America

The First Latin American and Caribbean Meeting of Organisations of People Affected by Hansen's Disease, more widely known as leprosy, seeks to exorcise stigma and discrimination. The meeting has brought together around a hundred activists in Brazil.

Violence Fuels Mobilisation by Women against Brazil’s Anti-Gender Equality Government

Crime, a key issue in far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's election in Brazil, has a dimension that is gaining in visibility and could turn against his government: gender violence.

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