Megaprojects are high-risk bets. They can shore up the government that brought them to fruition, but they can also ruin its image and undermine its power – and in the case of Brazil the balance is leaning dangerously towards the latter.
Long before the attack in Paris that inspired the slogan “Je Suis Charlie”, a young French publisher had released a collection of stories titled je suis favela
about life in Brazilian slums.
The Atlantic ocean is Brazil’s last frontier to the east. But the full extent of its biodiversity is still unknown, and scientific research and conservation measures are lagging compared to the pace of exploitation of resources such as oil.
Angolans are generally grateful for China’s participation in the reconstruction of their central African country, in spite of the fact that some of the roads and buildings built by Chinese firms are of poor quality, and mainly Chinese labourers have been hired rather than local workers.
Activists and local residents have brought legal action aimed at blocking the construction of a nearly 50 sq km port terminal in the Northeast Brazilian state of Bahia because of the huge environmental and social impacts it will have.
This month’s World Economic Outlook released
by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) only confirms that consequences of the collapse of the financial system, which started six years ago, are serious. And they are accentuated by the aging of the population, not only in Europe but also in Asia, the slowing of productivity and weak private investment.
A global civil society petition to save the Amazon is circulating on the internet and its promoters say that once one million signatures have been collected indigenous leaders will deliver it directly to the governments of Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela.
Even moderately well-informed analysts knew that the Brazilian economy was in dire straits as President Dilma Rousseff initiated her second term in office in January.
Driven by solar and wind, world investments in renewable energy reversed a two-year dip last year, brushing aside the challenge from sharply lower oil prices and registering a 17 percent leap over the previous year to stand at 270 billion dollars.
Debt restructuring is a component of crisis management and resolution, and needs to be treated in the context of the current economic conjuncture and vulnerabilities.
Six million people in Brazil’s biggest city, São Paulo, may at some point find themselves without water. The February rains did not ward off the risk and could even aggravate it by postponing rationing measures which hydrologists have been demanding for the last six months.
Forest protection, increased biodiversity and wildlife conservation are just a few of the promises made by proponents of genetically engineered (GE) plants. But campaigners are not buying these promises.
"I have lost all meaning in life after the death of my child, I will never forgive anyone who caused the tearing apart of his little body. I appeal to all who can help and stand with us to achieve justice and punish those who killed my child."
In Brazil, one of the countries with the highest concentration of land ownership in the world, some 200,000 peasant farmers still have no plot of their own to farm – a problem that the first administration of President Dilma Rousseff did little to resolve.
When I am asked whether Europe is still a relevant “protagonist” in the modern world, I always answer that there is no doubt about it. For a long time now, the continent has been shaken by financial crises, internal security strategy crises – including wars – and instability within its borders, which definitely make it a protagonist in world affairs.