The Amazon

BOLIVIA: From Police Mutiny to Indigenous Vigil

After a 62-day march from Bolivia’s tropical lowlands, over 1,000 indigenous protesters opposed to the construction of a road through a pristine rainforest reserve reached the seat of government Wednesday, just a few hours after the police called off a six-day national strike.

Peru – Megadiverse, and Biodiversity-Aware

One of every two Peruvians knows what "biodiversity" means, and most would stop buying products that are not socially or environmentally responsible, according to an international survey that for the first time included this megadiverse South American country.

Belo Monte Dam Hit by Friendly Fire

Those who made the final decision on the design of Brazil’s Belo Monte hydroelectric dam will face legal action in the future for the damages caused. This is the kind of warning one would expect from environmentalists, but in this case it comes from a surprising quarter: staunch supporters of hydropower.

Who Will Deal with the Thousands of Abandoned Oil Wells in Peru?

Peru has thousands of abandoned oil wells that continue to pollute their surroundings, with 269 considered to pose a serious hazard. But the government has yet to carry out an inventory in order to identify and subsequently clean up and seal them, despite a law passed in 2007 for this purpose.

Rio+20 could be an opportunity to empower forest communities, believes Jeffrey Hatcher.  Credit: Rights and Resources Initiative

Brazil is a Model for the Rights of Forest Communities

Brazil is one of the most advanced countries in the world when it comes to legally guaranteeing the rights of forest communities and reducing deforestation, says economist Jeffrey Hatcher in this interview.

More Transparent Forest Governance in Peruvian Amazon

In Peru, where over half of the national territory is covered by forests and the logging industry is marred by corruption, transparency and good forest management are closely linked.

Conditions for Construction Workers Improving in Brazil

A year after workers' riots that brought work on the Jirau hydroelectric dam to a halt for months and forced the government and companies to engage in national negotiations to improve labour conditions in the construction industry, another strike has caused tension again in the dam construction project in northwest Brazil.

Vila Teotonio, one of the villages flooded by the Santo Antônio hydroelectric plant.  Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

Integration Can Help Amazon’s Post-Megaproject Blues

Trade with the rapidly expanding market in Peru will aid Porto Velho, in northwest Brazil, to cushion the blow of job and business losses in the wake of the construction of two hydroelectric plants on the Madeira river.

Pakitzapango Gorge on the Ene river, homeland of the Ashaninka people and the site of a projected new dam. Credit: Courtesy of CARE

Tense Tug-of-War over Peru-Brazil Energy Agreement

Brazil is keen to move ahead quickly with the construction of hydropower plants in neighbouring countries to supply its demand for electricity. But Peru is still stalling on an agreement between the two countries, due to a number of conflicting interests and demands.

Rio+20 is not a major conference on biodiversity, but everything discussed there will relate to biodiversity, said Braulio Ferreira de Souza. Credit: Courtesy of CDB

Q&A: No Magic Solutions for the Extinction of Species

The Earth's life support system, which generates the planet's air, water and food, is powered by 8.7 million living species, according to the latest best estimate. We know little about 99 percent of those unique species, except that far too many are rapidly going extinct.

Santo Antônio hydropower station under construction, October 2010.  Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

BRAZIL: A Curse on Hydropower Projects in the Amazon?

"Perhaps it's the curse of Rondônia," joked Ari Ott, referring to teething troubles with the first turbine of the Santo Antônio hydroelectric plant which was intended to kick off a new cycle of huge power projects in Brazil's Amazon jungle region.

LATIN AMERICA: Research Decodes Dialogue Between Rainforest and Water

An alteration of the relationship between the Amazon rainforest and the billions of cubic metres of water transported by air from the equatorial Atlantic Ocean to the Andes Mountains could endanger the resilience of a biome that is crucial for the global climate, warns a recently concluded two-decade research project.

Native Peruvians See Loopholes in Prior Consultation Law

Indigenous communities in Peru have a long list of comments and objections to the proposed regulations for the law governing prior consultation on initiatives affecting their territories.

A large part of the eggs laid by turtles on the beaches of the Xingu river are lost due to different causes.  Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

BRAZIL: Amazon Turtles – Illegal Protein for the Poor, Delicacy for the Rich

"Many people lie" about the common practice of poaching turtles to eat or sell, said a man renowned for his fishing skills who lives on the banks of the Xingu river in Brazil's eastern Amazon jungle region.

Global Warming Threatens Future of Amazon Turtles

The more data she gathered for her Master's thesis, the more alarmed the young Brazilian biologist became. The Amazon turtles born in the dozens of nests examined in 2008 and 2010 were all female. And only eight percent of the hatchlings studied in 2007 had been male.

Belo Monte Dam and Hunters Endanger Amazon Turtles

Luiz Cardoso da Costa was horrified as he watched the Amazonian manatee, a large docile beast, bleeding out from the knife wound he had dealt it, yet greedily gulping down grasses as if eating could somehow stave off death.

Port of the Amazon indigenous community of San Miguel on the Pirá Paraná River, in the department of Vaupés, Colombia.  Credit:  María Cristina Vargas/IPS

COLOMBIA: Amazonas 2030 – Indicators for the Climate Crisis

"It's great news" that the Colombian government is studying the cancellation of mining titles that have been granted in protected areas and in border zones declared national security areas, anthropologist Martín von Hildebrand, director of the Gaia Amazonas Foundation, told Tierrramérica.

A poor neighbourhood in Altamira, Brazil, flooded during the rainy season, will be left permanently under water by the Belo Monte dam.  Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

BRAZIL: Boycott of Dam Hearing Shows ‘Radical’ Foreign Policy Shift

Activists opposed to the construction of the Belo Monte hydropower dam in the Amazon jungle say the Brazilian government's decision to boycott an Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hearing represents a "radical" shift in the country's foreign policy.

BOLIVIA: Native Protesters Celebrate Law Cancelling Rainforest Road

With victory cheers and predictions of future campaigns in defence of their ancestral territory, indigenous protesters from Bolivia's Amazon jungle region celebrated the new law that banned the construction of the road through their rainforest reserve.

BRAZIL: ‘Green Grant’ May Do Little to Protect Amazon

The Bolsa Verde or Green Grant programme, which gives financial assistance to poor families that help preserve Brazil's Amazon jungle, may turn out to be only a drop in the ocean if legislation that undermines forest protection is adopted.

BOLIVIA: General Strike Protests Crackdown on Native March

Bolivia's main trade union declared a 24-hour general strike Wednesday to protest Sunday's police crackdown on indigenous demonstrators who were protesting the construction of a road through a pristine rainforest preserve.

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