Pesticides released into Brazil’s Amazon to degrade rainforest and facilitate deforestation

NASA Landsat satellite image showing the Amazonian region where the activity occurred, according to IBAMA.Pesticides have been dropped from planes and even helicopters with the aim of evading IBAMA, the Brazilian environmental agency, for years as a method to clear remote and hard-to-reach areas of the Amazon rainforest. That practice — used more frequently since 2018 — takes longer than clear-cut deforestation (the removal of all existing vegetation using […]

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Grounded by conflict and COVID, Colombia’s bird tourism struggles to soar

PUTUMAYO, Colombia — When Jonh Jairo Mueses-Cisneros was approached by leadership at Corpoamazonia about turning Colombia’s southwestern department of Putumayo into a bird-watching hotspot more than 10 years ago, he was skeptical. To begin with, he was a herpetologist, trained in the study of reptiles and amphibians, not in birds. But Mueses-Cisneros, a Putumayo native […]

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As the Amazon burns, its Indigenous inhabitants choke on the haze

RIO BRANCO, Brazil — The intensification of forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon is increasingly impacting the health of local populations, with a marked effect on the region’s Indigenous peoples. Combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk of respiratory ailments in northern states such as Acre is escalating. At the peak of the fires in […]

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Slashed forest protections ignites land grabbing frenzy in Brazilian Amazon

Near the western fringe of the Brazilian Amazon, the emerald canopy blankets hundreds of thousands of hectares. Tucked into the vast Guajará-Mirim State Park, savanna forest stretches for miles before melting into rainforest, in a rare encounter of two starkly different ecosystems. But, abruptly, lush jungle gives way to neat rectangles of charred land and […]

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Global ayahuasca trend drives deforestation in Brazil’s Acre state

“Where does your ayahuasca come from?” is a question many drinkers of the psychoactive Amazonian brew would just as soon not ask of their suppliers. But Thiago Martins e Silva, a devotee of Santo Daime, a religion whose rituals are based on the purifying power of this drink, and trained forester in Brazil’s northern Acre […]

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To end illegal deforestation, Brazil may legalize it entirely, experts warn

At the COP26 climate summit last month, when Brazilian Environment Minister Joaquim Leite announced the country would update its climate goals to include zero illegal deforestation by 2028 (replacing the previous pledge for 2030), local environmentalists, researchers and policy specialists expressed skepticism. Their concern, conveyed on social media and in news interviews, was that the […]

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