Brazil Could Save Its Atlantic Forests for Just $200 Million a Year

August 29, 2014

Douglas Main – Newsweek, 8/28/2014

The forests surrounding some of Brazil’s biggest cities, like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, are home to a dizzying variety of life, with iconic species like golden lion tamarins (pictured above), maned three-toed sloths and red-tailed parrots. A total of 2,200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians are found in Brazil’s Atlantic forests, and nearly 200 types of birds live there and nowhere else.

But these forests are disappearing as farmers clear them for agriculture and as towns spread outward; less than 15 percent of the original forest cover remains.

The good news is that scientists have calculated that it would cost a relatively small amount to pay the area’s farmers to protect their own land by not developing it. By their estimate, it would cost Brazil $198 million annually—or 6.5 percent of what the country currently spends on agricultural subsidies—to preserve enough land to harbor a sustainable level of flora and fauna, the scientists wrote in a study published today (August 28) in the journal Science.

Read more…


Brazil Government Primary Deficit Moves Farther From Target

August 29, 2014

Paulo Trevisani – The Wall Street Journal, 8/29/2014

The Brazilian government moved further away from its annual fiscal target with a primary deficit in July, according to data released by the central bank Friday.

The total government, including central, state and municipal levels, recorded a primary deficit of 4.7 billion reis ($2.1 billion) in July. In June, the result was negative as well, at 2.1 billion reis.

With July’s results, this year’s accumulated primary result is a surplus of 24.7 billion reis, comparing with a 99 billion reis annual target.

Read more…


Brazil’s Silva Taps Voter Discontent

August 29, 2014

John Lyons – The Wall Street Journal, 8/27/2014

Just over a year ago, a million Brazilians took to the street to vent displeasure with political corruption and poor government services. Now, they look poised to channel that frustration into the ballot box.

A late entrant in the campaign, Socialist Party candidate Marina Silva suddenly has become the undisputed leader in the October election by transforming the protest movement’s reservoir of discontent into potential votes.

A poll released late Tuesday by the Ibope research firm showed Ms. Silva defeating the incumbent Dilma Rousseff with 45% to 36% in a runoff. She looked every bit the front-runner later that evening with a strong performance in the first televised debate between candidates leading up to October’s elections.

Read more…


Brazil’s Mantega says opposition win could wreck economy

August 29, 2014

Alonso Soto – Reuters, 8/28/2014

Brazil’s finance minister waded into the country’s presidential campaign on Thursday, warning that an opposition victory in the October election could push the economy into recession and undo a decade of social gains under the ruling Workers’ Party.

The comments by Guido Mantega, which the opposition and some analysts criticized as unbecoming of a sitting finance minister, came on the eve of the release of official data that is expected to show that Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy, is already in recession.

Brazil’s once high-flying economy has slowed sharply in the last four years under President Dilma Rousseff, complicating her chances for re-election in October. Growth is now at a crawl, inflation is running high, and business confidence has evaporated, discouraging investment.

Read more…


Brazil dismantles ‘biggest destroyer’ of Amazon rainforest

August 29, 2014

BBC News, 8/27/2014

The authorities in Brazil say they have dismantled a criminal organisation they believe was the “biggest destroyer” of the Amazon rainforest.

The gang is accused of invading, logging and burning large areas of public land and selling these illegally for farming and grazing. In a statement, Brazilian Federal Police said the group committed crimes worth more than $220m (£134m).

A federal judge has issued 14 arrest warrants for alleged gang members. Twenty-two search warrants were also issued and four suspects are being called in for questioning.

Read more…


Brazil enters recession in pre-election blow to Rousseff

August 29, 2014

Brian Winter – Reuters, 8/29/2014

Brazil suffered a recession in the first half of the year as investment plunged and the country’s hosting of the World Cup suffocated economic activity, a major blow to President Dilma Rousseff’s already diminishing hopes for reelection in October.

Latin America’s largest economy has suffered stagnant growth for more than three years under Rousseff’s left-leaning policies, which have dented consumer and business confidence and caused heavy losses for financial investors.

The economy took an even bigger downturn in the second quarter, contracting 0.6 percent from the first quarter, according to government statistics agency IBGE. The agency also revised down its estimate for first quarter activity to a 0.2 percent contraction, meaning the economy entered a recession.

Read more…


Brazil Polls: Silva Gets More Than Sympathy

August 28, 2014

Dimitra DeFotis – Barron’s, 8/28/2014

Marina Silva has emerged as THE candidate to watch in emerging market politics.

As Brazil Socialist Party candidate, Silva has surged ahead of the current president and Worker’s Party candidate Dilma Rousseff in polls, especially in a potential runoff election. Brazilian Social Democracy Party candidate Aecio Neves seems sidelined.

But there are two signposts to watch: one, the approval level for Rousseff’s administration has increased from 32% to 34%. And, Silva could slip and reveal “some of the evident contradictions that already haunt her campaign … her fairly intolerant views on moral issues such as abortion or embryonic stem cell research combined with evidence of her acceptance of old-time politics,” writes Mario Marconini at Teneo Intelligence.

Read more…


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,522 other followers

%d bloggers like this: