April 18, 2013
Thomas E. Lovejoy, a member of the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute Advisory Board, has his work and legacy on the Amazon forest research featured in a four-page article in the latest edition of Nature magazine.
A leading biologist who pioneered the concept of biodiversity, Lovejoy has conducted in the past 34 years the largest and longest-running experiment in tropical ecology. The experiment aims at testing fundamental theories about the viability of small, disconnected ecosystems and takes place in what is called “Camp 41”. Also serving as the scientific ambassador and chief fund-raiser of the project, Camp 41 has had the visits of personalities such as Tom Cruise and Al Gore. Among the main results of the research are the findings that scientists were underestimating the impacts of fragmentation and that secondary – regrown – forests create wildlife corridors, being a possible solution to diminish the impacts of deforestation. Lovejoy`s work has led to the development of similar experiments in Kansas and Borneo, as well as the creation of a non-profit conservation organization. It impacted hundreds of Brazilian scientists who have moved through the project and are now in important positions at the research and government fields. The next step for the project is to institutionalize and stabilize it through the acquisition of the ranchlands surrounding the experiment and the creation of an educational facility.
Read the article…
March 8, 2013
Associated Press, 03/04/2013
A land rights watchdog group says the number of rural activists killed in the country rose 10 percent from 2011 to 2012, with most deaths occurring in the Amazon forest region.
The Catholic Land Pastoral group said in a report Monday that illegal logging and the resulting conflicts were responsible for the majority of the 32 murders of local activists in Brazil last year.
November saw the greatest number of killings. There were six deaths in Para state and seven in Rondonia state. Both are at the center of disputes involving illegal loggers.
December 7, 2011
Juliana Barbassa – AP, 12/07/2011
The Brazilian Senate voted 59-7 Tuesday to approve new environmental legislation that would loosen restrictions on deforestation in the Amazon and give amnesty to those who illegally cleared land before July 2008.
At least 70 amendments were tacked onto the bill and must still be voted on. But sponsors of the legislation swore to knock down anything that changes the text’s main points, and they have the support to make good on the threat.
The bill now goes back to the lower house, which already passed one version of the measure.
President Dilma Rousseff must also sign any legislation approved by the Congress. She pledged during her campaign for the presidency last year to veto any portion of an environmental bill that provides amnesty for those who illegally cleared land in the past. She now faces a tough political battle dealing with a strong agriculture lobby.
February 23, 2010
Margot Roosevelt-Los Angeles Times, 02/23/10
Families in Boa Frente receive $29 a month to spend in a town upriver. The village also has a new brick walkway, rainwater cisterns and a new school with solar panels and Internet access. In exchange, residents agree to protect the forest surrounding their plots instead of clearing more trees for farming or fuel.
The windfall comes courtesy of Marriott International Inc., the $12-billion hotel chain. It is part of a complex — and controversial — plan to save the world’s rain forests with the help of big business.
Rules for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation — or REDD — are being designed under the auspices of the United Nations as part of a global effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions.