April 23, 2015
Rogerio Jelmayer and Jeffrey T. Lewis – The Wall Street Journal, 4/17/2015
Brazil’s biggest city has called in the army to help combat a deadly outbreak of dengue fever that has sickened hundreds of thousands of people nationwide.
Soldiers will next week begin going door-to-door in some of São Paulo’s hardest-hit neighborhoods to educate residents on fighting mosquitoes, Mayor Fernando Haddad said on Friday.
A severe drought in southeastern Brazil has spurred residents to hoard water, often in makeshift containers, providing breeding grounds for mosquitoes that spread the disease whose symptoms can include intense muscle pain, convulsions and high fever.
April 23, 2015
Claire Rigby – The Guardian, 4/23/2015
From downtown São Paulo, the Pico do Jaraguá – the crest of a mountain ridge on the city’s north-western horizon – looks like a broken tooth, crowned by a towering TV antenna. Just beyond the rocky peak and down a steep, deeply rutted, unmade road, lies the nascent village of Tekoa Itakupe, one of the newest fronts in Brazil’s indigenous people’s struggle for land to call their own.
Once part of a coffee plantation, the idyllic 72-hectare plot is currently occupied by three families from the Guarani community who moved onto the land in July 2014 after it was recognised as traditional Guarani territory by Funai, the federal agency for Indian affairs.
The group had hoped that would be a first step on the road to its eventual official demarcation as indigenous territory, but they now face eviction after a judge granted a court order to the landowner, Antônio ‘Tito’ Costa, a lawyer and former local politician.
April 16, 2015
Vanessa Dezem – Bloomberg Business, 4/16/2015
Brazil will increase the use of renewable energy, target zero net deforestation and push for low-carbon agriculture as part of its climate proposal, Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said in an interview.
In its proposal to the United Nations climate conference in Paris this year, Latin America’s largest nation will propose ambitious new targets to reduce destruction of the Amazon rainforest, boost reforestation and increase solar, hydro and wind energy. To do so, it will require more foreign capital and technology, Teixeira said in her office in Brasilia.
Over the past decade Brazil has been one of the world’s protagonists in combating climate change, slashing its greenhouse emissions by 41 percent between 2005 and 2012, according to official data. Making further cuts may be more difficult. Emissions from energy generation during the same period rose 36 percent, while the reduction of Amazon deforestation, a major source of carbon emissions, is slowing.
April 14, 2015
Marilia Brocchetto – CNN, 04/14/2015
With just over a year to go before the city hosts the Games’ rowing and canoe competitions, officials with the legislative assembly of Rio de Janeiro Monday launched an investigation into the causes of death both in the lagoon and in other lakes and bays in the state in which this phenomenon has occurred.
The group will work in partnership with the State Environmental Institute (INEA) and the Secretariat of State for the Environment.
April 14, 2015
Dom Phillips – The Washington Post, 04/13/2015
The line of trucks and four-wheel-drive pickups threw up clouds of red dust as it snaked up the hill on the wide dirt road. From the top, Brazilian rain forest stretched out into the distance. Before it, a vast quadrangle was being carved out of the slope by an army of machines, a scar of red earth in the green hills.
S11D, as this project is unceremoniously known, is an open-cast iron ore mine being dug out of this corner of the Brazilian Amazon, in the state of Para. Brazil’s mining giant, Vale, says the mine was designed for minimum environmental impact and maximum profitability. It is to start operating next year and by 2018 will be producing nearly 100 million tons annually of some of the purest iron ore in the world — a lifeblood for Brazil’s pallid economy.
But environmentalists argue that S11D could destroy rare savannah ecosystems found in two lakes on top of rich iron ore deposits. Dozens of caves that potentially contained evidence of ancient Amazon habitations have been lost. This grandiose $17 billion project is emblematic of a very contemporary, Brazilian dilemma: Can the country develop its rich natural resources without causing irreparable damage to its environment and history?
April 6, 2015
Paulo Prada – Reuters, 04/02/2015
The farmers of Brazil have become the world’s top exporters of sugar, orange juice, coffee, beef, poultry and soybeans. They’ve also earned a more dubious distinction: In 2012, Brazil passed the United States as the largest buyer of pesticides.
This rapid growth has made Brazil an enticing market for pesticides banned or phased out in richer nations because of health or environmental risks.
At least four major pesticide makers – U.S.-based FMC Corp., Denmark’s Cheminova A/S, Helm AG of Germany and Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta AG – sell products here that are no longer allowed in their domestic markets, a Reuters review of registered pesticides found.