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WorldTwitch Brazil - Conservation & Environment

[Return to Worldtwitch Brazil Index]

Latest news on [English version - much reduced and about a week behind]

2007 Amazon fires among worst ever by Rhett A. Butler,, 22 October 2007 (includes satellite photo showing firest along roads in Mato Gross, Pará and Amazonas). "What's most striking is that fires in 2007 have increased dramatically in the main soy-production states in the Brazilian Amazon—Mato Grosso, Pará, Maranhão, and Tocantins—but have dropped or remain stable in other Amazonian states," said Dr. William Laurance, a senior researcher at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama and another noted Amazon scientist. "Clearly, soy farming is becoming a major driver of land-use change in the Amazon. The international consumers of Brazilian soy need to understand its key role in driving Amazon deforestation."

Important study: Condition and fate of logged forests in the Brazilian Amazon by Gregory P. Asnet et al. PNAS 103(34): 12947-12950 (2006)(pdf). "Reduced impact" and "certified" logging of ancient forests is much more destructive than certified logging apologists and conspirators such as the FSC, WWF and Greenpeace will concede. 32% of selectively logged forests in Amazonian Brazil are cleared within four years! The probability of clearing previously logged forest was 2 to 4 times greater than that of intact forest at distances of 5-25 km from main roads.

The Green vs. the Brown Amazon by John Terborgh. New York Review of Books, vol. 54 no. 18, 22 November 2007.

2 March 2007 - Officials Arrested for Amazon Logging. (AP). Bribes must be paid for every tree illegally cut in Brazil.

1 December 2006: Reduziram o Cristalino (O Eco). The Mato Grosso legislature has approved the reduction of  Parques Estaduais do Cristalino I & II by 30,000 hectares. The only person who can stop it now is the governor, Blairo Maggi, who is a soybean magnate and the environment's public enemy number 1 in Mato Grosso.

21 October 2006: Eduardo Veado, former director of Estação Biológica de Caratinga at Fazenda Montes Claros (now RPPN Feliciano Miguel Abdala), Ipanema, MG, Brazil, an important site for endemic birds and mammals, and his wife were killed on 5 October by a hit-and-run driver near Ipanema. He had received death threats for denouncing illegal logging in the vicinity. (AP Article).

30 March 2006: Brazil fish frenzy for albatrosses - and fishermen. BirdLife International.

26 December 2005: Deforestation - Not even parks remain [in Rondônia] . O Estado de São Paulo. This is "the rest of the story" about the World Bank's destruction of Rondônia, which began with the Polonoreste project that paved the main highway through Rondônia in the early 1980s, resulting in an influx of settlers and destruction of nearly all forest near roads. The World Bank financed PLANAFLORO, a program for Amazonian development under which creation of conservation units was a prerequisite for funding to destroy forest elsewhere. Now that PLANAFLORO has ended, the government has no interest in protecting the paper parks set up simply to collect transfer payments from the U.S. taxpayers. Soon Rondônia will be as treeless as the Espírito Santo lowlands.

17 November 2005. Deadly battle with Amazon's mafia. By Adrian Cowell, The Jungle Beat, BBC News. Adrian Cowell, who made The Tribe that Hides from Man and The Decade of Destruction, is an expert on the ongoing deforestation of Amazonian Brazil. WATCH VIDEO through 24 November.

21 October 2005. Amazon 'stealth' logging revealed. By Simon Watts, BBC News. Advanced satellite imagery shows that deforestation has been underestimated by at least 60%.

28 June 2005. Desmatamento continua altíssima em 2005 e acumulado histórico é ainda maior. Deforestation of Amazonia continues at an historically high rate. Projections are that about 26,000 square kilometers of Amazonian forest will be destroyed this year.

Dozens nabbed in Brazil logging crackdown. By Michael Astor, AP, 2 June 2005. Under unusually intense international scrutiny, the corrupt Brazilian government is "shocked shocked" to discover that illegal logging is going on and rounds up the usual suspects para inglês ver. Among those arrested were the head of IBAMA in Mato Grosso and 46 other IBAMA employees. They presumably either failed to pay appropriate "commissions" or to switch allegiance to the ruling political party. The wholesale, illegal logging and land clearance in Mato Grosso is obvious to anyone who drives along the major highways or flies north or west from Cuiabá or who looks at the satellite images.

Floresta: só para inglês ver? By Lucio Flavio Pinto.

Brazil to pave Amazon road [BR-163]. By Andrew Downie, Christian Science Monitor, 15 February 2005. "'Preliminary deforestation figures for central Para show that deforestation in the area is up 511 percent over the year before,' says Roberto Smeraldi, Brazil director of Friends of the Earth."

Road sparks alarm for Brazil rainforest: Dismay over highway to Peru's Pacific ports. By Gareth Chetwynd. Guardian, 10 December 2004. The end of the great Amazonian forest is coming sooner than expected., 27 November 2004. Citizens blockade construction of the Barra Grande dam on the Rio Pelotas, which separates SC from RS. Scheduled for completion by 2006, the dam will flood 6,000 ha of the last remaining primary forests in Santa Catarina (map). IBAMA commissioned a blatantly fraudulent environmental impact study for the project that omitted more than 2,000 ha of primary araucária forests. This incredibly destructive project amounts to corporate welfare for among others, ALCOA [ALuminum Corporation Of America], 42.2% participant and beneficiary, subsidizing the tremendous social costs of producing aluminum. WWF-US President Kathyrn Fuller is on the ALCOA Board of Directors, apparently unable to live on her World Wildlife Fraud salary ($297,991 in 2002, up 13.3%, $35,000, from 2001 -- it will be well over $400,000 in 2005 at that rate of growth) plus lucrative benefits and her substantial compensation for serving as Chair of the Ford Foundation Board. ALCOA is a member of WWF-US's "corporate club" for paying more than $1 million to the WWF. Not content merely to rubber stamp Alcoa's worldwide war against the environment, Fuller acts as an Alcoa propagandist: "My experience with Alcoa has convinced me that the company has a strong commitment to sustainability, including energy efficiency, recycling, and habitat protection. . . . I was a grantee of the [tax exempt] Alcoa Foundation before I joined the Alcoa board." Cozy arrangement! If she keeps this up, she'll be able to afford to retire next door to one of Senator John Forbes Kerry's many mansions. Use this form to ask Ms. Fuller at the WWF-US if she believes that the Barra Grande dam reflects Alcoa's "strong commitment to . . . habitat protection".

Dossiê Hidrlétrica Barra Grande by Apremavi. Details, photos, and an image of the fraudulent environmental impact study.

Omissão do IBAMA cria cemitério submerso. Apremavi, 20 September 2004.

Ibama confirma nova devastação. 8 October 2004, Diário do Pará. Satellite images show that 3,000 additional hectares of forest have been cleared and prepared for soy plantations inside Floresta Nacional da Tapajós since the last survey six months ago. How inconvenient for the local Ibama officials who take massive bribes from loggers and land grabbers! (But they catch and throw out any birders without permits.)

18 June 2004: Cristalino: o fim, by Lúcio Flávio Pinto. Jornal Pessoal, Belém. Fazenda Cristalino, southeast Pará, where in the late 1970s Volkswagen received as corporate welfare 130,000 hectares of undisturbed forest and blitzkrieged it with firebombs, creating perhaps the worst modern animal holocaust and an economic failure, will now be mined for uranium for shipment to China.

2 April 2004: Hamburger connection fuels Amazon destruction. Center for International Forestry Research. David Kaimowitz, Benoit Mertens, Sven Wunder & Pablo Pacheco. (pdf)

1 April 2004: Deforestation in Mato Grosso is the greatest in 10 years. (Desmatamento no Mato Grosso é o maior em 10 anos, Diáro de Cuiabá.)

10 March 2004: 'Pristine' Amazonian rainforests are changing. New Scientist. Apparently because of increased CO2 in the atmosphere, tall fast-growing trees are doing much better than slow-growing understory trees.

3 November 2003: Pará - State of Conflict: A Greenpeace investigation into the landgrabbers, loggers and lawless frontiers of Pará State, Amazon. (pdf)

21 November 2003: Brazil's Environmentalists Crying Foul. By Larry Rohter, New York Times. It should be no surprise that Lula is much worse than any previous Brazilian politician, in light of other leftists' disastrous environmental policies around the world. It would be useful now to expose and expel the communist infiltrators in the environmental movement who set them up for betrayal.

20 November 2003: IBAMA officials, soldiers & Federal Police agents are taken hostage by loggers in Medicilândia, PA. "The protest was instigated by the Mayor of Medicilândia, Nilson Samuelson, who is also a logger."

28 September 2003: IBAMA corruption in Belém - Corrupção tira R$ 4 milhões dos cofres do Ibama. O Liberal.

26 September 2003: Gerente do Ibama está sob proteção (RO). A Tribuna, Rio Branco. What a choice for IBAMA officials: either take the loggers' bribes, or they'll put out a contract on you.

17 September 2003. Yet more corruption uncovered in IBAMA: Three IBAMA employees in Rondônia were arrested by the Polícia Federal for facilitating logging in protected areas and Indian reserves.

5 September 2003. Amazonas anuncia a criação de 6 unidades de conservação estaduais. The total area is 4.2 million hectares, as follows: two new state parks, Samaúma and Cuieiras, two new sustainable development reserves, Cujubim and Piagaçú-Purus, and additions to Rio Urubu state park and the Catuá-Ipixuna extractive reserve.

2 September 2003. Hard to Swallow. By Louise Rimmer, The Independent. Brazilian women have to use an anti-ulcer drug to induce abortions, then they are subject to imprisonment.

Parque Estadual Intervales (SP) has been invaded by Mbyá Indians (not from this area), who have cleared primary forest and are harvesting palm hearts and hunting endangered species. But birders are closely watched and supervised: When I visited in 1998, we were forced to go out with an incompetent but highly suspicious guard from RS who made birding quite difficult and unpleasant. It would be interesting to know whether FUNAI dumped the Indians at Intervales to facilitate land grabbing of their original lands.

6 August 2003: Invasões têm conivência da Funai, garante o Cimi. O Estadão do Norte. CIMI (website), a missionary organization, reports that loggers, miners and land grabbers have invaded 80% of Indian reserves in Rondônia, with the collusion of FUNAI, the notoriously corrupt and incompetent agency that is supposed to represent the Indians.

5 August 2003: Gerente do Ibama em Mato Grosso atribui índice à abertura de novas frentes de plantio de soja. Diário de Cuiabá. The number of fires in Mato Grosso in July 2003 increased by more than 100% over July 2002.

24 July 2003: Agricultural interests in northern MT are pressing for a change in the generally ignored law requiring preservation of 80% of habitat and restricting agricultural development to the other 20%. They want a complete flip-flop for cerrado, to 20% preserved and 80% destroyed, and a 50-50 division for forest. The environment minister will be hearing their demands at meetings in Sorriso, Sinop and Alta Floresta. (24 Horas News, Cuiabá).

30 June 2003: The Canadian mining company Black Swan Resources is attempting undo the protection of PN da Serra da Canastra. They apparently are so confident of success with the corrupt Brazilian politicians that the they have redrawn the park boundaries in an "after" map on their website. (Report posted by Dalcio Dacol to BirdChat.) Diamond mining surely would finish off Brazilian Merganser, which is dependent on preservation of Canastra for its continued existence.

24 June 2003: "Sem terras" threaten to invade Parque Estadual do Cristalino. [Portuguese] [English translation] Between 125 and 1,000 "sem terras" have gathered outside the park and are threatening to invade. They are organized, heavily armed "landless peasants" who invade and destroy patches of remaining habitat. They work in league with loggers and ranchers, and the police generally allow them to invade and pillage parks and private nature reserves, unless appropriate bribes are paid. The usual defense by private landowners is to hire experienced pistoleiros.

22 April 2003: Gold discovery along the Rio Xingu attracts 700 miners within two months to remote Amazonia.

9 April 2003: Land grabbers to be booted from 39,000 hectares adjacent to FLONA Caxiuanã, Pará. Greenpeace petitions to have the land designated a conservation area.

25 March 2003: Brazil's Prized Exports Rely on Slaves and Scorched Land. By Larry Rohter, New York Times.

14 March 2003: Brazilian leader introduces program to end slave labor. By Larry Rohter, New York Times. There are an estimated 25,000 slaves in Brazil, most of them in remote areas of Amazonia.

28 February 2003: Forest fire in Amazonia is out of control. A great fire in the municipality of Barcelos has already destroyed about 300 km2 of forest.

5 Feburary 2003: Report available by email: "Crossing Spatial Analyses and Livestock Economics to Understand Deforestation Processes in the Brazilian Amazon: the Case of São Felix do Xingu in South Pará" by Benoit Mertens et al. In São Felix de Xingu, the number of cattle grew from 22,000 in 1980 to almost one million by 2002. The rate of deforestation has been one hectare of forest lost per additional cow.

27 January 2003: Rainfall has decreased by more than 80% during the last five years in northern Mato Grosso. 24 Horas News. Not unexpected, given the massive, ongoing deforestation.

6 January 2003: Telephone conversations between corrupt IBAMA official in Santarém and loggers secretly tape recorded. O Liberal.

20 December 2002: Brazilian ONGs ask the new government to replace criminal IBAMA officials in Rondônia. They presumably would be replaced by other crooks who bribe the new president.

1 December 2002: New York Times calls endangered Brazilian cerrado an "inhospitable wasteland" in an article touting American-owned soybean plantations in western Bahia.

6 November 2002: S.O.S. Parque Cristalino - Campaign to preserve Parque Estadual Cristalino, MT.

24 October 2002: Brazil is not enforcing the ban on illegal mahogany. Greenpeace Brasil.

24 October 2002: Parque Estadual Cristalino threatened with a 46% reduction. Liana John, This park was declared in 2000 to protect the lower Rio Cristalino in the vicinity of the Cristalino Jungle Lodge north of Alta Floresta, MT. (Map). Settlers are rapidly expanding into the surrounding area and burning the remaining forest.

1 October 2002: Pólos Madeireiros do Estado do Pará, by Adalberto Veríssimo, Eirivelthon Lima & Marco Lentini. (pdf) Excellent report by Imazon, with maps and detailed statistics, about logging in Pará. It's clear that nearly the entire state south of the Amazon is threatened with imminent deforestation. Underwritten by the Hewlett Foundation.

22 September 2002: Mayor of Porto de Moz, PA, a sawmill owner, leads physical assault on journalists and Greenpeace to destroy their video tapes of illegal logging. [Opposing criminal Brazilian officials may be harmful to your health.]

13 September 2002: Amazonian land grabber and the judge who has assisted him bring bogus criminal charges against environmental journalist Lúcio Flávio Pinto.

29 August 2002: A new decade of destruction: Brazil approves the Urucu - Porto Velho pipeline and road across more than 500 km of Amazonian forests. (Take that, Earth Summit!) | Map | Video - 56k | Video - Broadband

23 August 2002: "Amazon forest still burning despite good intentions" by Larry Rohter. New York Times. "Dozens of sawmills now operate along the road where just a handful existed five years ago, and at night, after government inspectors have gone home, trucks carrying illegal loads of valuable hardwoods rattle down side roads that lead deep into the jungle. . . .

"Armed with guns and global positioning satellite locators, loggers are also pushing into the Tapajós National Park west of Trairão and other nature reserves. Peasant settlers here say that they have complaimed (sic) to the police and to the environmental protection agency but that nothing has been done.

"'Everything functions on the basis of bribes or threats, and so Ibama does not act,' said José Rodrigues do Nascimento, who farms 250 acres."

16 August 2002: Again this year, the Alta Floresta, MT airport is closed due to heavy smoke, as IBAMA fiddles while Amazonia burns. 24 Horas News.

9 August 2002: The environmental minister has extended the moratorium on mahogany logging for another six months, and the mahogany mafia are squealing. O Liberal.

9 August 2002: IBAMA will open Reservas Extrativistas (Extractive Reserves) to ecotourism. More than 80% of the 5 million hectares of Extractive Reserves are in Amazonia. The first reserves to be opened will be: (Resex do) Lago do Cuniã (RO), Cajari (AP), Tapajós-Arapiuns (PA), Soure (PA), Lagoa do Jequiá (AL), Corumbau (BA), Ilha do Cajual (MA) and Quilombo do Frechal (MA).

9 August 2002: Large, Chinese shrimp boats are fishing illegally along the coasts of Amapá and Pará, entering clandestinely from French Guiana.

6 August 2002: "No rastro da destruição" by Lúcio Flávio Pinto. Paving the unpaved northern part of the Cuiabá-Santarém road in the next year will impact almost 8 million hectares in the heart of Amazonia, for 50 km on either side of the 784 km road. Primary beneficiaries will be huge, multinational firms such as Cargill, which is already building a soybean export port in Santarém.

17 July 2002: Two-thirds of the price of wood in Pará goes for payoffs to IBAMA to launder illegal timber. O Paraense, 21 July 2002.

17 July 2002: IBAMA has brought apparently bogus charges against noted primatologist Marc van Roosmalen, who recently described two new species of Callicebus monkeys. INPA, for whom van Roosmalen works, accused IBAMA of incompetence. van Roosmalen said that he applied for a permit from IBAMA in 1998 and still has not received a response, and that under the applicable law, if IBAMA fails to respond within 60 days, the scientist may go ahead with his research.

16 July 2002: Organized crime, with the collaboration of local officials, controls illegal logging in the Indian reserves of northern Mato Grosso. Gazeta de Cuiabá.

15 July 2002: More than 50% of the logging in Mato Grosso is illegal. ICV.

17 June 2002: Declaração de Belém: Conclusions and recommendations of the international workshop "Illegal mahogany never more", held on 6 May 2002.

Universidade do Meio Ambiente (UNIMA) opens in Guapimirim, RJ.

Forest loss per year in Amazonia in square kilometersAmazonia loses 18,000 km2 of forest in 1999-2000. 11 June 2002.

Incident in a nowhere place. By Peter Nichols. Outside Magazine, May 2002. About the Peter Blake murder. Blake's rifle jammed, or the outcome might have been different.

Mayor of Itaituba caught in massive illegal logging of Amazônia (Tapajós) National Park. Greenpeace report (pdf). His men with at least 70 chainsaws cleared more than 700 ha and were preparing to clear an additional 3,000 ha. He was fined only $20,000.

3 May 2002: US reverses decision to release $40 Million of illegal Brazilian mahogany at US ports, after IBAMA flip-flop.

New Greenpeace US page on Brazilian Mahogany

13 April 2002: FBI arrests Greenpeace members protesting arrival of shipload of illegal Brazilian mahogany in Miami. [15 April 2002 - Charges reduced.]

27 March 2002: The EU recommended that its members not accept mahogany shipments from Brazil. According to IBAMA, at least 70% of mahogany logged in Brazil is illegal, with the majority stolen from Indian Reserves and federal lands. O Povo.

25 March 2002: "In Brazil, a desperate struggle is waged over a salad garnish." Miriam Jordan, Wall Street Journal. Jucara palm poachers are chopping down 5,000 to 10,000 trees a week in Itatiaia National Park, even next to the lodges.

21 March 2002: Jungmann lança plano de combate à grilagem no Amazonas. A Crítica. The Minister suspects that 55 million hectares of the total of 157 million in Amazonas have been illegally appropriated by land-grabbers.

7 March 2002: English High Court denies Greenpeace's motion for injunctive relief against a cargo of illegal Brazilian mahogany.

5 March 2002: Brazilian Minister of the Environment forced out in a corruption scandal involving his sister, the Governor of Maranhão. "Sarney Filho deixa o governo."

4 March 2002: After the British government refused to act, Greenpeace brought an action in the English High Court to enjoin offloading of a cargo of illegal Brazilian mahogany. "Blair accused of hypocrisy ..."

2 February 2002: "Grandes empresas são supeitas de grilagem na Amazônia." O Paraense. Large corporations, including Bradesco and the owners of Projeto Jari, are suspected of illegal land-grabbing in Amazonia.

31 Jan 2002: "Calote de madeireiros contra caiapós pode gerar conflitos no Pará." O Liberal. Although Indians aren't allowed to sell logging rights on Indian reserves, they do so all over Brazil, in one-sided deals reminiscent of Peter Minuet's "purchase" of Manhattan Island. Now the Kayapós are ready to go to war against the logging companies because they have failed to make promised payments for illegally cutting mahogany. This article reports that the logging companies give money, food, clothing, drugs, alcohol and guns to the Indians for permission to operate in the reserves. The wood winds up in expensive furniture sold by fashionable stores in the US and Europe.

28 Jan 2002: "União reduz reserva de índios Apiterewa no Pará" by Helena Palmquist. O Paraense. Ignoring a report by the department of Indian affairs (FUNAI), the Brazilian Minister of "Justice" has retroactively authorized a major land-grab by reducing the Apiterewa Reserve of the Parakanã Indians in Southeast Pará from 980,000 hectares to 773,000 hectares and creating an "island of logging" in the center of the forested reserve. This tribe was contacted for the first time in 1983. In the 1990's their lands were invaded by the notorious logging company, Exportadora Peracchi Ltda., and INCRA (Instituto Nacional de Colonização e Reforma Agrária), which works at odds with conservation and Indian rights, moved in 500 families of settlers (comparable to Indonesian transmigration).

18 Jan 2002: Brazilian "justice" at work: Judge rules that three logging companies may export R$50 Million worth of illegally logged mahogany seized by IBAMA. O Liberal, Belém.

17 January 2002: Survival International complains to the UN Commission on Human Rights about the government of Brazil and CVRD to honor their commitments in respect of the World Bank's disastrous Grande Carajás project. O Estado de São Paulo.

14 January 2002: Smithsonian researchers show Amazonian deforestation accelerating. Press release about a paper by William F. Laurance et al. that appeared in Environmental Conservation 28:305-311. [Chart from O Estado de São Paulo, 17 Jan 2002.]

21 December 2001: Friends of the Earth explains IBAMA's misreported "mahogany ban": "[A]reas close to conservation units and those in the mahogany belt can only be exploited by a system which results in the total destruction of the forest."

13 December 2001: Loggers blockade main highways in southern Pará to protest the ban on cutting mahogany.

10 December 2001: Illegal settlers on Bananal Island removed pursuant to a judicial order.

6 December 2001: Sir Peter Blake murdered on his expedition vessel while anchored off Macapá, AP.

27 November 2001: Alcoa, BHP Billiton & CVRD seeking to dam the Rio Araguaia to supply energy for subsidized aluminum production. (IRN)

21 November 2001: Polícia Federal arrest illegal diamond miners in the Roosevelt Indian Reserve, RO, but not the local politicians financing the miners.

5 November 2001: IBAMA authorizes destruction of 80 hectares of Atlantic forest on fazendas next to the Reserva Biológica de Una, BA. Últimas da Mata Atlântica, Boletim No. 71. The 7,059ha Una Reserve is the home of 70-75% of the wild population of Golden-headed Lion-Tamarins and the only known site for the recently rediscovered Atlantic population of the White-winged Potoo and is critical habitat for other endangered species. Why should IBAMA be trusted to protect Amazonia when it permits deforestation of the most important remaining remnants of Atlantic forest?

31 October 2001: Pressured by the Greenpeace report, IBAMA in collaboration with Greenpeace launches Operação Mogno (Mahogany) against illegal logging in Pará. Greenpeace article: "IBAMA apreende mogno ilegal no valor de US$7 milhões com apoio do Greenpeace." (It's analogous to drug and alien seizures along the Mexican border -- suddenly IBAMA is "shocked, shocked" to discover massive illegal logging. After some TV news reports showing the IBAMA helicopters in action "para inglês ver", it will be back to business as usual for the loggers, who don't pay bribes for nothing. Greenpeace reports that one of them, Moisés Carvalho, is making $1 Million (US) per day selling illegal mahogany abroad.)

25 October 2001: Paulo Adário of Greenpeace to receive federal police protection from loggers' hitmen. O Estado de São Paulo. (Wasn't Chico Mendez under federal police protection?)

24 October 2001: In light of the Greenpeace report, IBAMA prohibits mahogany logging in Pará pending an investigation (and loss of interest by the press). O Estado de São Paulo.

11 October 2001: Greenpeace activist in Amazonia receives death threat after Greenpeace exposes continuing massive illegal logging and fraud by leading Brazilian timber companies, including CEMEX, supplier of wood for the National Audubon Society boardwalk at the Big Cypress Preserve.

October 2001: "Partners in Mahogany Crime. Amazon at the mercy of 'gentlemen's agreements.'" Greenpeace. (pdf)

October 2001: "Die Mahagoni-Mafia: Illegale Abholzungen und verbrecherischer Handel mit brasilianischem Urwaldholz." (pdf)

3 October 2001: Closing of the illegal Estrada do Colono across PN do Iguaçu by a military operation in June 2001 was a sham, reports journalist Teresa Urban. The ferries weren't destroyed, and the road is still open. Última da Mata Atlântica, Boletim No. 66.

Route of Proposed Mapaurucu - Porto Velho pipeline - Ecologia em Notícias"New pipelines threaten intact Amazon rainforest in Brazil." Report by Amazon Watch on pipelines from Urucu to Porto Velho (550 km) and Coari to Manaus ( 420 km) planned in the government's incredibly destructive Avança Brasil scheme. Key players include Halliburton (politically-connected US company that made windfall profits from the Vietnam War and of which current VP Richard Cheney was CEO) and Techint (part of the OCP Consortium building the pipeline through Mindo, Ecuador). Amigos da Terra page on the pipeline.

"Seeing the wood from the trees" by Nicole Fremis and Klemens Laschefski. The Ecologist, Vol. 31 No. 6, July/August 2001. Exposé of wholesale abuses and massive habitat destruction at Precious Woods Amazon, Itacoatiara, AM, the first logging operation in Brazil certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as "sustainable." Birds are not taken into account in the FSC certification process, and the end result is the same as in non-certified old-growth logging -- elimination of the primary forest ecosystem. Nevertheless, the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace are strong supporters of FSC-certified logging of old-growth tropical forests and thereby provide cover to some of the world's most rapacious logging companies.

In June 2001, the Polícia Federal finally closed the illegal Estrada do Colono, which bisected Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, and IBAMA has begun a reforestation program. The road had been open for four years, during which considerable damage was done to the park, including illegal logging. [This was widely reported at the time, but now turns out to be incorrect, like much of the "official story."]

"Road to oblivion" by John Vidal. The Guardian, 13 June 2001. About Avança Brasil, the final assault on the Brazilian Amazon.

Amazon rainforest could pass the point of no return in 10-15 years. ENS, 26 June 2001.

Campaign against eucalyptus plantations in Espírito Santo, by Fórum Alerta contra o Deserto Verde. Report in WRM Bulletin 46: "The option between family-based agriculture and giant Aracruz Celulose." (May 2001). Urgent petition: No more "green deserts." (June 2001).

Government conceals radioactive spill at an Angra dos Reis nuclear plant. Discovered four months later by Epoca magazine. Reuters (archived by China People's Daily), 26 September 2001.

State atlases of remaining Atlantic Forest by Fundaçãco S.O.S. Mata Atlântica: Bahia | Goias | Espírito Santo | Minas Gerais | Rio de Janeiro | São Paulo | Paraná | Mato Grosso do Sul | Santa Catarina | Rio Grande do Sul. Paraná was found to be the state with greatest loss of Atlantic Forest -- more than 60,000 hectares between 1995 and 2000. Forest cover is down to 7.98% from the estimated original forest cover of 84.72. Agrarian reform has been a significant cause of the recent forest loss. In the region of Rio Bonito do Iguaçu, invaded by two large groups of "sem terras", 17,000 hectares of forest have been destroyed in the past 15 years. Ecologia em Notícias No. 266, 3 May 2001.

"Large-scale impoverishment of Amazonian forests by logging and fire." D.C. Nepstad, A. Veríssimo, A. Alencar, C Nobre, E. Lima, P. Lebebvre, P. Schlesinger, C. Potter, P. Moutinho, E. Mendoza, M. Cochrane & V. Brooks. Nature (1999) 398: 505-508. (pdf)

Brazil's Amazon Rainforest Shrinking Fast. ENS, 15 May 2001. Deforestation was greater last year than in any year since 1995.

Avança Brasil (Forward Brazil) . . . towards further destruction of the Amazon. WRM Bulletin No. 45 (April 2001).

Campanha SOS Florestas

Mico 1000 - Golden Lion-Tamarin (Mico-Leão-Dourado) campaign [Map showing planned forested corridor between Reserva Biológica Poço das Antas and Fazenda Rio Vermelho, RJ.]

Report on the study by William Laurance of STRI and seven co-authors forecasting the extent of continuing deforestation of Amazonia. The "Avança Brasil" program of destructive megaprojects, including about 7,500 km of paved roads, will finish off Amazonia very quickly. Under the authors' "optimistic" scenario, by 2020 pristine forests will constitute about 28% of the Brazilian Amazon, lightly degraded forests another 28% and deforested or heavily degraded areas another 28%. Under the "non-optimistic" scenario, pristine forests will be reduced to about 4.7% and lightly degraded forests to about 24%, and 42% of the region will be deforested or heavily degraded.

"A collector's item costs Brazilian divers dearly." (Cotovelo do Xingu Journal). By Larry Rohter, New York Times, 5 November 2001.

Two Lear's Macaws trapped and smuggled from Brazil were confiscated in Singapore and are now at the São Paulo zoo. O Estado de São Paulo, 23 March 2001.

IBAMA seizes 40 Hyacinth Macaws and a Blue-throated Macaw (obviously smuggled from Bolivia) in Itu, Sorocaba, SP. O Estado de São Paulo, 14 March 2001.

Private reserves (RPPNs) are an alternative for conservation. O Estado de São Paulo, 19 February 2001. There are now 301 RPPNs covering almost 500,000 hectares. risk profile on the Araguaia-Tocantins Hidrovia, 25 January 2001.

Palm harvesters attack Itatiaia NP. O Estado de São Paulo, 27 January 2001.

At least 1,500 miners have invaded the Cintas-Largas Indian reserve in Rondônia, with another 2,000 camped along BR-364 near Cacoal, RO restricting access to the reserve. O Estado de São Paulo, 26 January 2001.

Fire reaches Parque Nacional do Descobrimento, Bahia. O Estado de São Paulo, 8 February 2001.

Prioridades de conservação para a avifauna da Amazônia, by Roberto Brandão Cavalcanti - study conducted in Amapá

As Aves do Ambiente Costeiro do Brasil: Biodiversidade e Conservação, by Carolus Maria Vooren & Luciano Ferreira Brusque, August 1999.

JWW Markup of National Audubon Society Paper justifying their use of Brazilian old-growth rainforest wood to build a new boardwalk at Corkscrew Swamp, Florida

"Restoring a Wildlife Corridor in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil", Laury Cullen, WPTI. [Project to restore a wildlife corridor between Morro do Diablo state park and the Tucano Forest in southeastern São Paulo.]

Parque Florestal do Rio Doce (MG) threatened after many years of land invasions and urban expansion. (AMDA Ambiente Hoje, No. 7)

A Última Arca de Noé - Excellent environmental portal. Well-organized, with lots of links and information.

Projeto Ecoambiental - Excellent environmental portal. A good place to check for daily environmental news.

SPVS - Sociedade de Pesquisa em Vida Selvagem e Educação Ambiental

More IBAMA employees caught demanding bribes from illegal loggers: "Amazon timber stewards busted for bribes." ENN, October 11, 2000.

Director of IBAMA in Pará caught taking bribes for illegal logging: "Brazil government eco-agent arrested for extortion." ENN, May 26, 2000.

Sun Myung Moon will have to pay a fine of $R60,000 for illegal logging in Mato Grosso do Sul. The wealthy Korean cult leader who owns the Washington Times and United Press International has been fined previously by Brazil for environmental crimes. (Jornal do Brasil, 27 Sep 2000). Since 1996, Moon has acquired 56,000 hectares just south of the pantanal, which he has been converting to agriculture and using as an indoctrination center. (See Brazil and Rev. Moon.)

News from Brazil, 22 Jan 2000 - report of gross corruption in IBAMA's environmental review of proposed dams in far southeast SP state.

Brazil Environment Links

ICV - Instituto Centro de Vida


AmbienteBrasil - O portal dos ambientes

Amigos da Terra - Amazônia Brasileira

Conservation International do Brasil

Brazil Rainforest Conservation News & Information from

Greenpeace - Facing destruction - A Greenpeace briefing on logging and the timber industry in Brazilian Amazon (pdf)

Greenpeace report on illegal trade in old growth trees by Malaysian, Japanese and American companies in Amazonian Brazil - July 2000

Brazilian government intelligence agency (ABIN) caught spying on Greenpeace (NY Times, 14 December 2000) - Evidence that Greenpeace has been effective in exposing corruption. At least their leaders didn't "disappear", like many previous targets of the secret police.

Operação Xingu - Authorities seize 750 truckloads of logs illegally taken from the Caiapó reserve in southern Pará, 3 November 2000. Yahoo Brasil Notícias.

Coalizão Rios Vivos - Based in Campo Grande, MS, they are working to stop the Hidrovia Paraguai-Paraná, which would destroy the Pantanal. You can request their excellent free weekly e-mail newsletter (in Portuguese), Ecologia em Notícias, which covers environmental matters throughout Brazil in considerable depth.

International Rivers Network - English version of the request by Coalizão Rios Vivos for help to stop the Hidrovia in the Pantanal.

SOS Rio Paraná - Batayporã, MS

River projects erode foundation for farming. ENN, October 11, 2000

Projeto Jaíba - Yet another environmental disaster financed by the World Bank (i.e., U.S. & European taxpayers), destroying 30,000 hectares of dry forest in northern Minas Gerais.

Relatório Ambiental - Excellent site from Minas Gerais that went dead in 2002. This is a link to their page in

ADEJA - Associação de Defensa do Meio Ambiente de Jacaepiá (RJ)

Clickarvore - Click to support Atlantic Forest replanting project. Sponsors donate based on the number of clicks.

Fundação O Boticário de Proteção à Natureza

AgirAzul na Rede - Noticiário e Informações sobre Meio Ambiente

Instituto Ambiental Vidágua - Brazilian environmental portal

Projeto Mata Atlântica

Folha do Meio Ambiente - Brasília

Sea Shepherd Brasil

BirdLife International - Brasil Programme. E-mail: birdlifebrasil[at]

Brazilian Anti-corruption websites:

Home Page dos Corruptos

Transparência Brasil

Fique de Olho

Comissão Brasileira Justiça e Paz (CBJP)

Memória de Elefante

[Return to Worldtwitch Brazil Index]

Copyright © 1992-2012 John Wall