Do you follow the journalism done in the Amazon? Where do you find out about the systematic violations of rights against indigenous peoples and rural workers? How do you spot climate fake news?
In our monitoring of the Brazilian socio-environmental crisis, we source information from several outlets committed to democratizing the access to reliable information within the scope of the environmental agenda and denouncing human rights violations in the struggle against the normalization of ignorance and authoritarianism. Here are some of our sources:
Environmental Reporting 101
The independent and investigative journalism agency on issues of the Amazon, and its traditional peoples, was founded by journalists Kátia Brasil and Elaíze Farias, in Manaus, in 2013. In addition to its headquarters in Amazonas state, they have a network of professionals spread across the states of Acre, Amapá, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Rondônia, Roraima, Pará and Tocantins, in addition to employees in Mato Grosso do Sul, Pernambuco, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. In defense of the role of the originary populations in their own narratives, the agency produces communication workshops with a focus on identity and belonging for young people in the Amazon region.
For 20 years, the NGO has focused on denouncing violations of rights and investigating production chains in large sectors, such as livestock and mining. Founded by journalists, social scientists and educators, the organization produces reports that can be freely reproduced and have become a reference not only in the country but also abroad. The NGO is also responsible for the first educational program for the prevention of slave labor in Brazil, “Escravo, nem Pensar!”.
The institute was created in 2018 with the objective of combating fake news and promoting the science-based debate on the climate crisis. ClinaInfo’s website brings together news, studies and research, as well as interviews, analysis and checks. A great tip is to subscribe to your daily newsletter with a summary of the main news published in the press about the agenda.
Watching the Agribusiness
From 2019 onwards, it became almost inevitable to hear about the disastrous measures of the Brazilian government’s socio-environmental policies, right? And of specialized groups that, long before the institutionalization of the “cattle herd” (an expression used by the former Ministry of environment Rocardo Salles to describe how the agribusiness would determine the environmental agenda in Bolsonaro’s administration), were already keeping an eye out for the agents driving the socio-environmental degradation in Brazil. Here are some of them:
Founded in 2016, @deolhonosruralistas is an observatory of agribusiness and ruralist policies in Brazil. In one of the prominent reports published by the group over the past two years, journalist Priscilla Arroyo traced the hidden financing route of the Parliamentary Agricultural Front (FPA), the infamous ruralist caucus. The article investigated the source of funds for Instituto Pensar Agropecuária, an organization that provides technical assistance and transfers funds to the FPA. Their work has been key to better understanding the dynamics of the ruralist lobby in the National Congress, which is advancing unrestrained in the current government.
@observatoriodoclima is a network of civil society organizations dedicated to discussing climate change in the Brazilian context. Officially created in 2002, the OC acts on several fronts: production of annual estimates of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Brazil, transversal working groups such as the gender and climate working group, and publication of analytical pieces and news on the environmental agenda. They also maintain an environmental fact check platform, @fakebookeco, which has been busy with government lies. Tip: Type “Bolsonaro Lies” into the site’s search field to feel the drama.
🔎 Also worth mentioning is the Observatorio da Mineração (Mining Observatory), a center for investigative journalism on mining activity, socio-environmental violations, lobbying and political relations in the mining sector, created by journalist Maurício Angelo in 2015.
Bots for the Environment
It is nothing new that there are thousands of robots on the internet at the service of denial and fake news, which raise hashtags in support of President Bolsonaro and reinforce the lies told by him and his allies about deforestation in the Amazon and the current Brazilian environmental policies.
But there are also cool robots, committed to disseminating quality information in the fight for human rights and the environment. Have you heard of them? ⬇️
This @infoamazonia bot detects mining requirements in indigenous lands and conservation units in the Amazon. It reads georeferenced data from the National Mining Agency (ANM) daily and cross-references the information with these territories. When an order overlaps one of these protected areas, the bot issues a notice and adds the requirement to the project map, where it’s possible to find out more details about the mining process, such as the owner’s name, type of ore and affected location. [Twitter: at amazonia_minada]
Created by @agenciapublica and @reporterbrasil, this bot tweets whenever the federal government issues a new pesticide license in the Federal Official Gazette. It also informs the total number of approved chemicals, the degree of toxicity, product name and the responsible company. According to the tool, as of July 2022, there were 3748 pesticide products sold throughout Brazil. [Twitter: @orobotox]
This is another @infoamazonia bot, but focused on issuing fire alerts in the Amazon. Daily, it tweets information and maps hot spots detected in indigenous lands and conservation units in the region. The project uses data from NASA’s S-NPP satellite, and each heat spot shown represents an area of 0.14 km². [Twitter: @botqueimadas]
Written by Julia Alves, adapted to english by Marianna Olinger. Art by Gabriel Pasin.
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