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COP26: Amazon Fund donors are still suspicious of Brazil COP26 commitments

Norway and Germany are skeptical of Brazil’s willingness to abide to the environmental goals

Credit: Kiara Worth/UNFCCC

22 Nov 21

COP26: Amazon Fund donors are still suspicious of Brazil COP26 commitments

Brazil left the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) how it entered: discredited internationally due to its environmental policy.

Germany and Norway, the main donors of the Amazon Fund, paralyzed since 2019 due to poor governance from the Ministry of Environment and the accelerated destruction of the biome, are waiting for an indication of how the commitments made by the country at the conference will be implemented. Until this happens, the resources remain frozen.

The Brazilian commitment to reduce 50% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, for example, is not only insufficient, but also anachronistic, since it uses a calculation baseline from 2005.

The research institute WRI Brasil reaffirmed the insufficient character of the Brazilian goals: “Brazil reached the end of this COP26 with the same level of ambition that it committed to in Paris six years ago.”

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COP26: Deal is insufficient to prevent climate change until 2030

Alok Sharma, COP26’s president, announced the agreement with teary eyes

15 Nov 21

COP26: Deal is insufficient to prevent climate change until 2030

“The humanity has lost”. That’s how Carlos Bocuhy, president of the Brazilian Institute For Environmental Protection (PROAM) defined the commitments made by countries at the end of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in the face of the current climate emergency, in an article for the O Eco portal.

One of the main focuses of COP26, which brought together representatives from almost 200 countries, was to establish a series of measures to limit global warming to 1.5° C by 2030. UN also considers the Glasgow Climate Pact signed at the conference as insufficient for the task ahead.

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COP26: Environment Minister Joaquim Leite says that "where's there's forest, there's poverty"

Ministro ignorou as altas taxas de desmatamento dos últimos dois anos

Crédito: Isac Nóbrega/PR/via ClimaInfo

13 Nov 21

COP26: Environment Minister Joaquim Leite says that “where’s there’s forest, there’s poverty”

During an official speech at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), the Minister of the Environment, Joaquim Leite, said “where there is a lot of forest there is also a lot of poverty”.

The statement shocked environmentalists and opposition members of parliament, who highlighted it as an indication that Bolsonaro’s  project for the environment remains intact, despite promises of change. “This statement reveals the mentality of the government is from the 70s of the last century: to deforest, for them, is synonymous with development. As it is a government that despises science, they can’t accept that this vision has been overcome by everything science has shown,” declared congressman Alessandro Molon (PSB-RJ) to Jamil Chade’s column.

In the same speech, Leite announced that “the green future has already begun in Brazil. Two days after the minister’s declaration, Inpe released that the Amazon beat the historical record of deforestation alerts for the month, adding an area of 877 km². Throughout the event, the government has ignored the advance of deforestation in the country.

 

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COP26: Brazilian official delegation excludes NGOs, indigenous and environmentalists

Políticos e empresários ligados ao agronegócio estiveram na comitiva

Crédito: Agência Pará

5 Nov 21

COP26: Brazilian official delegation excludes NGOs, indigenous and environmentalists

Despite being numerous, the official Brazilian delegation at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) drew attention for the complete absence of organized civil society and of the indigenous peoples of Brazil.

According to Jamil Chade’s column, the delegation includes “lobbyists who try to show the ‘green side’ of Brazil, governors, mayors, deputy mayors, deputies, senators, industry representatives, in addition to spokespersons for national agriculture. There are even names “without any explanations”, indicated the column.

President Jair Bolsonaro, who did not attend COP26, explained his absence in a brief note from the Special Secretariat of Social Communication (Secom). “Due to agenda reasons, the President of the Republic will participate in COP26 by means of a video, recorded and already sent to the event organizers,” the text says.

 

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Illegal gold diggers have murdered two isolated indigenous in Yanomami territory

The Moxihatëtëma died during an attempt to expel invaders from their land

Credit: Apib

4 Nov 21

Illegal gold diggers have murdered two isolated indigenous in Yanomami territory

According to a report by the Hutukara Yanomami Association (HAY), two indigenous from a group in voluntary isolation (Moxihatëtëma) were murdered by criminal gold diggers in the vicinity of the Yanomami Indigenous Land in Roraima. The information was reported on November 1 to HAY.

About three months ago, the Moxihatëtëma indigenous people allegedly moved to the upper Apiaú river with the intention of expelling the criminals from their territory where a mining operation called “Faixa Preta” is functioning. There was a confrontation during the approach and the indigenous people were shot dead by the miners.

According to information from HAY, more than 100 hectares of forest have already been destroyed by mining in the region.

The Indigenous Missionary Council (Cimi) stated that the growing mining invasion in the Yanomami Indigenous Territory in recent years is responsible for these crimes. “What is happening in the Yanomami TI are crimes against humanity with the direct responsibility of the federal government, more precisely of President Jair Bolsonaro, who recently was in Roraima without showing the least concern for the crimes committed against the Yanomami People,” says the text.

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Xerente women create the first women’s forest fire brigade in the country

The brigade also helps to educate the local community about fire prevention

Credit: Reproduction

1 Nov 21

Xerente women create the first women’s forest fire brigade in the country

In the municipality of Tocantínia, Tocantins state, indigenous women from the Xerente indigenous people created the first female forest fire brigade in Brazil

The initiative came from residents of the Cachoeirinha village. In August, the community hosted a training course for 29 women, with support from the City Hall, the US Forest Service and the National Indian Foundation (Funai).

In addition to firefighting work, the group also performs environmental education actions in the region. “It is a job that all of us firefighters are enjoying. It’s a learning experience, because of the direct contact with older people, with young people and children. In this face to face work, we show the reality and what happens to nature when there is fire”, said Vanessa Xerente, 33 years old, resident of the Cachoeira Brejo de Ouro Village and head of the Xerente Women’s Brigade Squad. 

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Smoke Signal publishes report "Backwards with Bolsonaro" on the socio-environmental destruction during Bolsonaro’s three years in office
28 Oct 21

Smoke Signal publishes report “Backwards with Bolsonaro” on the socio-environmental destruction during Bolsonaro’s three years in office

Three years after Jair Bolsonaro’s election, Smoke Signal organized a comprehensive report that organized key points of the dismantling of socio-environmental governance and deforestation reduction policies in Brazil.

The bilingual dossier “Backwards with Bolsonaro – 30 years in Three” shows that the destruction is a political project announced since the elections and implemented from day one of Bolsonaro’s administration. The material was prepared using the over 450 articles published in our timeline since October, 2018.

The dossier will be launched while heads of state from hundreds of countries are gathering at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-26) to discuss how to stop the climate emergency. Brazil has been increasing its participation in the problem with the growth of pollutant emissions derived from deforestation and the carbonization of the energy matrix due to the water crisis — which are, in turn, linked to forest losses. 

Click here to read “JB Government: 30 years in 3” in Portuguese and here in English.

Brazil ranks fourth all-time in greenhouse gas emissions

Deforestation and cattle ranching are among the main vectors of destruction

Credit: Christian Braga/Greenpeace

27 Oct 21

Brazil ranks fourth all-time in greenhouse gas emissions

A study conducted by the international think tank Carbon Brief places Brazil in fourth place in the ranking of the most polluting countries in the world, considering the historical accumulation of carbon gas emissions from 1850 to 2021. The survey includes data on emissions from fossil fuel burning, changes in land use, deforestation and cement production. 

In Brazil, most pollution comes from the clearing of forests and the use of land for agriculture and cattle ranching, two major vectors of the current environmental devastation underway in the country under the Bolsonaro administration. Heard by BBC Brazil, the executive secretary of the Climate Observatory, Marcio Astrini, commented on the history of emissions in the country. “If you take the last 30 years, 73% of the planet’s emissions are in the energy sector. If you take the last 30 years in Brazil, 55% of emissions are from deforestation. If you include emissions from Brazilian livestock, we reach 80%”, he said.

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Federal Police launches operation against illegal mining in the Kayapó Indigenous Territory

Officials aprehended machinery used to extract gold from the indigenous territory

Credit: Federal Police Official Website

27 Oct 21

Federal Police launches operation against illegal mining in the Kayapó Indigenous Territory

The Federal Police initiated an investigation with the objective of dismantling a criminal organization specialized in the extraction and illegal commerce of gold in the south of Pará state. According to the Federal Police, every year around a ton of illegally extracted gold leaves indigenous lands in the region.

The operation “Terra Desolata” targets illegal gold diggers who work in the Kayapó Indigenous Land.  The names of those being investigated have not been publicized, but according to a report by G1, the 4th Federal Criminal Court of the Federal Court in Pará has issued 12 preventive detention orders and 62 search and seizure warrants. Besides Pará, there are warrants being served in Amazonas, Federal District, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Roraima, Rondônia, São Paulo and Tocantins. 

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In the Amazon, 75% of deforested areas in public forests became pastures for cattle, study shows

Deforestation in public land grew in pace in the last ten years

Credit: EBC/via Rede Brasil Atual

26 Oct 21

In the Amazon, 75% of deforested areas in public forests became pastures for cattle, study shows

Brazil lost 21 million hectares of the Amazon between 1997 and 2020, according to a study by the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM). In 23 years, the region known as Legal Amazon lost 8% of its public forests and 75% of the deforested areas became pasture, emitting 10.2 gigatonnes of CO2, the equivalent of five years of greenhouse gas emissions in the country.

According to Paulo Moutinho, from IPAM, land grabbing is “a risk factor for the planet’s climate balance” and has intensified over the last ten years.

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Congressman aligned with Bolsonaro participated in scheme to buy tractors with public funds

Government had a “secret budget” to buy support


Credit:MDR

25 Oct 21

Congressman aligned with Bolsonaro participated in scheme to buy tractors with public funds

The purchase of tractors and other agricultural machinery with heavy suspicions of overbilling was financed with public funds from at least 30 parliamentarians, indicates an  investigation of O Estado de São Paulo.

The investigation reached the full list of names crossing information from an internal spreadsheet of the Ministry of Regional Development and a report from the Office of the Comptroller General (CGU), prepared after the newspaper revealed in May that the ministry received R$ 3 billion (USD 600 million)  in amendments to help the government’s allied base in Congress

According to the newspaper, Rep. Vitor Hugo (GO); Senator Davi Alcolumbre (DEM-AP); and Rep. Domingos Neto (PSD-CE), general rapporteur of the 2020 budget, participated in the scheme.

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Senate approves the government’s “creative accounting” for environment goals

Brazil uses creative accounting methods that will allow the country to pollute more

Credit: Sérgio Vale/Amazônia Real

25 Oct 21

Senate approves the government’s “creative accounting” for environment goals

On the eve of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-26), the Climate Observatory analysed the bill that alters the National Policy on Climate Change (PNMC), approved last week by the Federal Senate. 

As a conclusion, the organization points out that the proposed goals for carbon emissions reductions in Brazil are as insufficient as the ones presented by the government in the update of the Brazilian Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) at the end of 2020.  According to the OC, both reduce the Brazilian climate ambition for the next decades. The observatory explains that this “creative accounting” consists in maintaining the percentage of emissions cuts promised, while changing the basis of calculation.

The “creative accounting” strategy hinders Brazil’s capacity to comply with the Paris Agreement objectives, one of the COP-26 agendas. 

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Brazil will have the second largest delegation at COP-26, but without its President

The Minister of Environment, Joaquim Leite, is the head of the entourage

Credit: Marcello Casal Jr./Agência Brasil

25 Oct 21

Brazil will have the second largest delegation at COP-26, but without its President

Brazil should arrive at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-26) with the second largest delegation among participating countries, behind only the United States.  Bolsonaro and and the VP Hamilton Mourão, however, are not expected to attend.

Accompanying the Minister of Environment and head of delegation, Joaquim Leite, are the Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque; Fábio Faria, from the Ministry of Communications; and the president of the Central Bank, Roberto Campos Neto. The group arrives at the meeting under pressure from the international community because of the poor results of the Brazilian environmental policy.

In a press conference, British Prime Minister Peter Wilson said that the absence of President Jair Bolsonaro “could weaken Brazil’s voice,” according to a CNN report.

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Army’s 100 million dollars operations in the Amazon are unable to curb deforestation

Government has authorized three large operations in the biome since 2019

Credit: Vice President Office

24 Oct 21

Army’s 100 million dollars operations in the Amazon are unable to curb deforestation

Even though it is proven to be Ineffective in slowing deforestation, the Brazilian government continues to be defend the presence of the Armed Forces in the Amazon. Since 2019, there have been three Law and Order Guarantee operations (GLO)  issued by the government. The last one ended in August. Altogether, the three cost R$ 550 million (US$ 100 million)  while environmental devastation broke successive records.

According to Vice President Hamilton Mourão, the military must remain in the field so the country can present “positive numbers” at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-26), which begins Oct. 31 in Scotland. The speech occurred during the last meeting of the Amazon Council, of which Mourão is president, on August 24.

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Indigenous Foundation president uses Federal Police to threaten public servant

In office since 2019, Xavier has acted in defense of the big farmers agenda

Credit: Mário Vilela/Ascom-Funai

22 Oct 21

Indigenous Foundation president uses Federal Police to threaten public servant

The president of National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), Marcelo Augusto Xavier da Silva, mobilized efforts for the opening of an investigation by the Federal Police (PF) against one of the body’s own federal prosecutors. The prosecutor had collaborated with a legal opinion in favor of 200 families of the Tupinambá ethnic group in Itabuna, Bahia.

Xavier, who is also a delegate, presented a criminal complaint against Ciro de Lopes e Barbuda to the Federal Police in Brasilia “for defending the repossession of indigenous lands in violation of legal provisions,” according to a Folha de São Paulo report.

For the Federal Public Prosecution, the action of the president of FUNAI against Barbuda constitutes “abuse of authority and slanderous accusation,” according to prosecutor Marcus Marcelus Gonzaga, who proposed the closure of the investigation.

With his administration marked by anti-indigenous measures, Marcelo Augusto Xavier da Silva is the target of a request for his removal from office filed in the federal court in Brasilia by the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (Apib). 

Eloy Terena, legal coordinator of Apib, stresses that the request, filed on October 5, seeks to denounce the unconstitutional treatment given to indigenous peoples. “We are going to bring to the attention of the Federal Court various acts that the president of FUNAI has been practicing in recent years that range from abandoning the defense of indigenous peoples, acting contrary to the rights of indigenous peoples and persecuting indigenous peoples and organizations,” he said.

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Two Yanomami children dead after drowning near an illegal mining dredger in Roraima

Illegal mining on Parima River, in the Yanomami Indigenous Land

Credit: Condisi-YY

12 Oct 21

Two Yanomami children dead after drowning near an illegal mining dredger in Roraima

Two Yanomami boys, ages 4 and 7, drowned in the Parima River, in the Macuxi Yano community (TI Yanomami), after being sucked into machinery used by illegal miners in the region, in Roraima, according to a complaint by the Yanomami Indigenous Health Council and Ye’kuana (Condisi-YY). The children were playing when the tragedy occurred.

“We believe that the force of the dredger knocked the children down and dragged them by the current,” the council’s president, Junior Yanomami, told El País.

One of the bodies was found the following day in a search carried out by the indigenous people, and the second was found two days later by the Fire Department, called by the community.

For Condisi-YY, the episode is a tragedy foretold in the face of the advance of mining activity in indigenous lands, driven by the negligence of the federal government.

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Bolsonaro further loosens regulations on Pesticides through decree

The decree turns into law part of the Bill, currently in the Congress, known as “The Poison Package”.

Credit: Permanent Campaign Against Pesticides and for Life

8 Oct 21

Bolsonaro further loosens regulations on Pesticides through decree

President Jair Bolsonaro signed decree 10.833/2021, which amends decree nº 4.074/2002, that regulates the Brazilian laws on pesticides (7802/1989). The measure was criticized by environmentalists who claim that it is worrying and dangerous for the health of the population to be more flexible in the approval of pesticides that cause serious diseases, such as cancer, and even genetic alterations, as indicated by an article by Pública.

For the doctor and researcher at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FioCruz), Karen Friedrich, the decree 10.833/2021 is a way of passing the Bill 6.299/2002, known as the “Poison Package”, which encountered barriers in the Legislative branch. “The Poison Package” is already on the way. This “ox has been passing through the fence (an allusion to the agribusiness and cattle ranching-backed wave of legislation being approved in the country recently) through various infra-legal devices”, she declared to Pública.

In the following week, the Permanent Campaign Against Pesticides and for Life published a technical analysis that identified the main 17 amendments to the presidential decree.

Since the beginning of his mandate, Bolsonaro’s government has approved more than 1400 new pesticide products, almost 40% of the total commercialized in Brazil.

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Offshore oil blocks auction near maritime reserves has no bidders, following environmentalists outcry

The threat to ecologically sensitive reserves was ignored by the government

Credit: Agência Brasil/via Pública

7 Oct 21

Offshore oil blocks auction near maritime reserves has no bidders, following environmentalists outcry

Only five of the 92 areas offered for extraction of oil and natural gas in the 17th Auction Round of exploratory blocks by the National Oil Agency (ANP) were sold, all in the Santos Basin, off the coast of São Paulo. Despite the failure, the general director of the ANP, Rodolfo Saboia, called the auction “a success”.

The 17th round of the ANP has been the target of intense protests by scientists, environmentalists and state governments, as 14 of the areas offered are close to the vital marine sanctuaries for Brazil’s reef ecosystem, such were the cases of Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco state, and Atol das Rocas, Rio Grande do Norte. The Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) considered, via a technical note, “reckless” to include the Potiguar Basin (RN) region in the auction.

The environmental threat was identified as one of the reasons for the low interest from bidders. “The best definition of this auction is high risk: discovery risk, logistical risk, environmental risk” stated Magda Chambriard, former director general of the ANP, to the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.

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Massive dust storms hits five Brazilian states

Six people died because of the storms

Credit: Twitter/via @faelacarvalho_

6 Oct 21

Massive dust storms hits five Brazilian states

The dust storms in São Paulo state countryside, which began on September 27, have already reached the states of Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás and Maranhão. In São Paulo, winds of up to 100 km/h have left six dead in the Franca and Ribeirão Preto regions.

The extreme weather events are related to the record drought in the southwest of the country. The windstorm, experts say, was caused by a mass of cold weather from the south meeting a mass of warm air in the region, causing trees to fall, buildings to be blown away and power supply to be unstable.

The phenomenon, known as haboob, usually occurs in dry areas with low humidity, and may become more frequent due to climate change. Another factor is the agricultural model based on monocultures practiced in the country, responsible for accelerating the desertification process in Brazil.

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Land grabbing burns 3.4 thousand hectares of Piripkura territory where isolated indigenous people live

Two of the three Piripkura survivors are under constant threat

Credit: Reproduction/via O Globo

5 Oct 21

Land grabbing burns 3.4 thousand hectares of Piripkura territory where isolated indigenous people live

According to a survey by the Socio-environmental Institute (ISA) and the Global Fire Emissions Database, the Piripkura Indigenous Land (TI), which is home to two of the last three Piripkuras, had an area of 3.4 thousand hectares burned in August, the equivalent to 4.2 thousand football fields. The destruction is the result of the advance of illegal logging and land grabbing in the territory, which uses fire to prepare the land for cattle, according to ISA.

In 2021, an ordinance restricting the use of the Piripkura Indigenous Lands, was renewed for only six months. For indigenous and environmental groups, the time frame is insufficient to guarantee the security of the territory and its inhabitants.

“In a period of six months you can’t implement inspection measures and a police operation to remove these invaders. Knowing the slowness of the federal inspection agencies, they will not be able to move forward with the removal of these invaders,” said Antonio Oviedo, coordinator of ISA’s Protected Areas Monitoring Program. 

Sources:

ISA (05/10)

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