Posts Tagged ‘rainforest’

Brazil dismantles ‘biggest destroyer’ of Amazon rainforest

The group is accused of logging and burning large areas of public land in the Amazon

The authorities in Brazil say they have dismantled a criminal organisation they believe was the “biggest destroyer” of the Amazon rainforest.

The gang is accused of invading, logging and burning large areas of public land and selling these illegally for farming and grazing.

In a statement, Brazilian Federal Police said the group committed crimes worth more than $220m (£134m).

A federal judge has issued 14 arrest warrants for alleged gang members.

Twenty-two search warrants were also issued and four suspects are being called in for questioning.

The police operation covers four Brazilian states, including Sao Paulo.

Five men and a woman have already been arrested in Para state in the north of the country, Globo news reported.

‘Impunity’

The BBC’s Wyre Davies in Rio de Janeiro says details are still sketchy, partly because the police operation is focused on one of the most remote and inaccessible parts of the Amazon region.

Political and police corruption is still rife in Brazil’s interior, our correspondent adds.

That problem coupled with alleged ineptitude on the part of the federal government means that loggers and illegal miners are able to operate with impunity, he says.

The Amazon rainforest is home to half of the planet’s remaining tropical forests

The police announced the operation in a statement: “The Federal Police carried out today Operation Chestnut Tree designed to dismantle a criminal organisation specialising in land grabbing and environmental crimes in the city of Novo Progresso, in the south-western region of Para.

“Those involved in these criminal actions are considered the greatest destroyers of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.”

‘Fifty years’

The group members face charges of invading public land, theft, environmental crimes, forgery, conspiracy, tax evasion and money laundering.

They could be sentenced to up to 50 years in jail, although the maximum length that can be served by law in a Brazilian prison is 30 years.

Last year, the Brazilian government said the rate of deforestation in the Amazon increased by 28% between August 2012 and July 2013, after years of decline.

It made a commitment in 2009 to reduce Amazon deforestation by 80% by the year 2020.

Brazil is home to the biggest area of Amazon rainforest, a vast region where one in 10 known species on Earth and half of the planet’s remaining tropical forests are found, according to the leading conservation organisation WWF.

Source: BBCNews

Nature Ramble

This week we’re going to look at South America again, Brazil, in fact.

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1tumucumaque

Tumucumaque is a national park established ten years ago in the state of Amapa in the northeast of Brazil.

I had never heard of it before last night when Globo Reporter excelled itself and produced a phenomenal programme, which is a rarity for Brazilian TV.

One of the amazing inhabitants

An amazing place, parts have never seen the footprints of man. During the reportage, just a few days, one biologist identified 70 new species of spider.

“The importance is in fact that all this together make the Guiana Shield one of the best protected and largest ecological corridor of tropical rainforests in the world. It is an uninhabited region and is of high ecological value: most of its animal species, mainly fish and aquatic birds, are not found in any other place in the world.”Wikipedia

Tretioscincus agilis

Tretioscincus agilis – image ebah

Perhaps a new species of frog from the Dendrobates family – image: MongaBay

New species of grasshopper – image: Cantinho da Francicleide

Just a few samples of the fauna. This area is so rarely visited, that there are not many examples of images to be found.

Let’s keep it this way.

 

Make you Fink Good this Friday

If you buy your beef from big corporate supermarkets like Tesco, the chances are you helping to destroy the Amazon rainforest.

Tesco supplier accused of contributing to Amazon rainforest destruction

Greenpeace says meat products supplied by Brazilian firm JBS come from ranches in illegally deforested lands

Cattle at an illegal settlement in northern Brazil: such ranches are the leading source of rainforest destruction in the Amazon. Photograph: Antonio Scorza/AFP/Getty Images

British consumers are unwittingly contributing to the devastation of the Amazon rainforest by buying meat products from Tesco, according to Greenpeace.

The environmental group says in a report that canned beef from the supermarket chain has been found to contain meat from ranches that have been carved out of the lands of indigenous peoples, and farms the Brazilian government believes have been sited in illegally deforested lands.

The allegations stem from an 18-month investigation carried out by Greenpeace into the practices of JBS, a big Brazilian supplier of meat and cattle byproducts. The campaigning group claims it unearthed evidence of serious violations of the company’s own ethical code, and those of companies it supplies, including Tesco.

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This has been known since this June 2009 article:

Supermarket suppliers ‘helping destroy Amazon rainforest’

• Meat companies sued over Amazon deforestation
• Accused firms supplying Tesco, Asda and M&S

Brazilian authorities investigating illegal deforestation have accused the suppliers of several UK supermarkets of selling meat linked to massive destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Brazilian firms that supply Tesco, Asda and Marks & Spencer are among dozens of companies named by prosecutors, who are seeking hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation.

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So it’s not new news.

This week in Brazil steps were taken by the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets to help rectify the domestic use of such meat…

Brazil supermarkets ‘to avoid Amazon meat’

Farmers use fire to clear land for cattle, destroying huge swathes of rainforest in the Amazon region.

The main group representing supermarkets in Brazil says it will no longer sell meat from cattle raised in the rainforest.

The Brazilian Association of Supermarkets, which has 2,800 members, hopes the deal will cut down on the illegal use of rainforest for pasture.

Deforestation in the Amazon has slowed over the past years but invasion of public land continues to be a problem.

Huge swathes have been turned into land for pasture and soy plantations.

The Brazilian Association of Supermarkets (Abras) signed the agreement with the Federal Public Prosecutor’s office in the capital, Brasilia.

‘More transparent’

Public Prosecutor Daniel Cesar Azeredo Avelino said consumers would benefit from the deal.

“The agreement foresees a series of specific actions to inform the consumer about the origin of the meat both through the internet and at the supermarkets,” he said.

Mr Avelino said a more transparent labelling system would also make it easier for consumers to avoid buying meat from the Amazon and make it harder for shops to sell items from producers who flouted the law.

He said he would now work towards reaching a similar deal with smaller shops.

Under the deal, supermarkets have promised to reject meat from areas of the Amazon where illegal activities take place, such as illegal logging and invasion of public land, Mr Avelino said.

There is currently no deadline for the implementation of the measures, but Mr Avelino said they would be adopted “soon”.

According to the pressure group Greenpeace, expansion of the cattle industry in the Amazon is the single biggest cause of deforestation in the region.

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If Brazilians can take appropriate measures, the big corporate supermarkets across the globe can do the same.

And, you, the consumer, can also play your part and demand to know the origin of your beef.

Do this, and you will be doing your part.

 

 

Satireday on Eco-Crap

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