Sunday, April 23, 2017
The development over the last 40 years of Mato Grosso state in Brazil’s interior as an industrial agribusiness powerhouse has, from the beginning, been hindered by a major economic problem: how to get the commodities to the coast for profitable export. The first route of export from Mato Grosso was a costly and time-consuming southern one, with commodities...
The meteoric rise in soy production in the state of Mato Grosso is eating up rainforest and savanna at a staggering rate, with 1.2 million hectares under production in 1991; 6.2 million hectares in 2010; and 9.4 million hectares by 2016. Much of that soy is being exported to China, and it is expected that Brazil will grow...
Sinop, a city of 125,000 people in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon in Mato Grosso state, is a modern success story. Prosperous and booming, the small urban center services a region dominated today by industrial agriculture. Few remember how the city came to be. As recently as the 1970’s, the Sinop region was mostly rainforest and occupied by...
A catastrophic setback to environmental and indigenous protections was narrowly averted last week when quick action from two federal deputies prevented the agricultural lobby from forcing passage of bills to authorize construction of three mega-industrial waterways in the Amazon and elsewhere. The Congress will likely pick up the bills again after the recess in February. They would authorize building many...
The Tapajós River Basin lies at the heart of the Amazon, and at the heart of an exploding controversy: whether to build 40+ large dams, a railway, and highways, turning the Basin into a vast industrialized commodities export corridor; or to curb this development impulse and conserve one of the most biologically and culturally rich regions on the planet. Those...
The Tapajós River Basin lies at the heart of the Amazon, and also at the heart of an exploding controversy: whether to build more than 40 large dams, a railway, roads, canals and port complexes, turning the Basin into a vast industrialized commodities export corridor; or to curb this development impulse and conserve one of the most biologically and...

Rio: from kudos to chaos

In less than three months Rio has passed from the splendour and success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to a state of public calamity and chaos. The state government is bankrupt; salaries are in arrears, hospitals are at breaking point, suppliers are unpaid.  The causes include the steep drop in the royalties enjoyed by Rio when the oil price...
In a third and final blog post from Punta Gorda, Belize, Rachel joins an indigenous community led forest patrol and witnesses the damaging impacts of oil exploration in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. In Crique Sarco, Village Council Leader Mr Choc explains how his community is working to safeguard their land for the future.   Back in the SATIIM office...
As the Brazilian Senate embarks on the final step in the long process to impeach the President, a powerful image of Dilma has been circulating on Whatsapp. But is what it says true?
LAB has been listening to leaders of Brazil's social movements to hear the messages they want to get across to the 10,000 journalists in Rio for the Olympics.

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