This is the first of a series of articles contributed by LAB partner Agência Pública from São Paulo, Brazil. It brings together material first published in the series 'Amazônia sem Lei' on Agência Pública's website. You can see the original and other material (in Portuguese) here. 97.7% of conflict...

Lithium: draining the desert

Peine, Chile and Susques, Argentina – Within minutes of driving out of tourist hotspot San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile you are deep in the Earth’s driest desert. Vast stretches of reddish-orange sand fly past on both sides. Every now and then you pass the odd dwelling, but this sparse setting changes when you reach the Salar de Atacama:...
A number of indigenous leaders from the Amazon were at the forefront of climate action events in New York 19-28 September 2019. The protests, rallies and symposia were organised around the UN Climate Action Summit that took place alongside the annual UN General Assembly. Linda Etchart was there for LAB and interviewed a...

The Synod on the Amazon

A synod is a meeting of representatives of Church communities to discuss issues of doctrine or Church governance.  So far, for most people, so boring.  But when, in February 2019, General Augusto Heleno, President Jair Bolsonaro’s senior security adviser, described October’s Catholic Church synod on the Amazon as ‘relevant to Brazil’s national security’ and having a ‘left-wing agenda’, he was...
Amazon fires show Bolivia needs a new economic model Global coverage of the recent Amazon fires has focused on Brazil, but Bolivia has suffered a similar catastrophe. Over the last two months, some 2.4 million hectares of the country have burned, almost half of which is forest. At least six people have died and around 2,000 families have...
Dear LAB Supporter and Friend, 11 September 2019 Amazon fires caused by land-grabbing on an industrial scale Amazon burned -- at Terra Nossa, near Altamira, Pará. Neighbouring land occupied illegally by grilheros, was untouched. Photo: José Cícero da Silva/Agência Pûblica. In addition to our...
By Mariana Simões, Agência Pública Agência Pública is a LAB partner, and provided this article for publication in English by LAB. Translated by Julia May, Wide Avenues . You can read the original version in Portuguese here. ‘Do you think I'm not scared?...
Folks, I live in Porto de Moz, Pará, on the Xingu river. We’re in the middle of Amazonia, and you have no idea what’s going on here. The press is focussing on the question of the fires, but that’s just one of the things that’s happening. It’s horrendous to realize that it’s much, much worse. Since...
In May, I gave a talk at Harvard University on the Amazon and creating futures and I closed it by saying that hope, like despair, is a luxury we can no longer afford. Given our overheating planet, there’s no time for lamentations or melancholy. We need to act, even without hope. After my talk, a well-known...
The Bolsonaro administration has launched policies that undermine IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency, and ICMBio (The Chico Mendes Institute) which protects the nation’s federal conservation units, by effectively dismantling environmental law enforcement and allowing deforestation to proceed unchecked. Fines imposed for illegal deforestation between Jan. 1 and May 15 this year were down 34 percent from the same period...

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