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...
by Eliane Brum 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...
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...
A new manifesto by eight of Brazil’s past environment ministers has accused the rightist Bolsonaro administration of “a series of unprecedented actions that are destroying the capacity of the environment ministry to formulate and carry out public policies.”The ministers warn that Bolsonaro’s draconian environmental policies, including the weakening of environmental licensing,...
The relationship between the natural environment and the armed conflict in Colombia is deeply interwoven and complex, and the issue of governance is at the root of the environmental challenges Colombia faces. Exploitation of the country’s natural resources sustained the operations of armed groups, while acts of sabotage to oil and mining operations were used to...
The ancestral home of the Sateré-Mawé indigenous group is the Andirá-Marau Indigenous Reserve, an officially demarcated, heavily forested region covering 780,000 hectares (3,011 square miles) in Amazonas and Pará states, Brazil.The reserve itself — along with indigenous villages around it that were not included in the demarcated area — are increasingly under...
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