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Efforts to save the world’s forests could soon get a boost from proposed laws in the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States to restrict the import of agricultural commodities linked to deforestation. These three markets’ consumption…
Cláudio José da Silva at the bank of the Pindaré river, in the Brazilian Amazon.
News
Over the past year, France has been an outspoken voice on the mounting crisis in the Brazilian Amazon, calling international attention to the disastrous environmental policies of President Jair Bolsonaro. But if France genuinely hopes to help…
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News
Osvalinda Marcelino Alves Pereira, a small-scale farmer, lives in a settlement surrounded by forests in Trairão, a small town in Pará state, at the heart of the Amazon. Despite an unstable connection there, a phone call from Stockholm came through…
Osvalinda Marcelino Alves Pereira, a small-scale farmer, lives in a settlement surrounded by forests in Trairão, a small town in Pará state, at the heart of the Amazon.
News
Last August, as forest fires raged in the Brazilian Amazon, President Emmanuel Macron declared “our house is burning” and warned that “under these conditions” France would not support a pending trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur that…
Smoke billows during a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil.
News
At the Mercosur summit held virtually last week, President Jair Bolsonaro reiterated his administration’s desire to finalize a trade deal with the European Union. Yet a growing number of European leaders have expressed doubts about the deal given how…
Image of an illegal deforestation strip in the Amazonian forest recorded during the Ibama’s Operation Brigada Verde, in Rondonia, Brazil in August 2019
News

Bolsonaro Administration Disputes Information It Provided

(São Paulo, May 22, 2020) – Human Rights Watch reaffirmed today its finding that fines for illegal logging in the Amazon have been effectively suspended since October 2019 under a Bolsonaro administration decree. That finding is based on…
A federal agent walks on top of timber illegally harvested and extracted from Pirititi Indigenous Territory in Roraima State, Brazil, on May 7, 2018. The Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), Brazil’s main environmental law enforcement agency, apprehended 7,387 logs in that operation.
News

Countries are using the coronavirus crisis to lift environmental regulations, even as COVID-19 leaves populations more vulnerable to health impacts from fires.

The world’s forests could soon join the growing list of casualties of the coronavirus pandemic. The fire season is approaching for many. And governments grappling with Covid-19 are rolling back enforcement of environmental protections that are crucial for…
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News
  Thousands of Indigenous people from communities throughout the Amazon and elsewhere in Brazil had planned to gather in the nation’s capital on April 27 in what has become a massive annual mobilization to defend Indigenous lands and rights.…
Cláudio José da Silva at the bank of the Pindaré river, in the Brazilian Amazon.
News

Anvisa report shows concerning findings about food bought and consumed by the Brazilians

Brazil’s National Health Monitoring Agency (Anvisa) released a report on December 11 with concerning findings about the food Brazilians buy every day in their local market. Anvisa technicians gathered more than 4,600 food samples from…
Drone view of a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Some of the houses are around 20 meters from the adjacent sugarcane plantation.
News
Brazil is accelerating approval of new agricultural pesticides. In 2018, the government approved 450 new pesticides—more than in any other year of the past decade. Another 262 new pesticides or new brands of existing products have been approved so…
Aratiri, a 9-year-old boy, lives in an indigenous community in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul affected by pesticides
News
A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
News
  Across rural Brazil, ordinary people are being poisoned from highly hazardous pesticides sprayed near their homes, schools, and workplaces. This was one of the main findings of a report released by Human Rights…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
News
I met Yara, a teenager who was 3-months pregnant, a few months ago in an impoverished indigenous community in Mato Grosso do Sul state. I was there to talk to her parents, Irupe and Pinon, about how toxic pesticides sprayed in the large…
Veja Pesticides
News
Five years ago, an airplane sprayed pesticides over a rural school, São José do Pontal, located among the vast corn and soy plantations extending around Rio Verde, a city in Goiás state. About 90 people—mostly children studying…
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News
Last month I visited a small rural community in northern Brazil to see how pesticides affect people in the countryside. Brazil, an agricultural powerhouse of industrial farming, is one of the world’s largest users of pesticides. Crops like soy,…
Discarded pesticide containers in Brazil.
News

Act Urgently to Respect Villagers´ Right to a Healthy Environment

A version of this op-ed was published in portuguese in O Globo on November 8, 2017. Every morning, cleaners at the primary school in the small village of Piquiá de Baixo in northeastern Brazil wipe the desks and mop the…
Ash accumulates each day in classrooms of the primary school of Piquiá de Baixo in northeastern Brazil.
News
Two years ago, when governments adopted a new international treaty to reduce mercury exposure globally, Brazil helped lead the way. It was one of the great supporters of the treaty, the Minimata Convention on Mercury, and signed it immediately. …
News

The New Brics Bank is an Opportunity to Learn Lessons and Ensure Every Infrastructure Project Protects Human Rights

The emerging Brics economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – struck an agreement this month to establish a development bank with an initial capital of $100bn. The Brics want the bank to mobilise resources for…