Ahead of highly anticipated elections, report highlights how global markets help sustain the enormous political power of the agribusiness lobby in Brazil’s congress

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

A damning report by Amazon Watch has shed light on the commercial links between European and US companies and agribusinesses in Brazil connected to illegalities and the powerful rural lobby in the country’s congress. According to the report, the bancada ruralista – a cross-party political caucus of federal deputies and senators who promote the interests of agribusinesses in congress – has actively worked to benefit the agroindustrial sector in Brazil while undermining environmental protections and indigenous rights, and offering amnesties to land grabbers and illegal deforesters.

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Deforestation connected to illegal cattle ranching, logging and mining continues to accelerate in northern Brazil

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

More than 10,000 hectares of forest have been cleared in the states of Pará and Mato Grosso in northern Brazil due to illegal cattle ranching.

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Zero deforestation commitments failing to stem illegal deforestation in Brazil, study finds

Friday, August 31st, 2018

Weakened environmental standards, a lapse in law enforcement, and low levels of compliance with zero deforestation commitments led to the loss of more than 90,000 hectares of forest in the Amazon, according to an analysis by the Brazilian environmental watchdog Imazon.

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Beef firm at centre of Brazilian corruption scandal channelled $1.7bn through tax havens

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

The biggest companies involved in trading commodities driving deforestation in Brazil are channelling money through tax havens, inflating their profits and preventing greater scrutiny of their operations, according to a paper in Nature.

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Cattle ranching driving surge in illegal deforestation in northern Brazil

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Almost 13,000 hectares of protected forests were destroyed in the northern Brazilian state of Pará in May and June, according to analysis by the conservation NGO Socio-environmental Institute (ISA).

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World’s largest pension fund dumps shares in beef firm in wake of corruption scandal

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

The Norwegian state pension fund has decided to divest from JBS on the basis of an investigation earlier this month, on the grounds that there was “an unacceptable risk” that a company is “contributing to or is itself responsible for gross corruption”.

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Major ag traders fined for buying grain from illegally deforested land in Cerrado

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Cargill and Bunge have been fined by the Brazilian authorities for buying grain from illegally deforested areas in the Cerrado.

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Communities denounce violence and human rights violations in the Brazilian Cerrado’s ag frontier

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

Civil society organisations in the Brazilian Cerrado have issued a statement denouncing the “alarming increase in violence and violations of rights of the communities” associated with a government-driven agricultural project.

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Brazil Supreme Court ruling upholds amnesty to illegal deforesters as cash from bad ag flushes into the coffers of congressmen

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

Brazil’s Supreme Court has upheld several controversial revisions to the Forest Code that will greenwash illegal deforestation and, critics argue, will increase criminal behaviour by ag firms in the Amazon.

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Study finds “vicious cycle” between deforestation and rollback of protections for forests

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined 62 protected areas in the Amazonian state of Rondonia. The authors found that the government was more likely to later reduce or completely eliminate the legal protections for areas that had been deforested.

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Next two years will be “dangerous years indeed” for the Amazon as ag interests exploit political uncertainty

Friday, January 26th, 2018

“The illegal actors in the Amazon can practically feel this fragility. And they make the most of these moments, resulting in sudden spurts of deforestation.”

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Record year for forest fires in Brazil driven by expansion of agriculture and weakened oversight

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

In just one week in December, nearly 26,000 fire alerts were issued in the Brazilian state of Pará, in the Amazon biome. Historic data produced by the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) shows that 2017 was the year with the highest number of fires in the state since records began in 1998.

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Illegal deforestation hit big ag firms where it hurt – in the pocket

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

A new analysis of three major agricultural firms implicated in illegal deforestation reveals how it affected profitability, led to multi-billion dollar decline in market capitalisation and huge losses for investors.

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Local government collusion with criminal gangs undermining Amazon protections, enforcement chief tells climate delegates

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Collusion between local authorities and criminal gangs is exacerbating illegal deforestation in the Amazon, the head of environmental law enforcement in Brazil has told delegates at the COP 23 climate conference. His comments came two weeks after the latest series of assaults on agencies tasked with protecting the Brazilian Amazon.

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Illegal deforestation drives dramatic rise in Brazilian emissions, eclipsing effects of recession

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Illegal deforestation drove the biggest increase in Brazilian greenhouse gas emissions for 13 years in 2016, despite a severe recession leading to lower emissions from nearly every sector save agriculture.

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