South America

Amazon traders promise to boycott soya from "cheating farmers"

Posted by jossc — 17 April 2009 at 11:48am - Comments

Huge areas in the Amazon rainforest are illegally logged to clear land for soya plantations
Huge areas in the Amazon rainforest are illegally logged to clear land for soya plantations © Greenpeace/Beltra

Some good news just in from Brazil, where soya traders have reinforced their commitment to boycott soya grown in newly deforested areas of the Amazon.

Clearing-cutting to make space for new soya plantations has been one of the main causes of rainforest destruction in recent years, which is why we campaigned successfully for a moratorium (temporary ban) three years ago.

Climate and people first

Posted by jossc — 2 April 2009 at 10:48am - Comments

Greenpeace action in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

We've got a message for the leaders of the richest nations in the world who are gathering here in London for the G20 meeting to discuss the global economic crisis - put the climate and people first.

15 activists unfurled this 50m x 30m banner from the bridge at the Guanabara bay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

All aboard the Arctic Sunrise in Brazil

Posted by jamie — 20 February 2009 at 12:42pm - Comments

One of the great things about working for an international organisation is that my inbox is constantly filling with emails from around the globe detailing what other Greenpeace offices are working on. A thread I've been following particularly closely is the stream of messages coming from the Arctic Sunrise which is currently back in Brazil on a two-and-a-half month tour of the country.

The purpose of the tour - which goes under the name of 'Save The Planet Now... Or Now!' - is to highlight the important role Brazil (as the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases on the planet) can play in fighting it in the lead-up to the UN climate change negotiations in Copenhagen this December.

The impacts of Amazon soya are shown on the map

Posted by jamie — 19 January 2009 at 11:27am - Comments

Soya fields adjacent to an area of the Amazon rainforest

The challenges of monitoring the effects of deforestation on the Amazon are immense. The vast areas which need to be covered means it's difficult to keep tabs on what's happening on the remote fringes of the rainforest and news of illegal logging and other environmental damage can take a long time to reach the authorities, if they find out at all.

To help solve this problem, the Greenpeace team in Brazil has been training local people to map the impacts of the soya industry in the Santarém region of the forest, the heart of soya production in the Amazon. It's a collaborative project with Brazilian organisations Projeto Saude e Alegria (Health and Happiness Project) and the Rural Workers Unions of Santarém and nearby Belterra, training people to use GPS technology to pinpoint the damage caused by intensive agriculture, empowering them to help defend their land and the rainforest.

Amazon deforestation gets the Panorama treatment

Posted by jamie — 5 September 2008 at 6:10pm - Comments

If you haven't had your fill of news from the Amazon lately (we've recently had live webcasts and slideshows from regions where fires have swept through), Monday's edition of Panorama is dedicated to the largest rainforest on Earth, and Greenpeace will featured.

Called Can Money Grow On Trees?, it will examine how the rising cost of food is threatening the Amazon as more forest is converted into farmland for cattle ranching - the current dry season provides an excellent opportunity for a bit of fire-based forest clearance. Also included will be the question of whether financial mechanisms (like our own proposal) can be brought in to make forests more valuable if they're left standing.

We haven't seen the final programme, but it's on BBC1 at 8.30pm, with a repeat on Friday 12 September at 12.45am. Of course, you can watch it at anytime on the wondrous iPlayer after transmission (although only if you're in the UK).

Fires raging through the Amazon

Posted by jamie — 3 September 2008 at 2:19pm - Comments

It's currently the dry season in the Amazon and, as the live webcast last week demonstrated, fires have been decimating large areas. The video crew weren't the only ones documenting the fires and last week we received images from another Greenpeace team who took to the air to photograph them and the devastated areas they leave behind. We've put together some of the most striking (not to say depressing) images into the slideshow below.

Live and direct from the Amazon

Posted by jamie — 1 September 2008 at 4:58pm - Comments

On Friday, a Greenpeace team broadcast a live webcast from the heart of the Amazon rainforest, in an area which was still-smouldering after a recent forest fire. Even rainforests have dry seasons and during the current one, fires both natural and man-made are devastating huge areas.

It was an amazing technical achievement but that wasn't the reason they did it - they were there to show how the forest is being cleared for a variety of reasons (in this case, to open up areas for cattle).

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