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  • Author: Melina Risso, Julia Sekula, Lycia Brasil, Peter Schmidt, Maria Eduarda Pessoa de Assis
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Igarapé Institute
  • Abstract: The Brazilian Amazon is rife with illegal gold mining operations, with 321 identified points of illegal, active and inactive mines arranged in the 9 states that comprise the Brazilian Amazon Basin. This devastation has a price — according to Brazil’s Federal Public Prosecutors Office, 1kg of gold represents roughly R$1.7m in environmental damages, culminating in an environmental cost roughly 10 times greater than the current price of gold. The Amazon is nearing its critical ‘tipping point’, beyond which both the Amazon biome and our global climate will suffer irreversible damages. As such, discussions on illegal mining in the Brazilian Amazon present two interrelated challenges: combating deforestation and protecting the distinct cultures of indigenous populations, who constitute the forests’ principal environmental defenders. Considering the urgency of the discussion, the Igarapé Institute launches the publication Illegal Gold That Undermines Forests and Lives in the Amazon: An Overview of Irregular Mining and its Impacts on Indigenous Populations. The article presents urgent recommendations, in the short and long term, to avoid an irreversible climatic collapse, in which the preservation of the Amazon rainforest plays a fundamental role.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Natural Resources, Culture, Mining, Indigenous, Ecology
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Adriana Abdenur, Brodie Ferguson, Ilona Szabo de Carvalho, Melina Risso, Robert Muggah
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Igarapé Institute
  • Abstract: According to the world’s top scientific experts, deforestation and degradation are up 25 percent in the first six months compared to last year. More forests are being cleared in 2020 than at any point in the past 15 years. Although spectacular levels of illegal burning have occupied global headlines, a host of other less visible but equally significant environmental crimes are being committed throughout the Amazon basin every day. Such crimes not only impact biodiversity and the global climate, but are virtually always associated with social ills ranging from corruption to slavery and violence. A new paper from the Igarape Institute – Environmental Crime in the Amazon Basin: a Typology for Research, Policy and Action – introduces a typology to help better understand the scope and scale of the problem and its extensive social and environmental impacts. To date, one of the principal barriers to better policing of the Amazon is the confusion and ambiguity of what is, and is not, a crime. Different countries apply different interpretations which can frustrate investigations and the enforcement of existing laws. The new paper is designed to provide greater clarity to policy makers, law enforcement agencies, civil society actors, and companies committed to curbing environmental crime.
  • Topic: Crime, Environment, Public Policy, Ecology, Deforestation
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America, Amazon Basin