Brazilian Judge Saves Amazon Region From Miners

Just weeks ago, the Chilean government snubbed an iron mine to rescue endangered penguins. Now, more mining projects are being placed on the back burner. Brazilian judge Rolando Valcir Spanholo halted a mining effort that would’ve destroyed 17,700 square miles of the Amazon rainforest.

The ruling came after the government sought to respond to an international outcry by issuing an updated version of the Renca decree that more broadly outlined steps to mitigate environmental damage, safeguard the rights of indigenous communities and retain protected areas.

Behind the initial plan is Brazilian President Michel Temer, a controversial leader who has narrowly escaped corruption charges. Since coming into power, Temer has slashed budgets meant to protect the environment and indigenous communities. As the Brazilian government is working on appealing a decision against Judge Spanholo’s ruling, activists have little time to strike back.

“The suspension of President Temer’s unilateral decree with its severe threats to vast Amazonian forest offers a welcome and temporary reprieve. Today’s ruling upholds constitutional guarantees and puts the brakes on this drastic regression, but is ultimately vulnerable to being overruled by higher courts.”

The Amazon may not be as appealing as Chilean penguins, but remains equally as valuable as an environmental resource.

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Peru National Park To Protect Untouched Forests

To salvage the remnants of Mother Nature, activist groups, along with government agencies, are erecting new national parks. So far, protected areas in Chile have emerged, with Peru scrambling to assemble Yaguas National Park. The area remains one of the most intact forests on the planet.

More than 1,000 people… live along a 125-mile stretch of the Yaguas and Putumayo rivers. To them, this place is “sachamama,” a Quechua word roughly meaning “mother jungle,” the sacred heart of the area that produces the flora and fauna on which the groups depend.

Realizing the current impact of climate change, Peru is teaming up with South American countries such as Ecuador and Colombia. Together, the environmental superpowers are contending to fulfill the Paris climate agreement.

“For now, Yaguas is safe, but in the 20 years I’ve been working in the Amazon, I’ve learned the hard way that today’s remoteness is tomorrow’s access,” said Gregory Asner, an ecologist at the Carnegie Institution for Science.

In the end, it’s we who lose when we neglect the planet. After all, the Earth won’t combust–it’ll just pick us off.

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