Enviroment

Blog, Enviroment, National Politics

How the Political Crisis is Threatening Brazil’s Sustainable Goals


*Photo credit: Ana_Cotta | Photo Title: S.O.S Amazônia

By Rodrigo Rosa, Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Latin American Studies, Columbia University.

Since 2013, Brazil’s political turmoil has produced anxiety and drawbacks on the political and economic arenas. The instability caused by the political brawl is jeopardizing the environment and threatening the country’s long-term sustainability ambitions. Recent events are going against the commitments made in the international negotiations during the COP 21[1] in Paris in 2015 to reduce greenhouse gases emissions within next decades.

Last June, Congress approved a legislative bill to reduce 600 thousand hectares of protected areas in the Amazon and other natural preserved areas in Brazil, which is equivalent to four times the area of the city of Sao Paulo.

(more…)

Enviroment

Counting our blessings – and destroying them


by Isabela Messias

Brazil is a blessed country. We have no hurricanes, no earthquakes, no harsh winter. We have the largest tropical forest in the world, the Brazilian Amazon, which amounts for around 5 million square kilometers, and hosts an unparalleled biodiversity[i]. Moreover, Brazil also has 12% of the world’s freshwater, more than the European or the African continents. It is fair to say that when it comes to natural resources, we are an extremely lucky country. But we are ruining it. Little by little, with years of neglectful environmental policies, we are ruining it.

(more…)

Enviroment

Development without Displacement in Favela do Vidigal


by Anthony Scott

Favela do Vidigal, Rio de Janeiro (Fabio Seixo - O Globo)
Favela do Vidigal, Rio de Janeiro (Fabio Seixo – O Globo)

How to integrate marginalized populations into the social and economic fabric of our societies is the premier public policy challenge of this century. Ahead of the World Cup and Olympic Games, the government of Rio de Janeiro has been aggressively seeking to regain control of and integrate select favelas (shantytowns) into the larger city. This has been done principally by the State government’s police pacification program, which permanently establishes a community-policing unit (UPP) to maintain security gains, along with UPP Social to facilitate social and physical investments (Municipal Government of Rio de Janeiro, 2013). In response to this public investment in physical capital and security in formerly inaccessible real estate markets, international and Brazilian speculators and developers are buying up valuable property while it is cheap (Steele, 2013). While existing favela homeowners with titles to their land have gained from increased land value, there is growing concern that their children will not be able to afford to buy a home in the neighborhood or even afford to rent after the mega-events (Barbassa, 2012).

(more…)