Lula Has Foreign Accomplices in the Destruction of the Amazon

News reports on May 19 announced that more than 10,000 square miles of the Amazon rainforest had been deforested over the last year – an area the size of the state of Massachusetts in the US.

Not only is the Amazon rainforest an area of breathtaking beauty and unparalleled biodiversity, through the process of photosynthesis it also ensures the survival of the human race, with its billions of trees producing much of the world’s supply of oxygen.


While ultimately Brazil’s progressive President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, bears the brunt of this fiasco, the U.S. and European nations also generously share in the responsibility for the destruction of vast swaths of the country’s rainforest.


They have promoted the neo-liberal economic polices that persuaded Brazil to rely on the strength of its constantly expanding agricultural sector to pay down its suffocating international debt.


As a result, loggers have felled hundreds of thousands of hectares of trees and farmers have cleared vast tracks of the rainforest to grow crops.


Just as was the case under former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the negative repercussions which result from this arboreal massacre, were relatively mild because – despite presidential declarations to the contrary – Brazil’s environmental polices under Lula have been much more bark than bite.


Brasí­lia, under the “people’s president” has failed to fulfill its commitment to prevent further destruction of the Amazon rainforest as promised last year when Lula announced a $140 million campaign to preserve and ensure better policing of the fragile habitat.


However, external economic factors also have certainly played a role in persuading the government to turn a blind eye to the desecration of its own rainforest.


It is critical to our common planet’s survival that the U.S. and the EU develop a comprehensive plan with teeth, in cooperation with Brazil, in order to provide the financial incentives necessary to preserve the rainforest, while also strengthening Brazil’s competitiveness in the global economy.


The U.S. and the EU would be wise to accept this responsibility in order to temper the dangerous extremes involved in their push for globalization and the maximization of free trade that threatens the very integrity of the environment, if not the very survival of the human race.


This analysis was prepared by COHA Research Associates, Hampden Macbeth. The Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) – www.coha.org – is a think tank established in 1975 to discuss and promote inter-American relationship. Email: coha@coha.org.

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil's poultry cooperative Aurora

The Good Life of a Brazilian Chicken While Search Goes on for Super Bird

It eats little and gains weight quickly, it has large breasts and legs, is ...

Brazil: Guarani Indians Will Fight for Their Land

Once again, the Guarani Kaiowá who live in the Nhanderu Marangatu indigenous land region ...

If Brazil’s Petrobras Is in the News It Ought to Have Struck Oil Again

Petrobras, Brazil's government-controlled oil and gas multinational announced on Thursday, July 7, a new ...

Suspect of Ordering US Missionary Murder Elected Deputy Mayor in Brazil

Three years and eight months after missionary Dorothy Stang was murdered, one of her ...

Milton Hatoum: Author from Brazil, Voice of Many Cultures

Good literature is not always a synonym of immediate success with the public. There ...

Global Crisis Prompts Brazil to Inject Another US$ 10 Billion in Economy

In order to  provide banks with more liquidity for loans to their clients Brazil's ...

Brazilian Government Invites Chavez to Receive Cancer Treatment in Brazil

The Brazilian government is offering medical treatment for the leader of Venezuela. Brazil’s Foreign ...

Brazil Offers World Over 700,000 Carbon Credits from Sanitary Landfills

The São Paulo municipal government will be holding its second carbon credit auction for ...

28 Castrated Boys Will Receive US$ 219 a Month from Brazilian Government

The families of boys castrated in Maranhão, in northeastern Brazil, will each receive a ...

Brazil Vows Compensation to 250 Families Living in Indian Territory

Brazil’s National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (Incra) estimates that, in all, around ...