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:

You May Also Like

Brazil: Confessed Killer of US Nun Says He Was Hired by Nun’s Friend

In deposition that lasted four hours, Rayfran das Neves Sales, 28 years old, admitted ...

Brazil Wants Better Integration Between South America and Caribbean

The Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, called on the member countries of ...

Industry Jobs Grow 6.5% in Brazil, But Unemployment Is Still 10.2%

The 5% reduction in what the Brazilian industry earned on a per worker basis ...

In the US, Jail. In Brazil, Slap on the Wrist.

Former minister and banker Ângelo Calmon de Sá, 68, was the owner of Bahia’s ...

Brazil coffee for export

Brazil Exports US$ 3.4 Billion of Coffee in a Year. An All-Time Record

Brazilian coffee exports yielded US$ 3.4 billion between March 2006 and February this year. ...

Beer Makers in Brazil Busted for Half a Billion Tax Fraud

The tax embezzlement scheme allegedly practiced by the Schincariol beverage company may have diverted ...

Israeli President Beats Ahmadinejad to Brazil to Talk About Iran Threat

Shimon Peres, the President of Israel, is starting today, November 9, a "historic visit" ...

Brazil Wants Closer Agribusiness Ties with India and South Africa

A greater degree of agribusiness integration between India, South Africa, and Brazil is the ...

Brazilian Scotton Back to NASCAR

  by: Brazilian racecar driver Roger Scotton has signed an agreement with two major ...

LETTERS

By When the first accusation appeared in the ’50s that the museum was being ...

WordPress database error: [Table './brazzil3_live/wp_wfHits' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed]
SHOW FULL COLUMNS FROM `wp_wfHits`