President Lula Reminds World that the Amazon Has an Owner: Brazil

Brazilian Amazon deforestation It's time the world realize that the Amazon has an owner and that that owner is Brazil. The message is coming from Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. who once again stressed that the Brazilian people own the Amazon, or at least the 60% Brazilian share of it and nobody else.

fThe Brazilian leader recognized that Brazil needs to take care of the forest and prevent deforestation, but also asked foreign countries to butt out and keep their suggestions on the Amazon subject to themselves:

"It is quite amusing that countries that are responsible for 70% of the planet's pollution now keep eyeing the Amazon as if it were only ours the responsibility to do what they haven't done all these past years. The world needs to know that Brazilian Amazon has an owner. And the owner is the Brazilian people, the Indians, the rubber tappers, the fishermen,  but also all of us who are aware that we need to reduce deforestation and burning."

Lula was participating at the 20th National Forum, in Rio de Janeiro, which will last the whole week. Organized by Brazilian economist and former Planning minister during the military dictatorship, João Paulo dos Reis Velloso, the event's theme is "Brazil, a New World in the Tropics: 200 years of economic independence and 20 years of national forum (under the sign of uncertainty)."

The presidential talk was in part an answer to the recent article from the New York Times "Whose Rain Forest Is This Anyway?"

The Times piece says in part: "Now, with the world focusing on the promises of biodiversity and the perils of global warming, a chorus of international leaders have ever more openly declared the Amazon part of a patrimony far larger than that of the nations that share its territory. "Contrary to what Brazilians think, the Amazon is not their property, it belongs to all of us," Al Gore, then a senator, said in 1989."

The Brazilian leader reminded that Brazil has been doing its part of caring for the world. Lula stressed, however, that it is necessary to develop the Amazon region.  There are almost 25 million inhabitants in the area, he told his audience. These people, he said,  also want to access all the amenities the rest of the country has.

"Why these people have to be segregated? This is a debate that I think will be an important one in the next two decades."

According to Lula, the development of biofuel by Brazil shows that Brazilians are doing their part to lessen the world's pollution level. He also suggested that the Kyoto protocol has been a failure, putting the blame at the feet of the United States:

"He who had to take steps to comply with the protocol hasn't even signed it. We were the ones who sustained it. We are the ones, who thanks to the use of ethanol, have reduced the emission of tons of carbon dioxide."

Lula also blamed the US and the European Union for stimulating world inflation and raising food prices. According to him, eating has become more and more expensive because America and European countries continue pushing agricultural subsidies.

"It's up to the rulers, mainly those from rich countries, to give a chance to the global free flow of grains, proteins and biofuels. The protectionist barrier favoring the wealthy nations' producers is in reality, an unacceptable wall, an indifference wall, that the developed nations build to perpetuate the misery of poor developing nations."

For Lula, fossil fuel contributes to global inflation and this could be solved through the adoption of ethanol and biodiesel. "It is not right to contend that biofuels contribute to the food crisis", said Lula, criticizing what he sees as the lobby of rich countries against Brazil's ethanol.

Lula also mentioned that the US economic crisis might end affecting Brazil but reminded that Brazil has become a much more resilient country recently and more prepared to endure international crises.

Meanwhile, the daily O Globo from Rio de Janeiro reveals that a private report by the Abin, Brazilian Intelligence Agency found out that Johan Eliasch, a Swede businessman who works as a consultant for British prime minister Gordon Brown, estimated that the whole Amazon Forest can be bought for about US$ 50 billion.

Apparently, Eliasch's purpose is to encourage British businessmen to buy real estate in the area. Brazilian authorities have been investigating Eliasch's participation in the acquisition of 160,000 hectares of land in the states of Amazonas and Mato Grosso.

Eliasch is head of the NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) Cool Earth, which is in the Brazilian government's black list as suspect of doing monkey business in the Amazon.

Carlos Minc, Brazil's new Environment minister, who assumes his post this Tuesday, May 27, seems worried with the news: "I am shocked and I am going to order an investigation into this story as soon as I take office."


  • Show Comments (20)

  • Ingo Castilho

    take a map, and show us how UNsmart and UNeducated you are.
    Can you see only Brazil….in the Amazon ?
    Thats why i said that 60 percent (not the whole thing) of the amazon is in Brazil….dumb ass.

  • DU 48

    After Plan Colombia , guess who’s next?(Nicaragua & Honduras Contras revisited)
    According to John Pilger the CIA are preparing the groundwork for changes in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia. ( )

    Gringo shouldn’t worry about the US sending their boys to the steamy jungle- by all accounts there are plenty of S.Americans to do the work for them.

    The reality is that the Brazilian Amazon region is being developed,with or without the approval in Brasilia : the funds are being provided by the international banks.

  • ..

    [quote]unlike the Amazon that would be insufferable for their troops unexperienced in jungle warfare. [/quote]

    What if they send just Harrison Ford and his fellow archaeologists?

  • Gringo

    Ingo Castilho
    Let me ease your patriotic nerves.

    Firstly, there is no arguing that the Amazon is rich in resources and water. There is also no arguing that the US is a resource pig! But is this reason enough to fear an invasion? Let me ask you: why would the US invade thousands of miles away when actually just to the North they could find just as much fresh water, more minerals and OIL (tar sands make Canada the second richest oil nation in the world)? To make it logistically easier, Canada possesses a meager population of 33,000,000 and an almost nonexistent army of Blue Helmets. Compare that with Brazilˢ۪s 190 million and one of the largest Militaries in the world. The terrain in Canada is what most US military personal are quite familiar with, unlike the Amazon that would be insufferable for their troops unexperienced in jungle warfare.

    It makes no sense whatsoever to travel, suffer and spend billions to invade South America to secure natural resources that would cost even more to transport north, when you go and send two Boy Scouts and a Girl Guide to Canada and get the job done over the weekend.

    As for rhetoric, Brazil may believe a war is imminent because a forged map was circulated, and Al Gore let off hot air 20 years ago, or because in a Superman comic the man of steel moved his fortress to the Ecuadorian Amazon, that is all neat and conspiratorial and all, but there is no concrete intention. ItÀ‚´s all boogeyman stuff. That said, the US did in fact have a WAR PLAN designed to invade Canada as little back as 1930s. Google À¢€œWar Plan RedÀ¢€Â if you donÀ¢€™t believe me. So does that have Canadians fearing an imminent invasion?

    No. Just the really REALLY dumb ones.

    Have a nice day.

  • Gringo

    JoÀƒ£o o PinhÀƒ£o!
    JoÀƒ£o, o PinhÀƒ£o!

    Maybe calling the Military a “throw-back” is out of line, but I do blame them for if not creating, then certainly fostering and nurturing, this unnecessary national psychosis about À¢€œinternationalizing the AmazonÀ¢€Â. Also, from À¢€œIntegrar para nÀƒ£o entregarÀ¢€Â to Calhe Norte to their refusal to accept international help when Roraima was a blaze in 98, itÀ¢€™s been proven time and time again that whenever the military gets involved in Amazon policy “tudo acaba em pizza”. ItÀ¢€™s been written about by scholars since, well À¢€¦À¢€¦ since the Military allowed scholars back into the country to write; which wasnÀ¢€™t very long ago.

    If you served, or have family serving, I meant no personal disrespect, but from a purely historical point of view, IÀ¢€™m not clear on why they should be idolized for the confusion they have created in the region. IÀ¢€™ll keep an open mind to this, and look for comments from Gen.Gus Ribeiro in the future; maybe he will say something to sway my OPINION. I doubt it though. This entire new hullabaloo about À¢€œgringos running wild in the forestÀ¢€Â and the need for restrictive laws only solidifies my point of view, and it is the military that is leading the cavalcade.

    What do you think of the military in Myanmar?

    I hear it will be a late season for Tainha, the sea is too warm…

  • forrest allen brown

    Hay No one owns the AMAZON get that into your heads
    IT should be protected from any one with an AX chain saw ,cows ,or soy beans like you would keep your 15 year old daughter from the likes of a drunk masher .
    instant self gratafaction at the expence of the AMAZON will only come back to hurt every one 10 years down the road .
    if brasil owns it they should stop there own people first no matter whom they are , and then make and keep laws in place and enforce them
    RIO DE JANEIRO – Amazon Indians from one of the world’s last uncontacted tribes have been photographed from the air, with striking images released on Thursday showing them painted bright red and brandishing bows and arrows.

    The photographs of the tribe near the border between Brazil and Peru are rare evidence that such groups exist. A Brazilian official involved in the expedition said many of them are in increasing danger from illegal logging.

    “What is happening in this region is a monumental crime against the natural world, the tribes, the fauna and is further testimony to the complete irrationality with which we, the ‘civilized’ ones, treat the world,” Jose Carlos Meirelles was quoted as saying in a statement by the Survival International group

    One of the pictures, which can be seen on Survival International’s Web site (, shows two Indian men covered in bright red pigment poised to fire arrows at the aircraft while another Indian looks on.

    Another photo shows about 15 Indians near thatched huts, some of them also preparing to fire arrows at the aircraft.

    Click for related content
    Amazon Indians go high-tech to map their land
    Brazil’s Amazon building boom draws protests
    Road cuts deep into Brazil’s Amazon

    “The world needs to wake up to this, and ensure that their territory is protected in accordance with international law. Otherwise, they will soon be made extinct,” said Stephen Corry, the director of Survival International, which supports tribal people around the world.

    Of more than 100 uncontacted tribes worldwide, more than half live in either Brazil or Peru, Survival International says. It says all are in grave danger of being forced off their land, killed and ravaged by new diseases.

  • ch.c

    To the idiot….Ingo Castilho !!!!!!
    take a map, and show us how UNsmart and UNeducated you are.
    Can you see only Brazil….in the Amazon ?
    If yesssssss……I am sure you went to the same University as Bin Lula. Yesssss ????? 😀 😉 😀 😉


    so you think the US wants to run a power cable from brazil to the US ??? dont think so .

    as far as 25% of the worlds resorces not true the US buys not takes , and when we do cut trees we replant more than we cut .

    as far as the largest poluters , we have active numbers ,

    check out every bay , and river in braqzil all poulted far worse than any in the US

    thousands of tons of garbage burned or tossed into the rivers .
    thousands of tons sugar cain burned a year blocking out the sun for days at a time .

    the mercury dumped into the streams and rivers from your gold diggers .

    or the hygdren sulfide build up from the city of breves from all the saw mill cuttings dumped in the river

    take a look at most of the trucks with all the black smoke comming from there stacks

    all you land dewlers need to learn to survive on a lot less , and say you are sorry for your wasted life

  • João da Silva

    [quote]Will be on the standby to hear the opinions of some intelligent bloggers and that of the TV networks!!

    Sorry, I meant to say “and NOT that of the TV networks”

  • João da Silva

    [quote]JoÀƒ£o e o pÀƒ© do feijÀƒ£o[/quote]

    I wish you would rename me as JoÀƒ£o ,O PinhÀƒ£o which I love and fortunately it is still growing in abundance in our state (though the prices have gone up too much).

    Talking seriously: I have been reading your posts under several articles and I agree with many of your views, except the unnecessary military bashing when you said:

    [quote]than the typical sounds bytes offered by Military throw backs and their political sycophants.[/quote]

    I would not consider Gen.Gus Ribeiro to be one who would go overboard with the ass kissings of the “Political Sycophants”. I wonder if you watched his interview in “Canal Livre” of BAND.

    I would very much like to hear the opinions of Ricardo Amaral , “Dnbaiacu”, Forrest and other distinguished bloggers before expressing my opinion.

    In the meantime, you enjoy the “PinhÀƒ£o”, before they further destroy the “Atlantic Forest”. The natural forests do produce nourishing food (without chemical fertilizers), like Maple trees produce syrup.

    Will be on the standby to hear the opinions of some intelligent bloggers and that of the TV networks!!

  • Ingo Castilho

    Some of you have a point…if the Amazon is all of ours then why dont we all chip in to police and patrol the vast expanse that is the amazon. Ever thought how many patrol men it would take to patrol all of the amazon and keep elligal lodging from happening??? Maybe America should stop consuming 25 percent of the resources in the world…maybe then American leaders would stop eyeing the mineral resources and the vast hydroelectric power waiting to be harnessed in the Amazon. Its not our falt that fresh water is in short supply and that 25 percent of fresh water in the world happens to be located in Brazil. The fact is that when you look on a map 60 percent of the Amazon is located in Brazil. It is not an international park or some kind of world reserve it is property of the Republic of Brazil.

  • Gringo

    JoÀƒ£o e o pÀƒ© do feijÀƒ£o
    JoÀƒ£o, there is news about the other countries and their forests, itÀ¢€™s just that the Brazilian media likes to focus on, one: bad news in the US; two, what the rest of the world thinks about Brazil; three, Big Brother Brazil; four, bundas; and last but not least, that silly game where people chase around an orb-like object to the amusement of drunkards and sheep molesters. ThatÀ¢€™s about that. So it is totally understandable that many in this nation think the other countries are getting off lightly, or are being totally ignored. ThatÀ¢€™s def. not the case.

    Regardless, most of the concern should be focused on Brazil; not only because the deforestation is out of control (80% is illegal according to the governmentÀ¢€™s own figures) but the area being deforested is massive. Beyond imagination actually. Never in the history of the world has one nation so ravaged a single forest so fast. And please, for all the chest-pounders, donÀ¢€™t give us all this À¢€œwell they destroyed their forests and look at them, nonsenseÀ¢€Â. Everyone here seems to forget about the Mata Atlantic forest. And it is easy to forget since barely any of it exists today. Over 1,000,000 sq kilometers (the size of France and Germany together) has already been destroyed.

    Btw, getting away with murdering a nun is an international attention grabber, too. So, given this, it is obvious a greater degree of the international concern would be placed on Brazil. And the initial question: À¢€œIs Brazil capable of dealing with the AmazonÀ¢€Â is a valid and legitimate international question given historically itÀ¢€™s been proven Brazil canÀ¢€™t. Saying the international community should intervene, or internationalize the forest, it NOT a valid argument or idea, and those that question BrazilÀ¢€™s sovereignty do so rhetorically, for a sound byte, or ignorantly. WhatÀ¢€™s more ignorant, though, is how the Brazilian government turns unimportant hyperbole into a call for war and uses it to discriminate against foreigners.

  • Gringo

    [quote]If the Amazon truly belongs to the world and not the Brazilian people then so should the oil fields of Saudi Arabia and the Coral reefs of Australia and the coal mines of America, and perhaps all the gold discovered in California and Alaska [/quote]

    Agreed, and I think we need to borrow the knee-jerk Brazilian À¢€œRECIPROCITYÀ¢€Â war-cry and demand all Brazilians (starting at the date the new anti-foreigner law in the Amazon is passed) to apply for a special visa to visit the Coral Reefs, California and Alaska. I agree with your premise entirely, and agree with the Brazilian notion of reciprocity.


    and you wont JOAO
    as brasil does not want the truth out .

    INGO how about all the gold stolen out of the amazon by brasilians ,
    wood , rare birds & anmials offered up by brasilians on the free market .
    would that be offered up on the table also

    and then every one that wants a life with pay would move north and all the drugies & low lifes would move south and live off
    bumbing off the world .

    most people in the forest would rather be left alone rather than have to deal with the government of brasil

  • João da Silva

    The Amazon rain forest is not owned only by Brasil. If I recall correctly, the forest stretches over 8 countries in South America. I just wonder what the other 7 countries are doing to preserve the forest. We hardly hear any news about this from the national or international press.

  • dnbaiacu

    Lula was doing good until he said this…..
    [quote]. There are almost 25 million inhabitants in the area, he told his audience. These people, he said, also want to access all the amenities the rest of the country has.[/quote]

  • Anderson

    ok now that everyone else owns the state
    brazil wont have to spend any more money on the state
    how much will England be sending
    how much will the us be sending
    how much will france be sending

    are you going to help us pay the salaries for fiscalization agaisnt deforestation?
    are you going to send money so we can maintain the place???



  • Anderson

    if everyone owns the amazon

    please start sending tax money for maintenance *À‚¨&&*%À‚¨$%#$%&

  • Ingo Castilho

    The world
    If the amazon truly belongs to the world and not the Brazilian people then so should the oil fields of Saudi Arabia and the Coral reefs of Australia and the coal mines of America, and perhaps all the gold discovered in California and Alaska should have been distributed world wide and maybe we should even open all borders, draw a new word map with no distinction between countries….after all its all ours isen’t it?

  • Pedro Cansino

    Enough of Brazilian bullshit
    Brasil is so traumatized by the program of the slavery ( paternalism, corruption, smiling but5 dreadry racial and sexual exploitation and skin-deep tolerance of any criticism – or revelation – that (sorry) ” God is Brazilian” is just a bullshit kind of myth that has been used and misused by Brazilian elite ( of which politicians are kisses asses by the way) since 1500…The criminal gangs know that and ” it is time to get even”, the social ( better say psychic) civil war among Brasilians feed an awful crime rate ( in all levels…) and the enviroment is the first one to go to the dogs…Brazil lacks the maturity to understand that the Amazon is the spinal column of this very Earth, and allows unfettered greed and ignorance to destroy a rain forest – just to plant soy beans or whatever; then the land is dead and ignorance moves on. The Brazilian government is so stupidly regressive that justify the destruction of the Amazons “because first world countries also did that.” Brazil forgets that we are in 2008 ( not 1908), that there are 6 billion people in this going to the dogs world. Brazil elite and government are a shame.

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