Amazon deforestation on the rise

The Associated Press RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Amazon deforestation jumped 69 percent in the past 12 months — the first such increase in three years — as rising demand for soy and cattle pushes farmers and ranchers to raze trees, officials said Saturday. Some 3,145 square miles of forest were destroyed between August 2007 […]

Setting an Important Precedent for Indigenous Lands

An imminent decision by Brazil’s Supreme Court on the demarcation of the Raposa Serra do Sol indigenous reservation in the Amazon jungle region has the country’s native communities on edge, because of the precedent it will set.

The 1.7 million hectare reserve was officially demarcated by the government in 2005, after debates that dragged on for nearly two decades. The Supreme Court is set to decide next week whether or not to uphold the demarcation of the reservation as a single, unbroken territory.