Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro launched plans to expand gold mining in the Amazon rainforest on Monday, criticized by environmentalists for strengthening industries accused of deforestation, pollution and attacks on indigenous peoples. received.
Bolsonaro has signed a decree to create a program to support the development of craftsmanship MiningA controversial activity known as “Galimpo”, which occupies something in Brazil’s legal gray territory.
The decree states that its purpose is “to propose public policy, stimulate the development of small-scale mining by craftsmen, and promote sustainable development of the region and the country.”
It also created an inter-ministerial committee on artisan mining, whose “priority areas” will be nine states that make up a 60 percent share of the Brazilian Amazon.
The artisan miner, or “Artisanal mining,” is split in Brazil.
Bolsonaro, whose father was once “Artisanal”, defends wildcat miners as a hard scrubbull frontier man.
Critics draw another picture.
Last year, the mining industry destroyed a record 125 square kilometers (about 50 square miles) in the Brazilian Amazon. This is more than twice the size of Manhattan.
Most of the destruction was in protected indigenous settlements.
The use of mercury to separate gold dust from the soil also left toxic pollution in rivers.
Prosecutors say illegal gold miners were associated with organized crime and there was a fatal clash between armed miners and a group of indigenous people who opposed it.
In Brazil, mining by craftsmen is legal, provided that the miner has an environmental license and works on licensed land.
But many are not.
The government estimates that 4,000 illegal miners are active on Amazon’s indigenous territory. Activists say this number is much higher.
“What (government) should do is propose and support an environmental license for this activity and monitor its implementation,” said Thule Araujo, a coalition of environmental groups at the Climate Observatory.
“Instead … the Bolsonaro administration appears ready to defend the” historical value “of the sector. in short, Environmental destruction“She said in a statement.
Having driven the expansion of agribusiness and mining in the Amazon, Bolsonaro faces international protests over the destruction of the world’s largest rainforest.
Brazil’s Amazon deforestation has surged to a maximum of 13,235 square kilometers in the 15 years from August 2020 to July 2021 since the far-right leader took office in 2019.
© 2022 AFP
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Brazil launches plans to expand mining in Amazon
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