Brazil strips massive Amazon reserve of protection to allow for mining
Brazilian government has decided to allow mining of gold and other valuable minerals in forest reserve in the Amazon stripping reserve of its protection. President Michel Temer issued a decree for this commercial activity in order to stimulate the economy. This forest reserve was created in 1984 and it is home to native groups of amazing biodiversity.
The national reserve park of lush Tropical rainforest covers about 46,000 square kilometers in the Northern Brazilian states of Amapá and Pará. This rainforest is home to diversity of wild life and native peoples, it is also rich in deposits of gold, iron and other minerals. The reserve is larger than size of Denmark.
The government objective in allowing mining is to attract new investments eventually generating wealth for government and employment for people. The government is trying to minimize fears by saying that only 30 percent of the park will be open to mining and forest area will remain unaffected.
A member of the opposition in senate has said that this decree is the biggest attack on Amazon in last 50 years. Activists have shown their concern as well, they fear this activity within the reserve will bring with it more workers, roads, construction and pollution and will affect forest, whether or not mining is physically taking place within forest limits.
The Public Policy Coordinator for WWF Brazil, is of the view that this government move is threat for the untouched environment. He also said that the operations that will take place in the park is close to indigenous lands, in which ethnic groups live in relative isolation from the outside world. He further said if the government insisted on opening up these areas for mining without discussing environmental safeguards it will create international outcry.