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The Brazilian Amazon has been saved from commercial mining

A Brazilian court suspended the decree issued by President Temer to abolish the RENCA nature reserve in the Amazon forest and open it to mining exploration.

The Reserva Nacional de Cobre e Associadas (RENCA) is Brazil’s largest nature reserve located in the heart of the Amazon forest. On 23 August, Brazilian president Michel Temer signed a decree to abolish the reserve and open it to commercial mineral exploration.

International outcry

The news caused widespread outrage all over the world, including among Brazilian citizens. This led Brasilia’s federal judge Rolando Valcir Spanholo to suspend the decree with immediate effect and decide to accept a popular petition presented in the past few days.

Amazzonia brasiliana
L’area occupata dalla Reserva nacional de Cobre e Associadas si estende per oltre 46mila chilometri quadrati ed è grande più dell’intera Danimarca © Ingimage

The nature reserve, which covers over 46,000 square kilometres between the states of Amapa and Para, lures many mining companies for the exploitation of precious resources including gold, copper, tantalum, iron ores, nickel and manganese. Fortunately, this gold rush has been nipped in the bud because, as explained by the federal court, a decision of this kind requires the Congress’ intervention.

The world celebrates

The news that the decree was suspended has been welcome with joy by conservation and indigenous rights associations, and by all those who have the unique biodiversity of the Planet’s last green lung at heart. Randolfe Rodrigues, senator of the opposition and member of the Sustainbaility Network Party, said that the reserve survived “the biggest attack on the Amazon of the last 50 years“.

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