Knowledge for better food systems

Political threats to Brazil’s environment

Image: Neil Palmer, Aerial view of the Amazon Rainforest, near Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

The current front-runner for Brazil’s presidency, Jair Bolsonaro, member of the right-wing Social Liberal Party, proposes to abolish Brazil’s ministry of environment, hand control of agricultural policies to politicians who advocate reducing land conservation and expanding agricultural lands, withdraw Brazil from the Paris Agreement on climate change, and open indigenous lands to mining.

Bolsonaro, who has been accused of homophobia, racism and misogyny and who has spoken in favour of dictatorship, has gained popularity among voters through his anti-corruption stance, socially conservative values and promises of being tough on crime. Brazil’s presidency will not be decided until the final voting round later in October.

Read the full story here. See also the Foodsource resource What is land use and land use change?

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Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean occupies the central and southern portion of the Americas. The region is home to the world’s largest river (the Amazon River), the largest rainforest (the Amazon Rainforest), and the longest mountain range (the Andes). Export-oriented agriculture constitutes an important part of the economy, especially in Brazil and Argentina. This large continent has a range of climates spanning the ice of Patagonia, the tropical forests of much of the continent, and more temperate regions in, for example, Mexico and Chile. Due to the greatly differing geography and economic development in the continent, all types of agriculture can be found in Latin America. Subsistence farming and cash cropping with coffee, cocoa and so on are common in many nations including most of central America, whereas large-scale beef production in the cerrado of Brazil provides an example of hyper-large farms run by large businesses.

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