By Patrick Brogan
The President of Brazil, Michel Temer, signed a decree that opens up a national reserve to mining. The reserve which is between the states of Amapa and Para in the north of the country, also known as the National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca), is 17,800 sq miles, larger than Denmark, and is believed to be rich in gold.
30% of this will now be open to mining, but government officials have said natural forest and indigenous areas will not be affected. However, this has not allayed the fears of opposition leaders and environmental campaigners. They fear this will open the back door to further destruction of Brazil’s natural areas.
Temer is a man under pressure as South America’s largest economy has slumped to its worst performance in a century. His administration hopes opening up Renco will boost the economy and create jobs in the region. Whether there are long-term damages we will have to wait and see. There is a short term view of the world shared by many politicians and business leaders that is having a detrimental impact on the global environment.
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