The Brazilian government has opened up an area for mining that it had recently dismantled – an Amazonian national reserve that is seemingly bigger than the size of Norway.
The National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca) is split between the Northern Brazilian states of Amapa and Para and a decree from President Michel Temer published Wednesday abolished the protected status of this area.
Thought to be rich in minerals such as copper and gold is this 46,450 square kilometre reserve which is more than twice the size of New Jersey State.
Jobs would be created, income would be generated and illegal mining would be combated is what the government would happen by this move and the government said that just under a third of the area or 30 percent, will be opened up to mining. However, the move could damage the world’s largest and most diverse tropical rainforest, activists argue.
Permission to conduct mining would only be granted in areas not currently used for vegetation or homes, the government said in a statement released on Wednesday.
“Permission to develop research and mining applies only to areas where there are no other restrictions, such as protection of native vegetation, conservation units, indigenous lands and areas in border strips.”
O Globo reported that the announcement was described as a “catastrophe”, which failed to consult the public and could leave the region vulnerable to corruption and conflict by the Brazilian public policy coordination of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Michel de Souza.
“Demographic explosion, deforestation, the destruction of water resources, the loss of biodiversity and the creation of land conflict” would be caused by mining in the area, warned a report released by the WWF last week.
A 21 percent fall in deforestation rates within the country’s Legal Amazon region was reported, which includes Amapa and Para, in the two years from August 2015 and the Wednesday’s decree comes as the country rose up to that reported.
It may be recalled that since it was established as a national reserve in 1984, Renca has been protected from private mining.
(Adapted from CNBC)