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Mundurukú Indians in Brazil Protest Tapajós Dams

Inter Press Service: It took them three days to make the 2,000-km journey by bus from their Amazon jungle villages. The 10 Mundurukú chiefs and 30 warriors made the trek to the capital of Brazil to demand the demarcation of their territory and the right to prior consultation in order to block the Tapajós hydroelectric dam, which could flood several of their villages. "No one from the government has come to talk to us," Juarez Saw, the 45-year-old chief of Sawre Muybu, one of the affected Mundurukú villages, told...

A Decade of Legal GM Soy in Brazil

Inter Press Service: Ten years ago, Brazil yielded to agribusiness pressure and legalised the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) soy. Today it is the world’s second leading producer of GM crops, surpassed only by the United States. Transgenic soy had been grown clandestinely in Brazil since the second half of the 1990s. In 2003, the adoption of Decree 4680, which stipulated the labelling of foods with a genetically modified organism (GMO) content of at least one percent, was considered a landmark decision. But...

Beating Rural Poverty in South America

Inter Press Service: The development of agriculture through the adoption of technological innovations will help Latin America leave behind its status as the most unequal region in the world, and will especially benefit the Southern Cone, one of the planet's largest food reserves. "The Southern Cone is being watched with great interest as a food reserve, but we still can't precisely say how far the potential of our region will reach," Emilio Ruz, executive secretary of the Cooperative Programme for the Development...

Climate-smart agriculture to reduce vulnerability

Inter Press Service: Agroforestry is gaining ground as a tool for climate change adaptation and mitigation in Central America, a region where global warming could generate losses equivalent to 19 percent of gross domestic product. "Agroforestry is our only alternative to mitigate and adapt to climate change," Alberto Chinchilla, executive director of the Central American Coordinating Association of Indigenous and Peasant Community Agroforestry (ACICAFOC) told Tierramérica. A side event of the United Nations Conference...

200 Million Depend on Melting Glaciers for Water

Inter Press Service: At least 200 million people in the world are in danger of being left without water, because they depend for their supply on glaciers that are melting, although paradoxically the process creates the illusion of plentiful water resources. While the average global temperature has risen by 0.6 degrees Celsius in the last 100 years, the temperature of glaciers has increased by 1.5 degrees in just two decades. Local communities, especially in the Himalayan and Andes mountain ranges, are the most...