10 September 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights


Brazil's Amazon fires worsen in September, threaten virgin forests
Reuters, 09 Sep 2020

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Fires in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest worsened in the first week of September and are increasingly spreading into areas of untouched forest, satellite data showed as of Wednesday, after the number of fires likely reached a 10-year high in August. Considering all types of fires, September has already averaged 53 major blazes per day in the first week, up from 18 a day in August, according to Amazon Conservation.

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Climate crisis could displace 1.2bn people by 2050, report warns
The Guardian, 09 Sep 2020

More than 1 billion people face being displaced within 30 years as the climate crisis and rapid population growth drive an increase in migration with “huge impacts” for both the developing and developed worlds, according to an analysis. The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a thinktank that produces annual global terrorism and peace indexes, said 1.2 billion people lived in 31 countries that are not sufficiently resilient to withstand ecological threats.

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Experts question integrity of Indonesia’s claim of avoided deforestation
Mongabay, 08 Sep 2020

Indonesia has been approved for the biggest payout yet from the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund in exchange for reducing emissions by preventing deforestation.The $103.8 million is payment for 20.3 million tons of avoided emissions from 2014-2016, but observers, including on the GCF board, have questioned the way the Indonesian government arrived at that figure. Among the contentious points: a reference level that may be inflated, possible double counting, and persistent state neglect of Indigenous rights.The government says the process was transparent, and may be eligible for even more funding once it starts accounting for peatland fires in its baseline calculations.

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Indigenous women are preyed on at horrifying rates.
The Guardian, 07 Sep 2020

In Canada, Indigenous women and girls are targeted for violence more than any other group. They are 12 times more likely to go missing or be killed.The UN high commissioner for human rights has recognized that the basic inequalities that exist between Indigenous peoples and the rest of Canada are a glaring reminder of the Canadian state’s failure to overcome systemic racism, the intergenerational trauma of colonialism and the inadequate provision of specialized services and programs for each community.Industry projects like pipelines are part of the problem. They bring camps of outside workers, mainly non-Indigenous men, to Indigenous areas. These man camps contribute to the crisis of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

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In the Amazon, the coronavirus fuels an illegal gold rush — and an environmental crisis
The Washington Post , 04 Sep 2020

The novel coronavirus has devastated Brazil, infecting more than 4 million people and killing over 125,000. It’s also fueling the largest gold rush in the Amazon in years — with the potential for long-lasting consequences to the rainforest. Driven by the skyrocketing gold prices, surging unemployment and lax enforcement by a distracted government, people are traveling from all over the country to hundreds of illegal mining sites, invading protected Indigenous lands, stripping swaths of forest bare, poisoning rivers with mercury and laundering illegal gold through mineral shops. And they’re largely getting away with it.

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