Heriberto Araujo has spent four years investigating the destruction of the Amazon forest and recently published a book on the subject, discussing the complex web of issues behind deforestation. He follows the story of land rights activist José Dutra da Costa and explains how a group of big farmers managed to seize vast tracts of virgin rainforest and why deforestation, violence and lawlessness remain pervasive in the region. The Amazon inherited a series of problems from the 1960s and 1970s. Poor governance and corruption led to land grabbing so that today 45% of the land is controlled by 1% of the population. According to the author, the justice system must be strengthened and those convicted of environmental crimes (including fraud, corruption and murder) must be sent to prison without exception. Measures must also be taken to prevent speculators from profiting from global markets. In addition, local people need to know that there is financial help from Western countries.
Source: Yale Environment 360