A national reserve is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological special interest. Governments usually try to protect these parts to provide conservation and special opportunities for study or research. However, this is not always the case. Recently Brazil’s government has abolished a part of a vast national reserve in the Amazon. Reason? They want to open up 30% of the area to mining.
“Demographic explosion, deforestation and the destruction of water resources are just some of the problems.”
The area located in the northern states Amapá and Pará covers 46,000 square kilometers and is larger than Denmark. Members of the government claim, that nine conservation and indigenous land areas within the national reserve will still be protected, but they did not satisfy the public. Activists are sure, that mining for gold and other minerals will harm the nature within the reserve.
HUGE PUBLIC OUTBURST
The opposition Senator Randolfe Rodrigues said, that this is “the biggest attack on the Amazon of the last 50 years”. Maurício Voivodic, head of the conservation body WWF in Brazil is also sure, that mining will harm the environment. “Demographic explosion, deforestation, the destruction of water resources, the loss of biodiversity and the creation of land conflict are all inevitable”.
On the other hand, the ministry released a statement, that they want to attract new investments, generating wealth for the country, employment and income for society.
NATIONAL RESERVE FOR TWO INDIGENOUS CULTURES
The WWF employees are concerned, that the positive outcomes of the action will not outnumber the negative ones. The two indigenous cultures, living in relative isolation will not be fond of a gold rush on their doorstep. “If the government insists on opening up these areas for mining without discussing environmental safeguards it will have to deal with an international outcry,” the WWF report states.