A federal court in Brazil has suspended a presidential decree that would have allowed mining companies to exploit the lush Renca reserve in the Amazon after national and international condemnations of the government move.
Temer Government Opens Brazilian Amazon Rainforest Reserve to Mineral Mining
In a decree last week, unelected president Michel Temer abolished the the National Reserve of Copper and Associates that has been created in 1984, opening swaths of untouched forest to mining — roughly 4.6 million hectares of area in northern Brazil — to commercial activity, justifying the effort by saying that it would boost Brazil’s economy.
The court in Brasilia "partially granted an injunction to immediately suspend any administrative act" aimed at abolishing the Renca reserve, it said in a statement, adding that Temer’s original decree can no longer be implemented.
The ecologically and mineral-rich reserve is home to several Indigenous communities, which, along with environmentalists and human rights groups, have been opposing Temer’s move at lifting the ban on mining in the natural reserve for several months now.
According to O Globo, the mining companies from the U.S., Canada and Australia have been petitioning Temer government for several months to open the reserve to mining.
Randolfe Rodrigues, from the REDE-AP opposition party, called Temer’s move the “biggest attack on the Amazon of the last 50 years,” O Globo reported.
Condemning the right-wing president’s proposal, Global Witness, an NGO that exposes economic networks responsible for the conflict, corruption and environmental abuse, stated on its website, "The ruthless scramble for the Amazon’s natural wealth makes Brazil, once again, the world’s deadliest country in terms of sheer numbers killed."