Brazil’s Amazon reserve opened to mining

The Brazilian government claims that nine conservation and indigenous land areas within it would continue to be legally protected

24 August 2017, 8:20am
Brazil's government has abolished a vast national reserve in the Amazon to open up the area to mining, the BBC reports.

The area, covering 46,000 sq km (17,800 sq miles), straddles the northern states of Amapa and Para, and is thought to be rich in gold, and other minerals.

The government said nine conservation and indigenous land areas within it would continue to be legally protected. But activists have voiced concern that these areas could be badly compromised.

The previously protected area, known as the National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca), is larger than Denmark in size and about 30% of it will be open to mining.

"The objective of the measure is to attract new investments, generating wealth for the country and employment and income for society, always based on the precepts of sustainability," the BBC quoted the ministry as saying.

Maurício Voivodic, head of the conservation body WWF in Brazil, warned last month that mining in the area would lead to "demographic explosion, deforestation, the destruction of water resources, the loss of biodiversity and the creation of land conflict".