Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes MOST READ Senators to proceed with review of VFA EDITORS’ PICK Jamaica’s Usain Bolt wins the men’s 100-meter final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. APKINGSTON, Jamaica — Usain Bolt is now a movie star. He refuses to say he’s an actor.Such a distinction is important for the Jamaican sprinting great and nine-time Olympic champion. Until his competitive career ends next year, Bolt will continue playing only one role — that of the world’s fastest man, someone who beat the odds to acquire immense fame and fortune on his way to becoming one of the biggest stars in global sport.ADVERTISEMENT There are also some moments where that megawatt smile isn’t present. Yes, even Usain Bolt can have a tough day.“You have to ask yourself, why am I doing this? I’ve done everything. I’ve done it many times,” Bolt said. “I have nothing else to prove.”Not now, he doesn’t.The triple-triple was the capper to a storied Olympic career. He’s the world-record-holder in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, and anchored the fastest 4×100-meter relay in world history as well. But without those three golds from Rio de Janeiro, Bolt would have felt somewhat unfulfilled.“I wanted to be one of the greatest,” Bolt said. “I wanted to be among the greats. Without this Olympics, I would be great, yes. But I don’t think I would be in the bracket of Muhammad Ali, Pele and the great footballers. That’s what I want.”Bolt’s plan is for the world championships next year in London to be his final meet.From there, who knows.He’s already well set-up as a businessman, with endorsement deals around the globe and other investments — such as a restaurant not far from Jamaica’s National Stadium in Kingston, an eatery where a two-lane track is stenciled on the floor around the bar. He’ll consider dabbling with other sports, and he has a clear desire to play soccer. He might coach. He will not be a politician.And he’s already been approached about acting. For the record, Bolt says the actor who could play him best is Denzel Washington, and he counts “2 Guns” as one of his favorite movies.“People always say it was ‘Training Day,’” Bolt said. “But I loved ‘2 Guns’ because it was different.” We are young Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Irving’s 39, James’ triple-double lead Cavs past 76ers Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 View comments Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports And then he could finally exhale, knowing this film would have the perfect ending.“Oh my God, you have no idea the pressure that I was under,” Bolt said in a recent interview with The Associated Press, as the production was winding down. “But I live for these moments. I love the pressure. And I have all the confidence in myself and my coach and the team I have that it would come true for me. The pressure was there, but the confidence was always there — which made it much easier.”Bolt agreed to make this film after realizing that he would be able to convince both his fans and his detractors that what they see on the track — a free-spirited showman who tries to be stoic and serious only when absolutely necessary — is what they would get if they tagged along with him on a typical day.He shows off some of the spoils of his life, whether it’s the party scene or traveling or enjoying luxury. He also shows how all that is possible, with 5:30 a.m. workouts that he groaned through and the rigors of what’s needed to keep an elite athlete in top physical condition.“I live a simple life, you know what I mean?” Bolt said. “One of the things that made me really want to do this was people always saying: ‘Aw, this is not really who he is. He’s not always laughing. It’s not always fun for him.’ This is who I am. I really wanted to show people this is who I am. I like to have fun. I like to chill. I like to go out. That’s just a part of me. The part that people don’t see, that’s the part I want to show people behind the scenes, the hard work.”ADVERTISEMENT As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise He wanted this movie to be different as well.“I tried to talk about what I’m feeling, what I’m thinking,” Bolt said. “That’s what I really try to portray. I never try to be unoriginal.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH among economies most vulnerable to virus As such, it’s not a made-for-Hollywood version of himself that takes center stage in the documentary “I Am Bolt,” which is being released Monday. As the title wants viewers to believe, the Bolt who is in the film is the very same one that his friends, family and other members of his close-knit inner sanctum have seen for as long as they’ve known him.“I wasn’t an actor,” Bolt said. “I wasn’t trying to push a different person forward.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliThis is Bolt, a behind-the-scenes view of the superstar that took about two years to make and has him holding the camera at times. The idea in large part surrounds Bolt’s quest for the so-called triple-triple — three gold medals in three events at three consecutive Olympics, something no sprinter in the history of the sport had ever accomplished.He pulled it off, to little surprise, at the Rio Games.
Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Mining, Amazon People, Amazon Soy, Cattle, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, China’s Demand For Resources, Controversial, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Politics, Featured, Forests, Green, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Mining, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Soy, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People, Tropical Deforestation Brazilian commodities producers have long dreamed of a railroad network crisscrossing Amazonia and the Cerrado, able to cheaply move crops and minerals from the nation’s interior to South America’s coasts. But factors, including lack of investment, political instability and difficult terrain, have foiled those hopes – until now.In recent years, Brazil and China have developed mutual interests: Brazil produces soy and other food crops that China needs to feed its 1.3 billion population. As a result, China has increasingly gotten involved in potentially investing in and helping build a number of Brazilian railroads. And Brazil is actively seeking that help.Today, China has moved actively toward including Brazil in its global Belt and Road initiative, a plan to improve worldwide transportation and other infrastructure, in order to provide the Chinese with needed commodities.However, railroad construction has so far been slow to get underway. How last month’s election of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro will impact Brazil-China relations is yet to be seen. While Bolsonaro has at times come out strongly against Chinese influence in Brazil, others within his administration may seek to actively court the Chinese. China, with its trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, is poised to invest heavily in the construction and operation of Brazilian railroads. Belt and Road would put China at the heart of a globally unprecedented transportation network. Image by PughPugh on Flickr CC BY 2.0 license.The environmental cost of agribusiness expansion into the Amazon basin and the Cerrado savanna isn’t limited to the felling of forests and destruction of native vegetation to make way for crops. Agribusiness growth there also requires major new transportation infrastructure corridors – railways, roads, industrial waterways, river ports, and other logistic support – to efficiently move soy and other crops from the Amazon and Cerrado interior to market in China, the European Union and elsewhere.If precautions aren’t taken, this infrastructure could do great damage to the environment, and indigenous and traditional communities, particularly due to the population influx they inevitably trigger.Over the last 20 years, grain production has exploded in northern Mato Grosso state, and today the process is being repeated in Matopiba, the agribusiness acronym for the parts of the Cerrado savanna biome located in the states of Maranhão, Tocantins, Piaui and Bahia. The Cerrado is the scene of Brazil’s most recent agribusiness expansion, as cattle, soy, corn, cotton and eucalyptus rapidly replace native vegetation.Traffic jam of commodities-loaded trucks on the BR-163 highway in the Brazilian Amazon. Analysts see the construction of Grainrail as the solution to the traffic problem, though the railroad also poses serious environmental problems. Image courtesy of Verde Vale FM.While the agricultural boom has been very quick, the building of new infrastructure has been much slower, so transport bottlenecks have emerged all over the region, most notably on the inadequate roads of northern Mato Grosso and Pará states. New highways are being built and old ones paved, but their capacity is being overwhelmed even before they’re completed.The result: bumper-to-bumper Amazon traffic jams that delay delivery and eat into agribusiness producer and commodity company profits.Some see the construction of railways and industrial waterways as the best long-term solution for this logistical nightmare. Rail and water transport bring down freight charges and trains emit far fewer greenhouse gases than trucks. Today, many in Brazil’s interior are putting their hopes for new infrastructure in Chinese investment and construction. But there are serious downsides to this potential development, especially when routes cross protected areas and indigenous reserves.The disastrous Madeira-Mamore-railway, costing thousands of lives, and ultimately an economic failure, serves as a warning to entrepreneurs and nations who wish to develop railroads in Amazonia. Image courtesy of the Museu Paulista da USP.A brief history of Amazon railSurprisingly few railroads have been built in Amazonia. Most famous is the catastrophic Madeira-Mamoré railway, built between 1907-1912 to link Porto Velho to Guajará-Mirim in western Brazil. The goal: provide a way to rapidly move rubber tapped in Bolivia to Amazon streams, for shipment to Europe and the United States. In the longer term, planners also dreamed of linking the Pacific and Atlantic oceans – an ambition being revived today.The Madeira-Mamoré line was quickly dubbed the “Devil’s Railroad” due to the thousands of construction workers who died from tropical disease and violence. Legend says that a corpse is buried under each sleeper. Though completed, the railroad was soon abandoned when the rubber boom went bust.More economically successful is the 892-kilometer (554 mile) railroad that annually hauls 120 million tons of iron ore from the huge Carajás mine in Pará state to the port of Ponta da Madeira in Maranhão state. But, in an indication of the trouble that could lie ahead for future railways, the line has caused many conflicts with communities, particularly the Gavião indigenous group. The Gavião have repeatedly complained that the railway divided their land in two, disrupting their lives and frightening away the animals they hunt, yet they haven’t received the compensatory help promised by the mining company.The Gavião indigenous group has expressed anger at the socio-environmental impacts of the Carajás mine in Pará state and at its railroad. Image by Pedro Aguiar Stropasolas.Despite these problems, powerful sectors of the Brazilian government, along with transnational trading companies, such as Cargill, Bunge and Amaggi, and farmers, have long fantasized about installing a vast integrated rail network, crisscrossing the Amazon basin, to provide efficient transport links to get commodities to market. But in the past, this was just that – a fantasy.However, today many businesspeople believe the coming together of key factors is putting the dream within grasp. The first concrete step will likely come with the construction of Ferrogrão (Grainrail), which could carry soy produced in northern Mato Grosso to the Tapajós and Amazon rivers. But that would be just a start toward an Amazon rail network.China’s Belt and Road Initiative showing China in red, the members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in orange, and the 6 proposed corridors of the Silk Road Economic Belt, a land transportation route running from China to Southern Europe, and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a sea route. Brazil’s place in Belt and Road is still being determined. Image by Lommes licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.Brazil’s place in China’s Belt and Road initiativeChina, with its 1.3 billion people, has long seen food security as a key objective of its investment strategies and international trading relations. In recent years that goal has assumed new urgency. According to Professor Peter Williams, a UK climate scientist, “Sooner or later, there will be an unbridgeable gulf between global food needs and our capacity to grow food in an unstable climate. Inevitably, starvation will reduce the world’s population.” Williams continues: “China is positioning itself for the struggle to come – the struggle to find enough to eat. By controlling land in other countries, they will control those countries’ food supply.”One way of ensuring national food security is by improving international supply routes. In 2014, President Xi Jinping announced an ambitious plan to integrate China’s supply networks across much of the world. Called Belt and Road, the initiative is envisioned as a 21st Century Silk Road, composed of a “belt” of land transportation corridors and a “road” of sea routes and ports, with every path leading from vital commodities resources into China.Environmentalists have responded to Belt and Road with deep concern, as it could offer a means for plundering the world’s forests and minerals, potentially at the expense of local economies, the environment, and indigenous and traditional communities.At first, the initiative was limited to Asia, Europe and Africa, and it seemed Brazil would not benefit. But, at a meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in January 2018, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi formally invited Latin America to join. Importantly, Chinese analysts see the United States as retreating from Latin America and are keen for their country, and its state-owned businesses, to fill the vacuum.Roberto Jaguaribe, president of the Brazilian Agency for Export Promotion and Investments (Apex-Brasil), welcomed this Chinese invitation as a great opportunity for Brazil, saying that Chinese investment in railways, energy generation and other sectors is “essential” for national economic growth. “Brazil is a strategic partner of enormous importance [for China]” said Jaguaribe. “We need to construct a relationship grounded in economic complementarity and in the great convergence of interests that exists between the two countries.”This “convergence of interests” is born out of a simple reality: Brazil is a leading exporter of primary goods – crops, meats and minerals – for which China has a growing need.Soy, an increasingly important global commodity, with the U.S. and Brazilian producers battling fiercely for the Chinese market. Image by Jean Weber / INRA licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.Soy is king in Brazil and ChinaThe dovetailing of national priorities comes together perfectly in one product: soy. As the Chinese population increasingly adopts a Western-style diet, the country needs more and more soy to use as animal feed for pigs and poultry. Today, China is a voracious consumer of soy on the world market, importing about 60 percent of the soybeans traded worldwide.As a result, Brazil has become economically dependent on China which buys no less than 80 percent of its soybean exports. The next most important buyer from Brazil is Spain which purchases a meagre 2.9 percent share of its soybean exports.This dependence is, of course, a two-way street, with China increasingly reliant on Brazil for its food security. China bought 95.5 million tons of soy in 2017, an increase of 13.8 percent over 2016. Of this, Brazil supplied over half – 50.9 million tons, with Brazil’s share of China’s soy imports that year increasing by a massive 33.3 percent.The main loser has been U.S. farmers. The United States was still an important supplier of soy to China in 2017 – in fact, the only other significant supplier – selling 32.8 million tons to the Chinese. But this represented a 3.8 percent decline compared with 2016.Moreover, this decrease may be modest when compared with what could be coming down the pipeline. Donald Trump’s trade war with China has resulted in the Chinese government imposing a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans, in retaliation for levies that Trump placed on a wide range of Chinese imports, and it has also virtually stopped buying U.S. soy. “The latest federal data, through mid-October, shows American soybean sales to China have declined by 94 percent from last year’s harvest,” the New York Times reports. This shift in trade could have a dramatic negative impact on U.S. soy exports to China into the future, while greatly benefiting Brazil. But that can only happen if Brazil has the transportation infrastructure with which to feed China’s need.2018 may be the first year in which Brazilian soy exports surpass those of the United States. Analysts think that President Trump’s China trade war is likely to hurt U.S. soy farmers, while helping those in Brazil. Image by David E. Mead in the Public Domain.China moves into Brazil’s soy sectorWith the Asian nation so dependent on Brazilian soy, the Chinese government wants to gain increased leverage over the Latin American supply. One approach has been to buy up land in Matopiba. But more importantly, China is moving full force into commodity trading and the construction of transportation infrastructure – now applying its Belt and Road strategy to South America, and especially to the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado.Through state-owned COFCO, China’s largest food and agricultural company, it has bought up several trading companies. This move gives China independence from the powerful Western ABCD transnational trading quartet (ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus).China has also bought its own Brazilian port at São Luís do Maranhão on the Atlantic Ocean and purchased a leading engineering company, CONCREMAT, which now operates as a subsidiary of the state-owned Chinese company, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), one of the world’s largest builders of railways and industrial waterways.In what, over the long term, may prove its most important strategy, China is also showing interest in investing in transport infrastructure. One of its key goals is to create alternative supply routes to the Panama Canal which it views as being under U.S. control.A map of major proposed and existing Brazilian railways, protected areas, indigenous lands and biomes. Image by Mauricio Torres.Chinese ambitions mesh well with those of Brazilian agribusiness, which is desperate to improve transport infrastructure, but can’t due to the national economic crisis and the Lava Jato corruption scandal’s disastrous impact on the once powerful Brazilian construction industry. As U.S. and European interest in Brazil flags, China’s role rises.China is already in line to play a major part in the construction and operation of Grainrail. Elsewhere China is involved in negotiations to help build and run two other major new Brazilian rail lines. One is the proposed FICO (the Railway for Integration of the Center-West), which would cut across the Amazon states of Rondônia and Mato Grosso, pass through two important soy producing areas near the towns of Agua Boa and Lucas do Rio Verde, and link up to the east in Campinorte in Goiás state with the Ferrovia Norte-Sul (North-South Railway), which has just begun construction.The Ferrovia Norte-Sul, when fully operational will connect Brazil from north to south, extending more than 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles), and stretching from Belém at the mouth of the Amazon River, through the states of Tocantins, Goiás, São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul. The Chinese have expressed “strong interest” in investing in this railroad, though no concrete plans have been announced. There are also plans to build a railway linking to the Ferrovia Norte-Sul, known as the Northeastern, which would move Cerrado produce to the Atlantic coast for export.Soy port owned by Cargill in Santarem, Brazil. Analysts say that commodities transport costs won’t come down and favor producers until both railways and industrial waterways are built in the Amazon, creating competition between the two modes of transportation. Photo credit: JuhaOnTheRoad on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SAAt the same time, there are other plans to extend the EF-364, widely known as the Ferronorte line, (which currently ends in Rondonópolis in Mato Grosso state), as far north as Lucas do Rio Verde and then possibly to Sorriso, also in Mato Grosso. Whether China may play a role isn’t known.According to a press briefing from Valec Engenharia, the state company running FICO: “There are political plans, not yet properly defined, to form a ‘great junction’ in Lucas do Rio Verde, integrating FICO, Ferrogrão [Grainrail] and Ferronorte.”Soy producers in northern Mato Grosso see this new rail infrastructure as the best way of bringing down transportation costs and improving profits. Odir José Nicolodi, a soy producer from the hamlet of Santiago do Norte, said: “The project is ready and we, the farmers, are determined to join forces with the municipal authorities to help get the project off the ground.”In November 2017, Mato Grosso governor Pedro Taques travelled to China at the head of a Brazilian delegation and visited the CCCC. He came back confidently saying: “We need FICO and the Chinese are interested in financing it.”Brazilian President Michel Temer with President Xi Jinping during a 2017 China visit which included railroad discussions. In recent years, China and Brazil have grown closer as the Latin American nation hungrily looks for commodities buyers, while the Asian nation seeks to feed 1.3 billion people. Image by Beto Barata/PR as found on Flickr.Another railway that interests China is the Ferrovia de Integração Oeste-Leste (FIOL), the West-East Integration Railway, which would run from the future port of Ilhéus on the Atlantic coast of Bahia state, west to Figueirópolis in Tocantins state in the Cerrado. In Figueirópolis it would link up with the Norte-Sul railway.When Brazilian President Michel Temer visited China in November 2107, the state-run China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) – one of the largest railway construction companies in the world – declared its interest in forming a consortium to build FIOL. Since then, the Bahia state government has contracted a private consultancy, Accenture, to develop the project.There would almost certainly be strong objections to some of these new railroads from environmentalists and indigenous communities, as many of the lines would penetrate or impact a variety of conservation units and indigenous lands. However, at this early stage of the planning process critics aren’t lodging their complaints, and are awaiting announcements of the precise routes of the various railways before evaluating impacts.Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff and China’s Xi Jinping in 2013. Two years later, the two heads of state agreed to a transcontinental railroad running across Brazil and Peru. Image by Roberto Stuckert Filho/PR published under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Brazil License.Transcontinental RailwaysIn the longer term, these many railroads would link up with another, the biggest and grandest of the lot, and the ultimate dream of Brazilian entrepreneurs since the early 1900s. Known as the Ferrovia Transcontinental (Transcontinental Railway) or the Bioceânica, it would extend Ferronorte west through the Amazon into Peru, and east to the Atlantic, providing the Chinese and Brazilians with a definitive alternative to the Panama Canal.The transcontinental railroad was announced in 2015 by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, after she reached an initial agreement with the Chinese, and was proposed at a cost of US$70 billion. It would run coast-to-coast through Peru and Brazil, and link the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. However, after the initial fanfare, little has been heard about it in recent years, though there are regular discussions about route, including talk of still another transcontinental railway altogether, this one through Bolivia. If built, that line, known as the Transoceânica, would reportedly cut Brazil to China trade time from 67 to 42 days.It is the more northern railway through Peru that analysts fear could do the most damage to protected areas and indigenous reserves. In July 2015, three Brazilian government officials took five Chinese rail experts along the entire proposed 3,500 kilometer (2,200 mile) route in a journey that took them ten days. The most remote area they visited was in Acre, Brazil’s far western state.The rail line would cross three large indigenous reserves and an important protected area, the Serra do Divisor National Park, in Acre. This vast region has been practically abandoned by regulatory authorities, leading to lawlessness. Thiago Pinheiro Corrêa, from the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), said: “There are frequent reports of invasions [of indigenous land and protected areas] by illegal logging groups, drug traffickers and predatory hunters.”Indigenous groups there have been involved in a long struggle to win land rights. Even as the Chinese officials flew over the area, Nawa Indians were holding four Brazilian government officials hostage in the latest chapter of their ten-year struggle to get authorities to mark out their land boundaries, a conflict which has proved particularly difficult because a portion of the land claimed by the indigenous group overlaps Serra do Divisor National Park.One of the indigenous leaders, Lucila da Costa Moreira, said that the government is dragging its feet because it wants to get the Nawa out. Even though the railway won’t cross Nawa land, it will run close and the Indians are fearful. “We are worried about the impacts [of the railway], and we shan’t get any benefit because we don’t export soy,” said Ninawá Huni Kui, vice coordinator of the Organization of the Indigenous People of Acre, the Northwest of Rondônia and the South of Amazonas (OPIARA).The 892-kilometer (554 mile) Carajás railroad that annually hauls 120 million tons of iron ore from the huge Carajás iron mine in Pará state to the port of Ponta da Madeira in Maranhão state. Image courtesy of MA10.Railroad futuresThe rail network sketched out in this article includes a bewildering array of proposed projects – with some probably remaining pipedreams, or suffering long delays, or seeing significant changes in route before they are built – but there seems little doubt that moves are afoot to get at least a few underway, though likely not as fast as commodities producers would like. As Edeon Vaz Ferreira, from the Pro-Logistics Movement of Mato Grosso, told Mongabay in August: the Chinese “are arriving but more slowly than many expected.”Importantly, it is as yet unclear how the October victory of the extreme right candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, as Brazil’s president will affect China relations. Bolsonaro said last year that he wanted to restore the United States as Brazil’s top partner and expressed concern that China was taking over the country, with its investments in mining, agriculture, ports and airports. More recently, he vowed to restrict Chinese purchases of Brazilian companies, warning: “China isn’t buying in Brazil, it’s buying Brazil.” As strident as these remarks may be, however, Bolsonaro also strongly supports agribusiness, which desperately needs China for its markets and for its infrastructure investment dollars.Now that Bolsonaro has to run the country, and is appointing advisers, new voices are coming forward. One is Paulo Coutinho, a University of Brasilia economist, who is coordinating infrastructure plans for Bolsonaro’s party, the PSL (Liberal Social Party). Under Bolsonaro, the PSL has grown very rapidly, increasing its number of federal deputies from just one in 2010 to 52, deputies after the recent election. It has suddenly become a force in Brazilian politics.Coutinho is more nuanced than Bolsonaro. He notes that the PSL has an ambitious program for expanding railways, roads and airports, but says that it will almost all be carried out by private capital, with state help limited to loans from Brazil’s development bank, the BNDES (National Bank of Economic and Social Development), during the construction phase. He added, however, that the new government would welcome Chinese investment: “Bolsonaro doesn’t want the Chinese to buy land, but he has nothing against them building railways.”The future of Amazon railway expansion will almost certainly depend on the relationship that develops between Brazil’s Bolsonaro and China’s Xi. But it may also depend on Brazil’s stability under Bolsonaro. If the pre-election spike in rural violence worsens, with Bolsonaro supporters in the country’s rural interior moving aggressively to take over land in protected areas and indigenous territories, and to commit violence, the Chinese, renowned for their caution, might not push ahead with infrastructure investment plans, at least in the short term.However, if Bolsonaro reins in rural supporters, tones down his aggressive rhetoric and seeks accommodation with opponents, the incorporation of the Amazon into China’s Belt and Road initiative could well gain momentum.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.This cartoon seems to indicate that the China Belt and Road initiative will offer smooth sailing for its many partners, including national governments, international investors, state-run construction companies, transnational commodities traders, shipping companies, mining companies and industrial agribusiness. However, environmentalists worry Belt and Road could open vast areas of forest and habitat to exploitation and destruction. Image courtesy of China.org.cn. Article published by Glenn Scherer Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored