Brazil Arrests ‘Amazon’s Biggest Destroyer’

Posted by on March 3, 2015 in Eco-Friendly, Environment, Wildlife with 0 Comments

Rhett A. Butler | mongabay.com

0225arrest-ibama

Ezequiel Antonio Castanha in custody. Image courtesy of IBAMA

Authorities in Brazil have arrested a man they claim to be the single biggest deforester in the Amazon, according to a statement issued by IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental protection agency.

Ezequiel Antônio Castanha was detained Saturday in Novo Progresso in the state of Par´ in a joint operation involving IBAMA, the Federal Public Ministry, the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Police. Castanha is accused of running a ring that invaded public forests which were cleared and then sold on to speculators. The forests were located along the BR-163 highway between Altamira and Novo Progresso.


IBAMA says that Castanha’s gang was responsible for chopping down 15,000 hectares of forests over the past decade, causing $15 million in environmental damage and racking up another $30 million in fines. Castanha faces up to 46 years in prison for land grabbing, counterfeiting, illegal deforestation and money laundering.

In a statement, IBAMA called Castanha “the biggest deforester in the Amazon” and said his arrested could “contribute significantly to controlling deforestation in the region.”

Forest loss along the BR-163
Global Forest Watch image showing forest loss in the corridor along BR-163 in Brazil. Courtesy of WRI.

9.4 million hectares of forest were cleared in the Brazilian Amazon between August 2005-July 2014. The state of Para lost 182,900 ha in the year ending July 2014. According to Global Forest Watch, a forest mapping platform run by World Resources Institute (WRI), the area along BR-163 between Altamira and Non Progresso lost roughly a million hectares of forest in the decade ending in December 2012. Virtually all of that loss was deforestation for large-scale agriculture and cattle production.

Brazil accounts for nearly two-thirds of the Amazon rainforest, the world’s largest tropical forest. Just under 20 percent of the Brazilian Amazon has been cleared, mostly for cattle ranching.


Citation:
Hansen, M. C., P. V. Potapov, R. Moore, M. Hancher, S. A. Turubanova, A. Tyukavina, D. Thau, S. V. Stehman, S. J. Goetz, T. R. Loveland, A. Kommareddy, A. Egorov, L. Chini, C. O. Justice, and J. R. G. Townshend. 2013. “UMD Tree Cover Loss and Gain Area.” University of Maryland and Google. Accessed through Global Forest Watch on Feb. 25, 2015. www.globalforestwatch.org.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

New Title

NOTE: Email is optional. Do NOT enter it if you do NOT want it displayed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Top

Send this to a friend