Bolsonaro using Ukraine war to push mining bill


Amid debate on the mining bill, protestors in Brasília demonstrated on April 11 against ongoing illegal gold mining in the Amazon. (Photo, Greenpeace Brasil)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tried a new tactic last month to promote a long-stalled, highly controversial bill to allow mining on indigenous lands: He argued the legislation must be passed to offset fertilizer shortages caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Intended to tap concern that these shortages could hobble Brazil’s large and lucrative agribusiness sector, the president’s argument ran into a buzzsaw of criticism. Experts who study the mining sector called Bolsonaro’s pitch unfounded, noting that very little of Brazil’s potassium—the key fertilizer ingredient he cited—underlie indigenous lands. Raoni Rajão, a professor of environmental policy analysis at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), called the mining bill, known as PL 191, “a false solution that won’t resolve the fertilizer crisis in Brazil.” Instead, he said on Twitter, mining on indigenous lands will “create huge environmental problems.” Eugênio Pantoja, public policy director of Brazil’s nonprofit Amazon Environmental... [Log in to read more]

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