Brazil opens up vast Amazon reserve to commercial mining

Aug 24, 2017, 6:43 AM EDT
(Source: Nao Iizuka/flickr)
(Source: Nao Iizuka/flickr)

Brazil’s President issued a decree on Thursday abolishing a vast, mineral-rich reserve in the Amazon to open it up for commercial mineral explorations, a move that drew swift response from activists, who are concerned that mining will lead to environmental degradation.

While the Brazilian government justified the decision as a measure to attract investment and stimulate country’s dwindling economy, the opposition described it as the biggest attack on Amazon in 50 years, notes the BBC.

Native vegetation, nature conservation areas and indigenous land will retain their protected status despite the lifting of mining restrictions on the National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca), writes Reuters.