Best of the web: The violence behind Brazil's deforestation, the history of playgrounds, and Niger's forgotten uranium town

    by Best of the Web
    Wednesday, 19 July 2017 14:02 BST

Honour guards perform during military drill at navy base in Kaohsiung, Taiwan July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Discover all the top land and property rights stories from across the web

This week, Brazil’s Ministry for the Environment proposed to open almost 350,000 hectares of protected rainforest for agricultural, mining and logging use.

Pushed by President Michel Temer, the decision would redraw the borders of Jamanxim national forest in the Amazon, a move that the World Wildlife Fund has called an "unprecedented offensive against [Brazil's] protected areas".

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has catastrophic environmental effects on global oxygen production and local wildlife, but has also seen the region turn into a front line in land-related conflicts.

More land rights campaigners were killed in Brazil last year - 49 - than anywhere else in the world, as the race for resources intensifies and levels of impunity remain high, particularly when indigenous communities are targeted.

Lobbyists and senior politicians in Brazil's parliament have highlighted the potential commercial benefits in repurposing rainforest for agricultural and industrial use.

Temer appointed a conservative evangelical to head the country's indigenous agency, while Justice Minister Osmar Serraglio said in April that indigenous communities need to “stop this discussion about lands”.

“Land doesn’t fill anyone’s belly,” he added. 

To understand the scale of the destruction, the Silent Forest project last month launched a map that uses data to visualize the extent of deforestation in Brazil.

As part of our Politics of Death series, Place investigated the spiraling violence in Brazil. Read the full report here: Land conflict and murder go "hand in hand" in Brazil

- Ruairi Casey

Discover more top stories from around the web this week. Have we missed anything? Tweet at @mjponsford or email place@thomsonreuters.com.

NEWS

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Delhi slums to get over 8,000 new toilets by year-end

Five park rangers killed in DRC in tragic weekend for wildlife defenders: Rebels who engage in poaching and illegal mining in Okapi Wildlife Reserve are thought to be responsible for the ambush.

Liberia land dispute mediation dawdles - one wounded, another feared missing

Indian tribal leader raises various issues at UN conference

FEATURES

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The Canadian company mining hills of silver – and the people dying to stop it

From Alligator Shoes to Whole Foods: Watching One Harlem Corner Over 28 Years

Poverty, Malnutrition And Disease Make Manila's 'Happyland' A Very Sad Place

A forgotten community: The little town in Niger keeping the lights on in France

Students use Snapchat to highlight state of Dublin housing market

The price of palm oil in Sierra Leone

Let Them Have Playgrounds: An exploration of the radical history of playgrounds

'Where must we go?' ask sisters facing eviction from South African wine farm

'Locals get first dibs': The Manchester flats banning foreign investors

COMMENT

Taxing empty homes: a step towards affordable housing, but much more can be done

Africa's forests and savannahs under threat

Why cities are getting so unaffordableBarriers to housing construction are hiking prices across the world

‘Sociable housing’ could help people climb out of poverty

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