Brazil: China poised to invest heavily in the construction and operation of Brazilian railroads which could cause environmental damage and land conflicts

Author: Mongabay, Published on: 16 April 2019

“China increasingly involved in Brazil’s ambitious Amazon rail network”, 8th November 2018

…In recent years, Brazil and China have developed mutual interests: Brazil produces soy and other food crops that China needs...As a result, China has increasingly gotten involved in potentially investing in and helping build a number of Brazilian railroads…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...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…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…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…

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