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Article

Brazil: Amazon Watch documents deforestation, mining and agricultural activity in Pará

"Overflight Uncovers Environmental Destruction of Munduruku Indigenous Territory in the Brazilian State of Pará", 9th October 2020

...From the southwest to the southern edge of Pará, in the Tapajós River basin, smoke from forest fires caused by arson covers municipalities and highways. In the cities of Trairão, Aveiro, and Belterra, in the southwest of Pará, and Jacareacanga, in the state's southern edge, the sky is opaque and the air is suffocating: the toxic smoke from the fires combines with the morning mist. Even in this tropical rainforest, the treetops are succumbing to the yearly increase in fires and environmental degradation.

On September 17, Amazônia Real, in partnership with Amazon Watch, witnessed this attack on the rainforest, Indigenous peoples, smallholder farmers, and biodiversity from up above during a flyover. It was the second flyover by the agency this year. The first was on the border between the states of Rondônia and Amazonas. The new flyover route included the surrounding municipalities, highways, and areas of the following National Forests (Florestas Nacionais – Flona): Jamanxim, Tapajós and Crepori; the Tapajós National Park; the Tapajós Environmental Protection Area; and the Munduruku, Bragança-Murituba, Munduruku-Taquara, and Sawré Muybu Indigenous lands.

From the sky, smoke from the fires obscures the environmental destruction on the ground – a combination of extensive deforested areas, pasture farms, and vast illegal mining sites. These activities cause a ripple-effect of ecological damage, from the pollution of rivers, worsening health conditions, to an increase in social conflicts...