Let there be light

In the darkest reaches of Brazil’s Amazon, at least two million people live without access to electricity. The country’s environmental body is now using solar panels to light up the region

Published: 13th October 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th October 2017 02:14 AM   |  A+A-

In the darkest reaches of Brazil’s Amazon, at least two million people live without access to electricity. The country’s environmental body is now using solar panels to light up the region

Sun to the Amazon’s rescue

Bringing power to millions might not sound like an obvious way to preserve the world’s greatest forest, already under constant pressure from loggers and farmers. But consider what the solar panels are replacing

In the tiny communities of the Ituxi nature reserve, small-scale farmers almost universally depend on noisy, smoky generators for light and refrigeration—and frequent trips to buy fuel at higher than usual prices, according to AFP. To keep fish they catch in the rivers fresh they also use large quantities of Styrofoam, another environmental menace

Forest night silent again

“The Amazon is the last big frontier for electricity in the country,” Aurelio Souza, the consultant for a joint program of the World Wildlife Fund and Brazil’s environmental agency, was quoted as saying by the AFP. The project was launched in July in a nature reserve called Medio Purus, home to about 6,000 people who subsist on fishing and family farms. And without the din of generators drowning out the deep silence of the forest night, life is already changing

Mining in the rainforest

The rainforest is not just threatened by the use of fossil fuels. In August, President Michel Temer announced a decree to abolish the Renca reserve, an area roughly the size of Switzerland, according to The Guardian

The area is an important carbon sink and home to some of the world’s richest biodiversity. Temer’s move was eventually blocked by a judge. But the threat has not gone away as Temer and his cabinet reportedly have close links to the mining industries

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