Amazon Rainforest's Riches Up For Grabs As Brazil To Open Indigenous Reserves To Mining

Brazil’s new right-wing government, led by former army captain Jair Bolsonaro, is going ahead with announced changes to current mining regulations, which include a controversial plan to open up indigenous reserves to mining.

Most of the country’s original population lives in the Amazon rainforest, which has an ecosystem seen by many as having worldwide ecological importance. Speaking at an event in Washington D.C., the country’s Mines and Energy minister, Bento Albuquerque, acknowledged the environmental value of the vast area, but said it was also globally important because of the resources it holds.

“The riches of the Amazon have to be explored in a rational and sustainable way that does not harm the environment,” Albuquerque said Friday. “That effort shall also include the regulation of the use of indigenous and other areas.”