Brazil’s Supreme Court reached a majority decision to reject Marco Temporal, a pernicious legal argument that translates as a “Time Limit” on Indigenous peoples’ land rights. As the results were announced, Indigenous communities around Brazil erupted into celebration, filling the central plazas of state capitals with music and dancing.
Amazon fires made global headlines in 2019—will 2023 be as bad?
Unfortunately, probably so.
In August 2019, massive smoke plumes drifted thousands of miles from the burning Amazon and settled over Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, blocking out the sun.
The world’s attention focused on Jair Bolsonaro’s administration as he opened the Amazon for further exploitation by incentivizing ranching and large-scale agriculture, the primary drivers of tropical forest fires.
Despite international pressures, the situation has continued to deteriorate. Annual fires in the Brazilian Amazon have exceeded the destructive toll of 2019 not once, but twice—first in 2020 and then again in 2022.
The inauguration of President Lula da Silva’s and his inclusion of Indigenous leadership within his administration brings a glimmer of hope for the Amazon. However, a conservative-led congress representing agribusiness interests leaves much yet to be seen. The future of the Amazon hangs in the balance.
Area Burned in Brazil’s Amazon from January to August Since 2019