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[ARTICLE] Leadership changes and illegal mining put increasing pressure on Amazon rainforest

The New York Times recently published a front-page article about the growing scourge of illegal mining and logging that has deforested and polluted portions of the Amazon rainforest and one indigenous tribe's struggle to confront extraction on their land. This issue has become critical given 1) Brazil's election of Jair Bolsonaro as president, who has openly spoken about economic exploitation of the Amazon; and 2) the fact that the Amazon rainforest -- the world's largest repository of terrestrial carbon and greatest repository of biodiversity -- is already quite close to a tipping point towards dieback in the south and east. Tom is quoted in the article (the only American to be quoted, in fact): “The combined impacts of deforestation, climate change and extensive use of fire have brought the Amazon to the tipping point,” said Thomas Lovejoy, an environmental science and policy professor at George Mason University. “The indigenous people, who are the best defenders of the land, become vulnerable if the forest vanishes.” You can read the article here:

Dr. Lovejoy was also recently published in an op-ed entitled "Amazon: it's time for a new vision" in Brazil's largest-circulating print publication, Folha de Sao Paulo: (paywalled, in Portuguese).

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