Environment

The Brazilian biome suffering more than the Amazon

While the eyes of the world are trained on the Amazon — with good reason — it is Brazil's savannah-like Cerrado which is suffering the most

amazon cerrado deforestation
A Cerrado fire going out of control. Photo: Fernando Tatagiba/ICMBio

Early in June, the Environment and Sustainability Agency of the Center-West state of Goiás launched a major clampdown operation in the municipality of Cavalcante — a tourism hotspot in the Chapada dos Veadeiros national park. In a single day, agents identified 24 spots of deforestation and illegal mining, among them a previously untouched area of savannah transformed into cattle pasture by Cavalcante Mayor Josemar Saraiva Freire — who was fined BRL 169,000 (USD 31,500) and saw two of the City Hall’s own diggers seized, which he had used to carry out the crime. 

During the same operation, inspectors witnessed the destruction of...

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