Slaughtering the Amazon

1 April 2008

In the past three years Brazil’s National Development Bank (BNDES) and the World Bank have poured funds into the cattle industry in the southern Amazon. “While governments insist they are doing their utmost to stop deforestation they have been putting in place incentives for the destruction of the forest,” said Roberto Smeraldi, head of Friends of the Earth Brazil and co-author of a new report, The cattle realm. The IFC gave $9 million to Brazil’s leading beef processor to upgrade its slaughterhouse operations in the Amazon (see Update 55), despite an environmental study showing that the expansion would lead to the loss of up to 300,000 hectares of forest.