Amazon deforestation and pollution in Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012

1. Heads of state and tens of thousands of participants and protesters will descend on Rio de Janeiro later this month for the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development or “Earth Summit”.

Amazon deforestation and pollution in Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012

2. The summit aims to overcome years of deadlock over environmental concerns and marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, which delivered the Climate Convention and a host of other promises.

Amazon deforestation and pollution in Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012

3. Brazil is caught up in its own dilemma, having to choose between accelerated growth and environmental preservation.

Amazon deforestation and pollution in Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012

4. The Brazilian Amazon, home to 60 percent of the world’s largest forest and producer of 20 percent of the Earth’s oxygen, remains threatened by the rapid development of the country.

Amazon deforestation and pollution in Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012

5. The area is currently populated by over 20 million people and is challenged by deforestation, agriculture, mining, a governmental dam building spree, illegal land speculation including the occupation of forest reserves and indigenous land and other issues.

Amazon deforestation and pollution in Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012

6. Brazil is now the world’s sixth largest economy and is set to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.

Amazon deforestation and pollution in Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012

7. A teenager jumps into the water in front of a railroad bridge operated by Vale, a mining company and Brazil’s biggest exporter, in Acailandia. The railroad transports iron ore from the world’s largest mine across the bridge on its way to a port to be exported.

Amazon deforestation and pollution in Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012

8. A smelter produces pig iron fired by charcoal produced from illegally harvested Amazon rainforest wood, in Acailandia

Amazon deforestation and pollution in Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012

9. A worker carries a bag of charcoal produced from illegally harvested Amazon rainforest wood up a ladder onto a truck in Rondon do Para

Amazon deforestation and pollution in Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012

10. A worker’s back is seen while loading charcoal produced from illegally harvested Amazon rainforest wood, in Rondon do Para

Amazon deforestation and pollution in Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012

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