Search Results for Tag: Brazil
When the samba is silent in Brazil
Global Ideas reporter Militiades Arsenopoulas came upon a few unusual scenes while filming in carnival-crazy Brazil.
Imagine you’re traveling to the carnival hot spot of Brazil and the festivities are canceled! That’s exactly what happened to me in Maceio, a seaside city in northeastern Brazil. No kidding! A few days before Shrove Monday, the mayor announced that there was no money for the carnival parade. The city was simply broke. It was a historic first and came as a rude shock to the city’s one million residents. Maceio is famous for its traditional carnival festivities that I so wanted to be a part of.
Other towns in the region also canceled their carnival parades due to the cash crunch, leading to a few strange scenes. For instance in Capela, a small town an hour’s drive from Maceio, a Volkswagen bus with huge loudspeakers on the roof drove slowly through the center broadcasting the mayor’s apology. I felt sorry for the Brazilians in that moment. But there was nothing they could do to save their carnival, the consummate Brazilian holiday and considered the best time of the year to visit the country.
In Maceio, I also met members of a local Samba school who simply blocked off a street (without the permission of the police) and started their own carnival party. Dancers in tiny bikinis and colorful costumes swayed to the Samba music played by young and old people on drums. The spontaneous street party was a vibrant and colorful spectacle. And that’s when I thought I understood what the Brazilian carnival is all about. It’s a celebration of the pure joy of living. I was so thrilled to experience the unique party. And I really hope people in Maceio get back their carnival parade next year.
DateMarch 12, 2013
The Amazon rainforest is spread out over nine national states of the South American continent. As trees bind carbon dioxide (CO2), the Amazon forest plays a crucial role in climate protection measures. Home to 60 percent of the world’s rainforest area, Brazil contains the largest part of this precious ecosystem.
GLOBAL IDEAS asked Brazilian forest activist Pedro Soares to write a guest article for our blog. Pedro stresses that we can only protect the Amazon by providing an adequate income to those living in the forest.
By Pedro Soares
The Brazilian Amazon area covers about 50 percent of Brazil’s territory. That is a total an area of 4,196,943 square kilometers.
The biggest stock of tropical forest in the world has always been seen as a barrier to regional economic development. In fact, deforestation occurs mainly due to an economic rationale: the forest does not provide sufficient income for landowners and forest dwellers, when compared to the income they could obtain for more profitable activities such as logging, agriculture or cattle ranching. But the lack of an economic value for the stand forest is the main caveat towards the promotion of forest conservation policies and programs.
DateAugust 10, 2012
TagsAmazon, americas, Brazil, carbon dioxide, climate, climate change, CO2, idesam, latin america, pedro soares, rainforest, REDD, rio de janeiro, Rio+20, South America
Rio plus you
A huge disappointment, a good basis to work from or “a major step forward in achieving a sustainable future” as the United Nations have put it? Depending on who you ask, the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 is evaluated differently.
In the run-up to the so called Rio+20 Earth Summit, we had asked our Global Ideas crowd to forward their questions to participants of the summit. In Rio, our reporters Philipp and Kerstin asked Stefan Rostock from the non-governmental organisation Germanwatch to answer them. Stefan followed the negotiation process very closely – listen to his answers:
The non governmental organisation Germanwatch advocates for a more sustainable future in countries of the so-called “South”. It researches and highlights the global consequences that economies and politics of industrialized states have on developing and threshold states – situated mostly in the geographical South of the planet. Germanwatch is based in Bonn and Berlin.
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development took place in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With almost 30,000 participants from all around the world including representatives of 191 UN member states as well as 10,000 NGO people and almost 4,000 journalists, it was the biggest conference in the history of the United Nations. Download the 50-page outcome document “The future we want”.
DateJune 27, 2012
Rio’s romance with renewable resources
Cups made from corn or electricity from sugar cane: Rio is eager these days to show that it can be environmentally friendly. The city is hosting the United Nations conference on Sustainable Development – better known as Rio+20. While the official part is only starting on Wednesday (June 20) the congress venue is already open for preparatory meetings and non-governmental events.
The Brazilian government is trying to make a point, it seems, of just how much it values the use of renewable resources such as corn or sugarcane. Indeed, Brazil is well known as a biofuel-country: The standard blend cars run on consists of up to 25 percent of biofuel for example. Even the Brazilian airline that flew us in bragged about its green commitment in the inflight magazine. The carrier plans to operate a domestic flight on biofuel especially for Rio+20.
Whilst renewable resources may emit less CO2 than fossil fuels, depending on how they are processed and transported, they can of course also create a lot of problems – monocultures, conflict between food and fuel production or soil degradation to name just a few.
DateJune 15, 2012
Tagsbiodiversity, Brazil, conference, conservation, environment, rio de janeiro, Rio+20, sustainable, United Nations
Bizarre but valuable: Top 10-list of new species 2011 draws attention to biodiversity
Short time ago the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University anounced their picks for the top 10 new species described in 2011. It’s the fifth time in a row that attention-grabbing species have been nominated to open the world’s eyes for “the biodiversity crisis and the unsung species explorers and museums who continue a 250-year tradition of discovering and describing the millions of kinds of plants, animals and microbes with whom we share this planet,” as Quentin Wheeler, an entomologist who directs the International Institute for Species Exploration at ASU, said.
When you have a look at the gallery below you will have to admit that this year’s list is quite exquisit. It’s members come from Brazil, Myanmar, the Dutch Caribbean, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, Spain, Borneo, Nepal, China and Tanzania. You will find a sneezing monkey there, a beautiful but venomous jellyfish, an underworld worm and a fungus named for a popular TV cartoon character.
The nominations had to be “species that capture our attention because they are unusual or because they have traits that are bizarre,” said Mary Liz Jameson, an associate professor at Wichita State University who chaired the international selection committee. At the institute’s website you will also find a Google world map that pinpoints the location for each of the top 10 new species.
DateMay 31, 2012
Tagsanimals, arizona state university, asu, biodiversity, borneo, Brazil, China, dutch caribbean, explorer, jellyfish, monkey, museum, myanmar, nepal, papua new guinea, plants, South Africa, spain, species, spongebob, Tanzania, top 10